Don’t put the Wobble in Gobble Gobble Wobble!

By Courtney DiFiore

Start your training for the 8th Annual Gobble Gobble Wobble today!

It’s officially 9 weeks until Stratton’s 8th Annual Gobble Gobble Wobble and we can’t wait! If you’re like some of my co-workers in the office you’re already thinking about the race because they’re on the hunt for the best training program. Yes, that’s right, some people are new to running and a 5K (3.1 miles) is something they need to practice and build up stamina for. Lucky for them, and you, Strattons got you covered.

Below is a list of some easy to follow training programs that will get you 5K ready in 9 weeks or less. The workouts are already prepared; 3 days a week, 20-30 minute workouts and you’re done.

1. Couch-to-5K from
This one’s great because it gives you one extra week to train; this is a 9 week program. Below is a sneak preview of the workouts built into Couch to 5K. Print out the full 9 week training program here! If you’d rather have it more accessible, try their mobile app.


Workout 1

Workout 2

Workout 3


Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes.

Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes.

Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes.


Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 90 seconds of jogging and two minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes.

Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 90 seconds of jogging and two minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes.

Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 90 seconds of jogging and two minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes.

2. 5K Runner (Free Mobile App)
This is an 8 week program that follows the same format as Couch to 5K (3 workouts a week).

5K Runner

3. C25K (Free Mobile App)
Another 8 week program with 3 workouts a week. Great way to stay motivated too because you can share your progress socially with all your friends.


4. Try Couch to 5K (Free Mobile App)
Earn badges and get tips with this great free app while you follow 3 workouts a week over an 8 week period.

Try Couch to 5K

Apple Picking Adventure

Fall is my time to indulge in apple cider, hot chocolate, pumpkin pie, cider donuts, chili and of course apple pie. The best thing about seasonal treats is their freshness.

apple picking2

This weekend a friend of mine and I took advantage of the beautiful, blue bird Saturday and drove out to Wellwood Orchard in Springfield, Vermont to handpick our own apples. They grow a wide variety of apples: Red Astercan, Vista Bella, McIntosh (my favorite!), Cortland, Golden Delicious, Empire just to name a few. Aside from the apple picking, they have a petting zoo, country store, pumpkins and berries (when in season of course).

By the end of my apple picking, we both worked up a real appetite. Lucky for us they still had fresh cider and donuts in the country store. We picked up a carton of cider and a small package of donuts and headed home to create some delicious apple pie.

apple pie

Lauren (my friend) knows her way around a kitchen far better than myself so she took the lead during the pie making. Armed with an apron, freshly picked apples and a generation old apple pie recipe Lauren and I got to work. The aroma of cinnamon and apples filled the room. Within an hour and a half we had a fresh, hot from the oven homemade apple pie.

Lauren and I had a fun time picking the apples our selves, but it’s a great activity for the whole family. Take a trip to your local apple orchard and don’t forget to share your adventure with us…oh and your delicious pie recipes!


7 Summits Leader Board

By: Courtney DiFiore

We’ve passed the halfway benchmark for September meaning there’s just 2 weeks left to complete Stratton’s 7 Summits Challenge.

Adam Wanamaker, Manager at The Activity Hub, sent out a nice email detailing the progress of my completion this morning. Without publicizing how pitiful my vertical is in comparison, I’ll just leave you with some final words from Wanamaker.

“Sue Foulkes, Sky Foulkes, Bill Nupp, Laura Mullen and Chad Milliken are all above the 10K mark, with Jenna Pugliese on the cusp. The first participant to summit Mt. Blanc & Mt. Vinson will be this week. With such a close contest and determined contestants, things are changing by the hour.”

Good luck and keep hiking!

Quiet Time in the Mountains

By Diane Whatley

Vermont is a special place, like nowhere else I’ve been. All at the same time it is peaceful, exciting, colorful, calming. It’s a place to feel grounded, in touch with nature and myself.  It awakens the senses. It is home.  For me, there is no more special time in this great place than being in the woods, on the trail during fall foliage.


I think I’m one of the luckiest persons in the world – I can head out of my house and be on the Long Trail within five minutes.  I hike this section of the trail at least once a week with my most loyal dog and trail companion “Jack.  I’ve memorized this section of the trail by now and can anticipate each turn, each rock to step over and each small stream to ford.  Jack eagerly anticipates his favorite spot to sniff out whatever it is that he smells and the quick drink or romp in the many mountain streams. While I walk at a steady pace, Jack easily covers twice the distance I do as he darts ahead to investigate and doubles back to make sure I’m still there.  Someone once told me that a tired dog is a good dog – hiking is a great way to tire out your dog!


While I’m very familiar with this section of the trail I’m never bored by it. There is always something new to see, hear and smell. I might notice a new blooming woodland flower, or colorful berries ripening on a bush. Was that fungi on that fallen tree the last time I was here? Birds chirping, bees humming, leaves rustling, water trickling are sounds that are noticed in the quiet of the woods. The smell of fresh balsam in the middle of the forest is like heaven to me. Fall brings a change to the senses – today it was the smell of newly decaying leaves. I can’t wait for the crunch, crunch sound of leaves underfoot in just a couple of weeks.

Enjoy your quiet time in the woods and awaken your senses!

Furry Fitness

By Pat Ryan.

I used to think I was taking my dog for a walk, but lately I am thinking he is taking me for a walk and it does wonders for my health and personality (or so I’m told).

The road we walk is one big hill and as fate would have it, the way home is all uphill. We walk or I should say I walk and he romps, herds me (he is a sheep dog of sorts) and plays games.  His most favorite game is to stop dead in the road until I look around for him.  Only when I come as close as 3 feet from him, saying “come Ernie” (that’s my four legged friend) the whole time, will he run like the devil and I swear he’s smiling or dog laughing at me the whole time.

I find such a simple thing as a walk with Ernie can make me feel happy for the day.  It’s a great way to talk out loud without anyone thinking I’m crazy, or sing (which is dreadful since I can’t carry a tune), or just think of nothing and notice the world around me.  Now I’m not a philosopher or deep thinker so this is just the right dose of wellness for me.

I’ve always heard how pets are good for your well-being and now I’m a believer.  It’s funny where you can find your fitness fix and how it took a dog, a great dog, to help me on my way.  My friend takes her furry friend for a hike up Stratton Mountain or around the snowmaking pond; I’ll have to try it.  I wonder if she’s sings out loud.

7 Summits Challenge

By Courtney DiFiore


Am I the only one that refused to believe it’s already September? Where has the summer gone? Leaves are slowly beginning to change, promising a grand show of colors throughout the green mountains. Because of where I live, I can easily observe the changing of seasons from my front door, but nothing can compare to an aerial view. Standing atop a mountain on a brisk fall morning adds a value and appreciation to the view that just isn’t possible from my porch. So when I found out that September is hiking month at Stratton, it seemed more than fitting, not to mention right up my alley!

This September, Stratton’s giving me a little extra incentive to digging out my hiking shoes and hitting the trails with a 7 Summits Challenge. The goal is to pick one of the seven tallest summits across the world and hike the equivalent elevation. Lucky for me, Stratton’s made it easy to keep track of my progress by creating profiles on the MapMyHike app and All Trails app.


Apparently Everest, you know that really big mountain in Asia that people need oxygen tanks to hike (yeah that one!), is as high as 15 Stratton Mountains. That’s a lot of climbing, but I enjoy a challenge, so I’ve picked Everest. I have to hike 29,029’ feet in the month of September. I better get started!

Visit for more details on the 7 Summit Challenge and how you can be a part of the fun.

The Summits & their altitude:

  1. Everest, Asia 29,029′ – 15 “Stratton Summits”
  2. Aconcagua, South America 22,902′ – 11.5 “Stratton Summits”
  3. Denali, North America 20,320′  – 10.2 “Stratton Summits”
  4. Kilimanjaro, Africa 19,340′ – 9.7 “Stratton Summits”
  5. Elbrus, Europe 18,513′ – 9.3 “Stratton Summits”
  6. Vinson, Antarctica 16,067′ – 8 “Stratton Summits”
  7. Mt. Blanc 15,780′ – 7.9 Stratton Summits