We are of similar height, weight and wear size 10 shoes. Our mannerisms mirror one another and sometimes I do a double take when glancing over photos. Is that me? Or Mallory? No, it’s Celia.
Meet the 6er Sisters: AKA, my two badass mountain sisters and I, who just took first place in the Saranac 6er Relay alongside Andrew Johnstone, Tim Horvath and Adam Crofoot. The 6er is a relay race between six mountains for a combined total of thirty four miles and 8,000 feet elevation gain.
Celia is a middle and high school social studies teacher at Richfield Springs CSD. And not just any teacher. In 2017 she received the honor of New York State Middle School Teacher of the Year. Then in 2018 she received the Empire State Excellence in Teaching Award. She is a mother of two beautiful children and completed a half marathon around Otsego Lake in June 2018 after a bilateral ankle break and reconstruction in 2017.
Bethany teaches environmental studies at Paul Smith’s College. She’s an aspiring writer and mountaineer. Her research and activism focuses on climate change and female empowerment. Soccer and basketball were her passions in high school and she played both competitively on the college level. She has completed multiple rounds of the 46 High Peaks, is an Saranac Lake Ultra 6er, and practices rock and ice climbing.
Mallory lives in Mount Clemens, Michigan, and works as a member services supervisor/administrative director for Macomb Athletic Club. In high school, she played soccer and competed in long distant track events, logging a school record in the two mile at 11:22. She placed second with Bethany in the original Saranac Lake Ultra 6er, has run a marathon, completed the 46, and placed as the first woman out of thousands in the Run Drugs out of Town 5k in Detroit.
Describe yourself as an athlete…
Celia: Late bloomer! Didn’t really start distance running until I had Jossy. My husband bought me a Jeep jogging stroller for my 26th birthday/Mother’s Day to help me beat the postpartum depression. I strapped Jossy in and we ran several times per week until she got too big. Then Luke came along and we got the double jogger with a rain/snow blind. THAT was my favorite piece of workout equipment! My 30s have seen more running and fitness than any decade.
Bethany: I love sports. I’m passionate and competitive. I just love a good challenge and pushing my physical and mental limits. I also like going fast and sports with altitude and adrenaline.
Mallory: Cardio-queen, downward dog-loving water baby, who gets lost in the mountains from time to time. Lady in the street, but a freak in the gym. (Mallory laughs.)
Celia: Five mile runs around my rural “block” followed by 10-15 minutes of core Pilates.
Bethany: Anything outside. Especially trail running and bombing down a really steep mountain.
Mallory: A long sunny run in mid fall, 5-7 miles, along a river or body of water and then jumping in for a swim!
Favorite piece of gear?
Celia: Stow-and-go North Face sports bra.
Bethany: My La Sportiva shoe collection. Love ’em all!
Mallory: 2-3 lb dumbbells, great to run with for endurance training. Also my 3-year-old Hydro Flask, I don’t go anywhere without it! Keeps me hydrated and healthy! And I just bought a new one!
How did you train for the 6er race?
Celia: Maintenance of distance running, low-impact cycles of core, arms, glutes, and squat variations. Speed walking up hill, running through our woods and family hikes in ADKs.
Bethany: 30-50 trail running miles a week and scouted McKenzie a few times. Then I put really fast and upbeat music on my MP3 player and just had fun.
Mallory: Two/three mile run daily to kick it off, stair stepper with 20 lb barbell on back for optimum strength, 500 stroke row, close up session with three rounds of three rep sets of three of the following: low squats, core, box step ups, barbell deadlifts, lunges, row curls, and then a 10 minute ab/stretch session in the sauna. Throw in some mountain biking, yoga, Zumba, paddle boarding, or swimming on the weekend and that’s a wrap everybody!
Why do you live an active lifestyle?
Celia: How could one not? Your body’s a temple and the one thing you have actually been given in life. I want my body to take me as far in life as it can. I am proud of my body and active lifestyle. I love being able to coach my kids in soccer, run up hills with them while sledding in the winter, bike dozens of miles, hike Adirondack mountains, and bring them up in an active, outdoors lifestyle focused on strength of body and mind.
Bethany: I love exploring and being in the woods and mountains. It’s in our DNA to be active and use our bodies. I love when my mind and body is in motion, whether it’s on a bike, basketball court, or ski slope. It’s amazing how all parts of my being work together. I give thanks to my mind, body and health each day.
Mallory: To keep my sanity, to run off stress, to keep my mind/body and soul always feeling 100%. I feel the most beautiful when I’m sweating, so I try to make that happen as much as possible.
So, what’s next?
Celia: I’m looking into Spartan Races and want to go for Greek Peak in early March. I like the team and relay style aspect.
Bethany: Eyeing some Adirondack fastest known times and gearing up for Denali 2020.
Mallory: Competing more and getting a little more out of my comfort zone. My goal is to do three races for this coming year.