Kasie Enman, a 32-year-old elite distance runner who lives in Huntington, electrified the Burlington marathon this year when she became the first current Vermont resident to win the woman’s race. The mother of a 1-year-old, Acadia, and high school track coach, Enman is proving to be an inspiration to local runners, as well as on the world stage—after winning the national and world mountain running titles last year. We caught up with her after the win to see how the race felt, and what her plans are next.
VS: How did it feel to win the Keybank Vermont City Marathon?
KE: It feels good to win. It was a really fun race for me.
VS: Describe your nerve level going in.
KE: I wasn’t as nervous as I might have been; I didn’t realize there was this “there hadn’t been any Vermont female winners” factor until about week beforehand. I was really busy the last week, coaching (high school track). I was invited to be one of the speakers at the Expo Friday night, and I coached the New England qualifier Saturday. And I was the keynote speaker at the Saturday pasta dinner. I didn’t get to the race until probably an hour beforehand, so I didn’t have much time to think, really. I didn’t end up getting too nervous. I also hadn’t even decided I was doing the marathon until fairly late in the game, so the buildup was less than it could have been.
VS: You finished in 2:43:13. When you’re cruising that fast, are you able to take in the scenery or crowds, or do you just focus on going?
KE: I ran six minutes slower than my PR, so I wasn’t completely maxing out. I was trying to go at a pace and effort that I felt really confident that I could maintain. I was running much more for place than time. The most important thing was I would run a consistent pace so it would be harder for someone to gain on me, and I didn’t blow up. I was definitely taking in all the friends and family who were out there and that was a huge part of the experience for me.
VS: What were the best moments of the race?
KE: The whole experience. I was really excited. My original plan when I started marathoning, six years ago, was to do this marathon, but I got sick right before and had to pull out. Every year since then it hasn’t worked out. This year, I was finally able to make the starting line.
VS: So you’d never done the VCM before?
KE: I had done relays, and I’m always there cheering and volunteering, but I had never run the full marathon.
VS: Did you have any low moments?
KE: I felt really good and really steady. I had broken the course down, mentally preparing for the different sections and took them one at a time. I didn’t ever have any real rough patches. It was a good day.
VS: How did you celebrate?
KE: I was trying to go to as many barbecues as possible. Right after the race, I went and cheered some people on coming in. At a lot of the bigger marathons, you get funneled into an elite zone, or shuttled out, or pulled for drug testing, and you can’t make it back to watch. So I snuck out of the press zone for a half hour and soaked in the post-race atmosphere.
VS: Do you prefer running on trails or the road?
KE: It’s all different, and I like having the mix. I thrive on being able to switch it up. If I didn’t have the road running, I would feel like something was missing. Trails come most naturally and are the most fun for me, but trail and mountain racing is less quantifiable (because of all the variables), and it’s hard to compare year to year. The competitive part of me still wants to get some PRs on the road.
VS: What’s your favorite place to run?
KE: My home, because I live up at Sleepy Hollow. Everyone should come there and run.I’m lucky to live at such an amazing place to run. I actually have to force myself off those trails sometimes for training purposes when I have a road race coming up!