Sunday, March 6, 2016

Five Questions with Suzanna Bon - Interviews from the Flagstaff to Grand Canyon Stagecoach Line 100 Mile, 55K and Relays

The inaugural Flagstaff to Grand Canyon Stagecoach Line race took place on October 19th, 2013.  We started the race at 2:00PM to take advantage of the full moon over the open lands of the Babbitt Ranches (miles 30 to 55).  Our first year had a small but stellar field, including one of the toughest ultrarunners from northern California, Suzanna Bon.  Suzanna came to Arizona sporting wins at the San Diego, Cascade Crest, HURT, Angeles Crest and Chimera 100 mile races, a top-10 finish at Western States, as victor of both the Lake Sonoma 50 Mile and Quad Dipsea and a 5th place at the 2012 World 24-Hour World Championships.  It wasn't surprising that she won the women's race and placed 4th overall in 21:01 at Stagecoach.  We recently reconnected with Suzanna and reminisced about her experience in northern Arizona.

Suzanna Bon (in yellow shirt, sunglasses and headband) listens to last minute pre-race instructions.

Question #1: Why did you choose Stagecoach?

"First, the timing worked well for me and my family. I was drawn to the historical nature of the course, I like a trail with a story. And last but not least - FLAGSTAFF!"
Suzanna with friend Tamara Buckley-Johnson minutes before the start.

Question #2: What was your favorite part of the course?

"I can’t choose just one section - I particularly enjoyed the sections from Kelly Tank all the way to Oil Line. The sun was setting, the colors and views were glorious with a full moon rising…a trail runner's delight. I also loved the forest section from Russell Tank to Hull Cabin - the dead of night, under the trees and a hanging full moon, running alone watching out for the Blair Witch!"

Suzanna approaching the first aid station at Hart Prarie.

Question #3: What was the biggest challenge Stagecoach presented?

"The cold night time temps - I was freezing and it was tough to leave the aid stations with their roaring fires. It was the first race I have ever run bundled in down, beanie, gloves, leggings etc- clearly, I simply wasn’t running fast enough."

Moqui Stage Station in day light hours.

Question #4: What was your favorite aid station?

"Moqui Stage Station, a very cool historical setting- I felt like a time traveller. This aid station had ambience! With the twinkling lights, hot food, roaring fire and supportive volunteers Moqui was a stand out."

 Suzanna collects her winnings: A congratulatory handshake from race director Ian Torrence, the Stagecoach "Champion" buckle and a Babbitt Ranches Pendleton blanket.

Question #5: Three tips you can offer a Stagecoach first timer.

"Warm clothes in drop bags. Bandana or buff to cover mouth/nose for dust protection. Don’t linger too long by the fire!"

Bonus Question: Mt. Humphreys or the Grand Canyon and why?

"Mt Humpherys. I know and love the canyon so would choose Humphreys for a new and unknown adventure."

Thank you, Suzanna, for coming to our little race and taking the time to answer our questions.  Join us this year on September 24th, 2016 at 8:00AM for the fourth annual Stagecoach Line 100 Mile, 55K and Relays.  

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noral.gail41 said...
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