Charlotte Provencher: On Determination, Training, and Attitude

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Charlotte Provencher

WHEN I WAS YOUNG, my dad had a logging business. We lived on a big piece of land and he logged a steep hill and built us our own ski slope. That's how I got started.

WHEN I'M FOUR HOURS into the race, I think, "There's only 20 hours left! Once your mind is set, you're halfway there.

I DO 75 MINUTES OF THAI BOXING every day. It's like dancing to me. In the summer, I go for 50- to 60-kilometer Rollerblade rides in the mornings. I like how exercise makes me feel.

IN THE 2003 RACE, one of the other competitors came over a pitch out of control and landed right on me. I had a dislocated shoulder and fractured four ribs. I only had four hours to go, and so the race organizers counted my laps as if I'd finished.

YOU HAVE TO RESPECT your own pace and be constant. You can't speed away at the beginning and expect to still have energy left at the end of 24 hours. I only take three short bathroom breaks. Long breaks just distract you.

WHEN PEOPLE COME UP TO ME and say, "I can't believe you're 72 years old and you're doing a 24-hour ski endurance race, I say so what? I don't think of myself as old. I think anyone can pull it off. When you think you're capable of doing it, you can do it. That's why some of the younger ones are too afraid to try it. They think they can't handle it.