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Drawing Inspiration From The Bridger Mountains Of Montana

March 11, 2019 2 min read

Mariska Mackenzie-Heyboer, the second winner of the NATHAN SPORTS Photo Contest

The NATHAN SPORTS Photo Contest has come to a close. And like we said in our post yesterday when we announced the first of three winners, it has been a lot of fun! (You can view the photo and read the interview with the first winner Charissa Garcia here.)

And today, we present our second of three Nathan Photo contest winners: Mariska Mackenzie-Heyboer, a runner from the wide-open and beautiful western city of Bozeman, Montana.

Mackenzie-Heyboer runs with her Nathan Vapor Shadow Vest, a women's specific hydration unit, in the Bridger Mountains. About the photo above, which she named "Run Light, Live Light, Spread the Light, Be the Light,"¬ù Mackenzie-Heyboer soaks in the awe-inspiring views from Baldy Mountain's 8,914-foot summit. She has been running to this summit in order to prepare her for this September's Run the Rut 50K, which will take place in Big Sky Montana. She says, "The views from the mountain tops are to die for. They inspire me to run more while enjoying every second ... and inspiring others."¬ù

NATHAN SPORTS: Why do you use Nathan gear for your trail running hydration?
Mariska: I chose the Nathan Vapor Shadow Vest because I wanted a race vest specifically designed for girls that was light and nimble in happy and bright colors with pockets for everything I might want to carry (e.g. cell phone, bear spray, food, jacket, etc.). The Intensity is easy to pack and carry across any trail with many options to adjust the fit and minimize any possible bouncing. I like that the pack allows me to keep my hands free for balance, especially on rocky trails. The magnet that holds the bladder tube across the chest strap has multiple uses! It comes in handy and filling, closing and cleaning. Plus, drying the bladder itself is super easy. Nothing is holding me back or slowing me down!

NS: Why is hydration a crucial part of your training?
M: My runs range from short to long depending on what I am training for whether that's a marathon, a 50K trail run or just a fun hike with the dog or a friend. Proper hydration is important to run stronger and longer ... especially in the warm Montana summers or at high elevation.

NS: Why is running important to you?
M: You don't need too much gear and you can do it almost everywhere. The more I run the more I realize that it's my way to stay balanced while trying to juggle family, work and all other responsibilities. The few minutes or hours running by myself clears my mind, allows me to be more creative and lucid, and allows me to solve problems and meet my goals. Long runs especially can be very meditative. Running is my own secret happy place I go to recharge. On the other hand, if my running stories, photos or experiences encourage others to smile, and/or try it themselves, that makes me even happier.

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