Becky Wade: Why I Visit Mammoth Lakes

Jul 14, 2021

When Becky Wade crossed the finish line first at the California International Marathon last year, she quickly became one of the top young marathon runners in the country. With a 2:30 marathon debut in Sacramento, the Rice University alumna is considered a serious contender for the 2016 Olympic team.The fall marathon season is just around the corner and Wade will be competing against some the world’s fastest marathoners at the Chicago Marathon this October, so she decided to take her summer training to higher ground.

The fall marathon season is just around the corner and Wade will be competing against some the world’s fastest marathoners at the Chicago Marathon this October, so she decided to take her summer training to higher ground.“I wanted a change of scenery and a fresh buildup for the fall marathon,” Wade, 25, said. “Mammoth is a place that I’d never been, but heard about for so long.”

“I wanted a change of scenery and a fresh buildup for the fall marathon,” Wade, 25, said. “Mammoth is a place that I’d never been, but heard about for so long.”Olympians Deena Kastor and Meb Keflezighi made a name for Mammoth Lakes when they moved here to train in 2001. At the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece they each stood on the podium—Keflezighi with a silver medal and Kastor with a bronze. Mammoth has been a top a training destination for long distance runners ever since.

Olympians Deena Kastor and Meb Keflezighi made a name for Mammoth Lakes when they moved here to train in 2001. At the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece they each stood on the podium—Keflezighi with a silver medal and Kastor with a bronze. Mammoth has been a top a training destination for long distance runners ever since.When Wade was looking for a summer training destination, Mammoth just made sense. Her coach, Jim Bevan, and ASICS

When Wade was looking for a summer training destination, Mammoth just made sense. Her coach, Jim Bevan, and ASICS Mammoth Track Club head coach, Andrew Kastor are both former Adams State athletes and were mentored by legendary coach Joe Vigil. Wade says their coaching philosophies are similar. That and the fact that Wade is an ASICS sponsored athlete made the transition seamless.Though it is her first time training for a race at altitude, the Dallas native spent a year traveling abroad exploring running cultures as a Thomas J. Watson fellow. She visited high altitude running destinations like Ethiopia, and came home with a love for variety in training.

Though it is her first time training for a race at altitude, the Dallas native spent a year traveling abroad exploring running cultures as a Thomas J. Watson fellow. She visited high altitude running destinations like Ethiopia, and came home with a love for variety in training.“Ethiopia is so different and someplace I could see myself going regularly for the rest of my life,” she said. “You have to drop all expectations and assumptions and go with the flow. I got a lot out of the way they train and tried new things.”

“Ethiopia is so different and someplace I could see myself going regularly for the rest of my life,” she said. “You have to drop all expectations and assumptions and go with the flow. I got a lot out of the way they train and tried new things.”In Mammoth, Wade says she is focused on a specific marathon build-up. Being away from her home in Huston, there are no distractions and she is enjoying the change of scenery.

In Mammoth, Wade says she is focused on a specific marathon build-up. Being away from her home in Huston, there are no distractions and she is enjoying the change of scenery.“Nature and changes of training locations can be really inspiring-its just a different stimulus that is sometimes needed,” she said. “I’ve been reminded how nice it is to workout in a group.”

“Nature and changes of training locations can be really inspiring-its just a different stimulus that is sometimes needed,” she said. “I’ve been reminded how nice it is to workout in a group.”

Most days, Wade meets the ASICS Most days, Wade meets the ASICS Mammoth Track Club for workouts and runs. Over the past year, the club has developed a new team of young elite athletes. With a number of top finishes in competitive races around the country, the group has reestablished their dominance in American distance running and Wade fit right into the training regime.

“I learned a ton from Andrew in the way that he coaches and his total investment in the athletes. I’ve learned a lot from the girls and guys I’ve been running with—perspective and how they approach workouts and races.”

Even though Wade is competing in the marathon this year, she plans to race on the track next spring. The 10k and steeplechase offer a fun variety, she says. The speed from the track and the endurance from the marathon are a complimentary to one another, but for now she is hoping to improve upon her marathon finish in Chicago, run among the top Americans, and practice marathon racing tactics.

“Mammoth has been the nicest place to train this summer,” she said. “I just can’t get over the beautiful places to run right out the front door. I’ll go back to Huston refreshed and ready to tackle the training there. ”  

Follow Becky on Twitter at https://twitter.com/bexwade89

Monica Prelle

Monica Prelle is an outdoors, wine, and travel writer who would rather be running, climbing, or mountain biking. See more of Monica's posts here, read more of her work at monicaprelle.com and connect on twitter @monicaprelle

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