Kasie Enman Gets Ready for U.S. Mountain Running Team QualifiersShe was the toast of the mountain running world in 2011. Can Enman repeat her championship performances this year?
Photo by Droz Photo (courtesy of Salomon)
2011 was a great year for Kasie Enman. The 32-year-old native of Huntington, Vermont, made waves in the Mountain Running scene by capturing first the U.S. title at New Hampshire’s Cranmore Hill Climb in June, and then the individual title at the World Championships in Albania last September, leading the women’s U.S. Mountain Running Team (USMRT) to a fourth-place-overall finish.
“I was finally healthy and well-prepared heading into the mountain-racing season,” Enman says of her spectacular 2011. “Previous years, I was either injured or coming off injury and way undertrained. While mountain running was a great way to stick my toes back in the racing water coming off injury, I knew I had more in me.
“Still, I completely exceeded all expectations last year,” she continues. “I was also surprised at my ability to race well on the up-and-down courses, as I had previously avoided them because of a fear of injury on the downhills. Turns out the downhills are a strength of mine.”
That’s an important distinction for Enman to make as she seeks to defend both her U.S. and World title starting at the Loon Mountain Race in New Hampshire, which serves as the women’s USMRT qualifiers, this Sunday. Loon Mountain, like the World Championship course in Italy, will be primarily an uphill climb, unlike last year, when it was an up-and-down course. The World Championship course alternates between uphill and up-and-down each year, and the U.S. championships for both men and women follow suit.
2012 is already looking good for Enman—it has seen her gain a new sponsorship with Salomon and she says it will see her try her hand at the SkyRunning circuit in Europe later this summer. She also turned in a third-place finish at last month’s Mount Washington Road Race, an uphill race that served as the men’s USMRT qualifier.
We caught up with Enman as she prepares for Loon Mountain to ask about how she ended up in mountain running and hear her thoughts on the development of the U.S. team.