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Weekend Warrior: Elizabeth Heeren ~ mountain biker, yogi

AGE: 55

BIRTHPLACE: Cambridge, MA

CAREER: Yoga Instructor at Coyo Yoga Lounge and Adjunct Professor at Christian Brothers University

SPORT: Mountain Biking, Yoga, Windsurfing, and Running

FIT CLUB: Los Locos Racing Team, Mid South Trails Association, Ride Leader for the weekly Ladies of Trails (Hightailers Club) MTB rides. (This is a no-drop ride to encourage ladies to get out on the trails, and we welcome beginners!)

2016 CLAIM TO FAME: Bayou Boiling Point MTB race (1st place Cat 2), Wolfman Duathlon (1st place female relay), Iron Mountain MTB Tour (1st place female), West Fight On 5K (Grandmaster).

PRE-RACE RITUALS: I drink a smoothie packed with spinach, frozen fruit, and beet juice. I get in my zone with my headphones on and music pumping and try to keep conversations/ distractions to a minimum. Then I go rip it up!

MOST MEMORABLE WW MOMENT: Running the original marathon course in Athens. I’m half-Greek, so I ran the last two miles holding up American and Greek flags. People along the course called out “Bravo America, Bravo Greece!” The finish was in the Olympic stadium, and even though earn a place, I took a minute to stand on the podium holding up my flags.

“I love mountain biking for the friends I’ve met along the way and the places the sport has taken me.”

I MOUNTAIN BIKING: I love mountain biking for the friends I’ve met along the way and the places the sport has taken me. Being in the woods or mountains with people you love is the best way to enjoy life!

FITNESS MOTIVATION: I can’t imagine my life any other way. I like being strong and staying flexible, and I love the endorphin rush of cardio workouts. Racing brings in another fun and challenging element—competition, both with myself and others.

OBSTACLE COURSE: I had a bad fall while snow skiing in Park City and tore the ACL, MCL, and meniscus in my knee. After surgery it was a tough comeback, but thanks to a great PT program and yoga, I’ve had a full recovery.

CROSS-TRAIN: I practice (or teach) yoga every day at Coyo Yoga Lounge, and I lift weights twice a week at Q4 Fitness. The rest of my training is done outdoors—on the trails if possible.

WW MUST-HAVE’S: I love my Garmin watch for running and my Garmin Edge for biking. And of course my Manduka yoga mat—it goes everywhere I go.

BEST EATS: Soul Fish Cafe. Ruby red trout, mackie cheese, broccoli, cornbread, and a beer. Then a piece of strawberry cake.

FAMOUS PERSON YOU WOULD LIKE AS A DINNER COMPANION: Mark Twain. He would be so much fun, and I would like to try to make him laugh.

IF YOU COULD COME BACK AS AN ANIMAL WHAT WOULD YOU BE: I would come back as my dog because then I would be loved more than any other creature on Earth.

FUN FACT: I was a late bloomer. I was never athletic growing up. I was the pudgy bookworm with asthma. I didn’t even get a mountain bike until I was 51!

ON MY NIGHTSTAND: Thomas Friedman’s “Thank You for Being Late” and Joe Friel’s “Fast After 50.”

VICE: Beer. I love beer.

FAVORITE QUOTE: Fall down seven, stand up eight. —Japanese proverb

Interview by Hailey Thomas. Photo by Sarah McAlexander.

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