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Trail runners- Colorado is calling your name! Glenwood Springs, CO is the next host city in Colorado’s Endurance Race Series (ERS). If you've been keeping up with our coverage of the Beaver Creek and Keystone races, you know ERS is designed for trail runners of all abilities. The series' mission is to provide great competition with a relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere. The races so far in 2014 have been a testament to that!

Glenwood Springs Endurance Race Series
 
What To Expect From the Course
 
This time, the starting line will be drawn in beautiful Glenwood Springs. Whether you choose the Half Marathon course or the 10k, expect a challenge. ERS describes the route as “Brutal but Beautiful," and rates it as a 6 on a 1-10 difficulty scale. This is a great race for beginners and intermediates looking to get to a new level.
 
For both courses, you'll take off from the Glenwood Rec Center - and your heartbeat will get moving quickly! At mile two, you'll head up Red Mountain (8% grade) on a closed dirt road. Use the first two miles to set your pace and, while we recommend you focus on your way up the mountain, remember to look around and enjoy the views on the way down! 10kers will only head up 1/5 of the mountain, while half marathoners go further on a zigzag path. On the descent, both groups can look forward to the last 5 miles. Running against the bright red rock cliffs of Glenwood Springs, this stretch has amazing rolling paths of dirt and gravel that will make you fall in love with Colorado. The finish line will bring you back to your friends and family at the Rec Center!
 
Post-Race Fun
 
It wouldn't be race day without a post-run celebration. After the race, everyone will gather for a BBQ and beer garden - the perfect cure for tired legs. Keep in mind it’s a family-friendly environment so bring the whole gang! We promise everyone will have a good time.
 
As always, Wigwam will be there cheering on the runners. Stop by and find us throughout the day to learn about our latest trail running styles.
 

Written by at 15:11

 

Summer is here and Pamela Thorburn, former Alpine Ski Champion and current Ski Cross competitor, is finally off the slopes and enjoying a little rest and relaxation. Now that we were able to catch Pam in some downtime, Wigwam decided to drop in on her for a little Q&A to see what makes this athlete tick. Some of her answers were a bit surprising.

Pam Thornburn Ski Cross

On Skiing, Training, and Bodily Harm

Wigwam:

In 2011, you made the choice to leave behind Alpine Skiing for Ski Cross. What was your motivation for making the switch to the more extreme of the two?

Pamela Thorburn:

In 2010 my sights were firmly set on the Olympics, my heart broke when I wasn’t selected. I had worked my whole career towards that goal and I knew I had made the standard to go yet was still overlooked when our federation went bankrupt weeks before. I loved Alpine but it had become so political that I felt like I was always hitting a brick wall, so I decided to take myself away from that and find something that made me happy. I knew I still had the drive and need to compete, so Ski Cross was a natural progression for me. I only wish I had switched over earlier… I love it!

Wigwam:

Are there any significant differences in how you train for the two types of sport? Is one more mental or physical than the other?

Pam:

With regards to dry land training, they are quite similar.  It is essentially the same muscles and functional movements for both sports, only with ski cross the focus is more on upper body for faster starts and all sorts of jumping exercises to help with being in the air.

On snow the training is quite different with the focus a lot more on jumping and features. I wouldn’t say mentally one is tougher than the other, they just require alternate mind sets.

Wigwam:

It’s now summer. How do you handle the offseason? Any certain training regiments you stick to?

Pam:

I love the offseason because you get to focus on changing and improving the things you need to and get your body back in top shape. During the season you pick up niggling injuries and summer is the time to iron them out with training and rehab, etc.

Wigwam:

It’s been mentioned quite often how many injuries you’ve previously dealt with and how switching from Alpine to Ski-X seemed like a slightly nutty decision. You mind telling us how many bones you have bruised or broken over the years? Care to tell us the worst injury you were forced to deal with?

Pam:

Hmm this is a really tough one. I actually lost count how many broken or bruised bones I have, I just know that I was once at the Calgary Stampede and I compared my injuries to a bull rider… I had more. That was actually pretty fun; I got mad respect for that!

My worst injury would probably be fracturing my neck, it was almost 10 years ago but I still have problems with it.

Wigwam:

You unfortunately failed to qualify for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and then again for Sochi this year. Seeing that you were the 2012 British champion, do you feel that the stringent criteria set by The British Olympic Association and British Ski and Snowboard unfairly kept you away from Sochi?

Pam:

I would say it was unfair for me not to go to Vancouver as I proved myself in 2010 but Sochi was another story. I was badly injured in the run up to Sochi so my pre season was pretty non existent. I didn’t have the training I badly needed due to this and lack of funding so I didn’t produce the results I needed in the qualifying period.

However, I do feel like the British Olympic Association should alter some of their policies. Not accepting ‘hand back’ spots for a sport like Ski Cross is absolutely nuts. I say that because only the top 32 in the World compete at the games, I was officially invited to go but my country needed me to be better so they turned down my spot. In ski cross anything can happen, in the mens event for example Jonathan Midol qualified in 29th for the race… and finished with a bronze medal.

Wigwam:

Regardless of past disappointments, you still have your eye on South Korea in 2018. Knowing the difficulties of qualifying for the previous two Olympics, is your approach towards making it to Pyeongchang going to change significantly? If so, how?

Pam:

I’m taking everything year by year, step by step. I didn’t have a full Olympic cycle (4years) to train for Sochi so I feel like I am at a big advantage now. Everything was a bit rushed before because my only focus was Sochi, now I have World Championships coming up next season and a whole lot of training to do before then.

After getting some insights into what it’s like to be a professional skier and what it takes to compete with some of the world’s best, we figure it was time to change things up and get a bit more personal.

On Movies, Music, and Hair...er, Love

Wigwam:

What is your all time favorite movie/film and why? 

Pam:

Hmm…this is a tough one as I absolutely love movies. It would be a hard call between Mystery Alaska and Rocky 4. Who doesn't love an underdog? I still have the Rocky 4 soundtrack in my gym playlist.

Russell Crowe Sylvestor Stallone

Wigwam:

If someone were to borrow your ipod, what type of music would they find? Any favorites? 

Pam:

People hate my iPod! I have the strangest selection of music. My absolute favorite is rock and metal, I grew up on Iron Maiden so that features heavily but I have come to love country music too. A mix of chilled, heavy metal, acoustic and country make for an awesome shuffle playlist.

Eddie Versus Garth

Wigwam:

If you had to pick from three people to be your lover, best friend, and roommate, who would those three people be? 

Pam:

Oh good question.

Lover- Charlie Hunnam, if you have ever seen Son's of Anarchy you will know why... and his hair is incredible. 

Charlie Hunnam Bad Hair

Best Friend- Melissa McCarthy, because she is hilarious, can you imagine the trouble you would get in to with her as a best friend?!

Melissa Mccarthy Bag Head Nose Bleed

Roommate- Torah Bright, she's Olympic gold medalist, badass snowboarder, roxy model and all round cool chick... I fangirl'd a little when I met her this year.

Torah Bright Gold Medalist

Wigwam:

Finally, we’ve had a very hard time judging who placed where in this photo finish. Since we have your intimate expertise here, would you mind telling us who actually placed second in this race?

Ski Cross Ending

Pam:

Ah, this was so crazy wasn’t it?! The Russian on the far left actually took 2nd because his arm crossed first… much to the delight of the Russian fans. It’s so hard to see though but what a finish.


We'd like to thank Pam for taking time out of her very unbusy schedule to answer our questions. We look forward to monitoring her progress as she moves on to establish herself as an elite in the world of Ski Cross. For more about Pam, be sure to visit her website at www.pamelathorburn.com.

Written by at 10:00

Youth Apprenticeship Program

 

Wigwam recently partnered with Lakeshore Technical College (LTC) to participate in the Sheboygan Area Youth Apprenticeship (YA) Program. This program works proactively to get more graduating young adults interested and involved in careers in manufacturing. Youth Apprenticeships offer students in high school the opportunity to explore future careers while receiving school credit and pay for the work they are performing. The YA Program is limited to high school juniors and seniors and covers a wide variety of job fields like Health, Finance, Hospitality, Culinary, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math) and Manufacturing. In addition to requiring the students to work a minimum of 450 hours on the job, they are required to take one job related class each semester at either their high school if available or at LTC. The student will receive college credit for any classes taken at LTC and the cost of tuition and books is covered by a grant from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. Last year, the Sheboygan Area YA Program placed approximately 65 students from 11 area high schools into various career opportunities with more than 30 area companies.

For the 2014-2015 school year, Wigwam has hired one student to participant in theDerric Wilkenson YA Program as a Knitting Mechanic. Derric Wilkenson is a senior at Howards Grove High School and will be starting his apprenticeship on July 7th. He will work primarily first shift hours during the summer and then switch to partial afternoon hours during the school year. Wigwam’s hope is that Derric, as well as others involved in the Sheboygan Area YA Program will develop a renewed interest in manufacturing and look to Wigwam as a career choice after graduation.

When asked to name his favorite thing about working at Wigwam thus far, Derric said, “It’s getting hands on experience while I’m still in high school and being able to work during the school year. I also value the fact that Wigwam is a family company and makes all if it’s products in the United States.” He is still figuring out what his favorite Wigwam sock style might be, but will be busy testing out socks when he is volunteering at the Fire Department, hunting and fishing. As for the Youth apprenticeship program, Derric relayed, “It is a great program and I would definitely recommend it to others.”

Written by at 15:00

 

We’re headed back to Colorado for the next event in the Endurance Race Series! On Saturday, August 9th, runners will flock to Beaver Creek, hitting the trails for either a 10k or half marathon course. Participants should expect a more challenging route than the Keystone, CO event in July (endurance officials rate Beaver Creek an 8 out of 10 in terms of difficulty), but the course promises equally scenic views.

The Route Through Beaver CreekBeaver Creek Scenery

The race begins in the middle of stunning Beaver Creek, a town that boasts fantastic potential for outdoor adventure. The race route is a circuit that, when completed, makes a boomerang shape. Runners first head east and navigate through the trees along the base of the surrounding mountains. After about a mile, the trail leads deeper into a forest and the elevation continually rises. On the way, runners will get sporadic breathtaking views of the town between the trees. Several miles in, the trail shifts back south, heading deep into the forest for a steady climb alongside the mountains.

Getting to the Finish Line

The 10k finishes with a big downhill stretch back into the heart of the town. The half marathoners will circle back to run that route once more, then complete an additional leg through the streets of Beaver Creek Village. Both routes include about 80% single track and 20% dirt road. The half marathon route has an elevation gain of 1,400 feet, the 10k has 700; both promise unforgettable views to get you to the finish line.

Come Out and Cheer

Each event in the Endurance Race Series is family-friendly. At Beaver Creek, there is even a kids race that starts at 10am. Bring everyone out for a fun-filled day to participate or cheer on these amazing athletes. Wigwam will be there too, so make sure to stop by our booth and check out our latest trail running styles. We’re excited to see you there!

Written by at 12:30

 

Looking for a trail race event fit for the entire family? The Endurance Race Series is Colorado’s largest trail racing series and offers some of the most scenic mountain views. It has caught the attention of runners, athletes and nature lovers of all skill levels. On July 19th, Keystone will host the next event in the series, offering Half Marathon, 10k and 5k options!

Keystone Endurance Race Series

What to Expect at Keystone

Athletes will gather by picturesque Lake Keystone, a beautiful body of water tucked away between pine-covered mountains in the quaint ski resort town of Keystone, Colorado. It’s a wonderful environment to set your mind free and let your legs carry you around the lollipop-shaped course.  The series rates Keystone as a level 5 difficulty (on a scale of 1 to 10) with approximately 50% of the trail being bike path and 50% being single track. Half marathoners will complete two loops of the 10k course, with both uphill and downhill stretches included. Participants will get to run along the river, through the scenic Keystone Golf Course and under winding trees. For more information on Keystone, click here

The Endurance Race Series

If the weekend of July 19th looks a little busy, no worries! The Colorado Endurance Race Series offers nine different events throughout the year, ranging from April to October. At all events, runners can expect a variety of distance options, diligent course support and kid-friendly races. The beautiful Colorado landscape also offers stunning spots for post-race festivities, which include music, raffles, great local food and refreshments.

A Glimpse of the Action

The Endurance Race Series promises well-organized events which have proven time and time again to provide runners with a refreshing, competitive and authentic day in nature. You don’t have to take our word for it either, watch a snapshot from the 2013 series.

Keystone Endurance Race Runners 

Stop By and Say Hi!

Wigwam will be at several Endurance Race events this summer, including Keystone on July 19th. Be sure to stop by our booth where we’ll be demoing our latest trail running styles. We can’t wait to celebrate with participants and their families at the finish line!

Written by at 14:00

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