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  • From the Sidelines to Success

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    From the Sidelines to Success

    Welcome to AKtive Chats! My name is Xavier and I spend the majority of my time over at our Wasilla location. When I’m not working, you can find me on the trails, riding my gravel bike, or hanging out with my wife around town. 


    My goal for this project is to highlight some of the successes and challenges that we as runners often face. Through this, I wish to inspire others to believe in themselves and do something that they may be scared of or has been put off for too long. Then, eventually, you will be able to Get AKtive and Stay AKtive in the pursuit of being the best version of yourself. So let’s get right into it and hear a little bit about our first person!


    Since becoming a mom, she has stepped away from full time work with AKtive Soles, but has been a tremendous asset to us helping keep our small business moving forward. After battling injuries and surgery, she is back on the racing scene and has come with vengeance. For those who don’t know who I’m talking about let’s learn a bit more about Carrie Koso!


    X: Tell us a bit about who you are and what you do:

    C: I’m a late bloomer athlete who has always felt more competitive than talented. I didn’t start running until well after high school but the love of the sport and community has driven me to continue to try to close that gap.

    X: You recently completed the Desert RATS 100k in Colorado. What was that experience like?

    C: Desert RATS 100k was exactly the experience I was looking for. I wanted to sign up for something that I “couldn’t do” and then just do it. I’m fascinated by what the body can do if you just keep putting one foot in front of the other and grateful I got to experience it.

    X: You got a ticket to CCC in France in 2025… what does that mean to you?

    C: My friends and I chose to race Desert RATS because it is a qualifier to enter the lottery for the UTMB World Series Finals. The goal was to hopefully lottery into CCC someday, I NEVER expected to qualify with a top-three finish. I feel equally lucky and grateful.

    X: How did you train for your first 100k race?

    C: My biggest training week leading into the race was only about 40 miles. While I knew my volume was not good, I got a decent amount of vertical gain per week and a lot of that was with a 30# baby on my back. Building “mom strength” really carried this training block!

    X: What does this summer look like for you in terms of racing?

    C: As of right now, Mount Marathon is the only big race on my calendar. I’m hoping to prioritize some long days in the mountains over racing. CCC requires the ability to manage big ascents and descents back to back to back, that is something that you definitely can’t shortcut in training.

    X: Any advice you’d give someone looking to get into either running or ultras?

    C: My advice to anyone wanting to get into running or ultras would be to stop thinking about it, and just do it. There’s so much information and so many opinions on how to train, how to fuel, what gear to use.  The only sustainable training plan is the one that inspires you to do it, the only fuel that will work for you is fuel that you will actually eat, the only gear that will work for you is what feels best on you, and the only way that you will ever be able to run the race is if you just go run the race. Don’t overcomplicate it. Bet on yourself and just do it.

    X: What gear did you use while training/racing?

    C: I always run with a hydration vest with water and bear spray, my phone and gps watch. From there it just depends on the distance if I’ll add poles, snacks, extra layers, headlamp, etc. On the trails I run a rotation of Salomon shoes, on the road or treadmill I’m in Saucony.


    Rapid Fire, Don’t Think Questions…

    X: Favorite Movie?

    C: Miracle


    X: Favorite Song?

    C: Ophelia - Lumineers 


    X: Favorite Shoe of all Time?

    C: Salomon S/Lab Sense SG 6


    X: Favorite Shoe Currently?

    C: Salomon S/Lab Pulsar 2 SG


    X: Favorite Athlete?

    C: Sidney Crosby & Courtney Dauwalter


    X: Favorite Race?

    C: Any Alaska mountain race, they’re all too good to pick one 


    It was fun hearing Carrie reflect on her training block and race. Hearing how she described expectation vs reality really sums up her mindset on training, racing and running in general. Bet on yourself and get out there. It doesn’t matter what kind of gear you have, it doesn’t matter how much time you have, it doesn’t matter what others say, it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter… Just get out there, believe in yourself and see what you are capable of!



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