Kristen Lodge -Gotta run!
6 am, 14 degrees, and still pitch black outside. I’m driving to the Y for a swim. As I descend down the steep hill on Village Road in Granby, I see reflective gear and light radiating from a person running. It is Julie Kerswell on her morning run. I’ve seen her running the steep hills in Granby Ranch all winter regardless of temperature, blowing snow, or ice on the roads. I feel less tough as I drive on toward the warm, well lit pool at the YMCA. Over coffee later that day we talk about why she runs in the morning while it’s still dark and very cold. “If I wait until after work in the evening I won’t do it. Plus, it’s my time to sort out my head.” Work is busy now that she and her husband Peter, who own Kopy Kat Graphics and Printing, recently purchased another business, Copy & Ship in Winter Park. Now, both businesses have combined to be called Kopy Kat Office. Along with involvement in the Fraser Valley Lions and commitment to the Granby Chamber Board of Directors, life is busy. Julie says that running in the morning helps keep her focused on all the tasks that she must do each day. During the winter, she says, “The best time is going for a run is before the snowplows; it’s so peaceful.” Julie has been running long distances since 1998, and when she and Peter moved to Grand County in 2006 to open Kopy Kat Graphics, she continued her running regiment. Together, she and Peter have run several half and full marathons over the years. She doesn’t follow a training plan, she decides the night before how far and what path her morning run will be. She gradually increases running time in order to peak a few weeks before race day then tapers. Julie says that traveling to races is a fun way to see the country. In January they traveled to San Diego to run the Carlsbad Half Marathon. This race follows Route 101 through the village of Carlsbad then travels inland for a few miles, and a return loop along the Pacific Ocean. The highest point of the race is 308 feet. After training at 8,000 feet this race must be a fun one. One of her favorite marathons is the Las Vegas Marathon. The race starts with fireworks on the strip at 6 a.m. Some couples will even get married at Mile 6 as the course enters a chapel. Some of the competitors even wear wedding outfits during the race; women with veils and men dressed as Elvis with hairdos that don’t last the entire race. When vacation travel doesn’t include a race, Julie always packs running shoes regardless of vacation locale: “Peter and I went to Vancouver a few months ago and we ran in Stanley Park close to downtown on the water. It’s easy to add a pair of running shoes to the suitcase and it’s a great way to see a city.” Julie’s favorite loop is the dirt roads around Headwaters Golf Course in Granby. The loop includes hills and flats, it’s quiet, and there aren’t many cars. She is considering running a Half Marathon this spring and will do a full marathon this year but is uncertain about which one. I’m sure I’ll see her running as I drive to Y or run past her on the hills, but now I know she’s compartmentalizing all the things she must accomplish that day. I might try that on my next run.
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