Life style of a "Hyper Master"

FasterSkierDecember 9, 2002

Dick Hunt has been known for many things and much has been said of him. But what has he done and what is his lifestyle like compared to other people his age? We asked him to to tell us.

I got excited about sport at a very young age, mostly by hanging around older athletes. Practically growing up inside an ice skating rink, I made an early career of speed skating, competing on two Olympic Teams, 1960 and 1964.This along with much cycling during those years gave me the base of condition I have nurtured since.

After several years of "working" with the U.S.S.A. for Masters, I formed the American Cross Country Skiers Association and took all the xc masters with me. At that same time I formed the American Ski Marathon series to replace the Great American Ski Chase which the U.S.S.A. had dropped. Also as a side I became the U.S. Director for the World Masters Ski Association, which is still representing Americans each year at the World level. I have dedicated 12 years to this, one of my passions. I have been an Olympic XC coach, directed the West Yellowstone Ski Clinics and run the Bend spring xc camps.

"The overtraining king"
But what does my lifestyle consists of now at 66 years of age? Sometime recently, I came to the realization that I am not that younganymore! I began to think, "how many really good mobile years do I have left?" That was when I began to map out my remaining "active" years as though somewhere along the line, say, 10 or perhaps 15 years down the road I would eventually become "not so mobile".

This seemed like too short a time line for me. It took me to a new level of exercise, as for some reason this is what I equate with life. I took up road cycling again, as once I was the California road champion some 30 years ago. I geared up for more Alpine skiing as I also was once the Western States slalom champion. I further decided to get back into golf, some hiking, running, weights and several other off -shoots of these activities.

What this meant was: "where was all the time and energy going to come from?" This was and is the biggest problem, and the hardest part was to let go of trying to prove to myself I was a "great" xc ski racer as defined by me. I had to mostly drop those ideas.

Getting into what my year is like, the following is an idea of my year as an example. I usually begin my spring with as many trips to Moab, Utah, the "slickrock", as I can squeeze in, spending a full week there Mt. and Road riding bikes until I am exhausted and can't take another day. Then returning to Bend, Oregon where we have excellent single track Mt. Biking. I mix the road and Mt. biking at a slow riding rate with heavy volume. In the Spring of the year I want to get as much weight work in as possible as the window for lifting for me, it seems, is in the spring and fall. However as you may know, riding or skiing and lifting at the same time puts a great load on the body. But that's why the easy riding and of course easy skiing.

My schedule from spring, after April and May, then takes me to Europe where I strictly road ride taking on organized tours through the Dolomites in Italy, French Alps, Pyrenees, and Swiss Alps, with much riding through parts of countries in between these "tours". The tours I am on are made up of strong riders and we ride most of every day over the same routes that you have watched in the Tour de France, usually for 16 days straight on each tour and I have done as many as three tours and up to 3 months of riding"over there". You name the route, Alp d'huez, Les duex Alps, Chamrouse, Mt. Ventou and many, many more, I have purposely ridden them all.

By late September I am back home and ready for a change of sports. By then I have started to do a little roller skiing, hiking, running, weights again and still Mt. biking a couple time a week .I also have started to do some easy intervals about once a week. These are usually in the form of "hill bounds" up something quite steep, I like it steep, with a weight vest. When the snow comes, here in Bend about the middle of November, xc ski touring is the mode for the day.

As we get into December more skiing and continuing basically the same routine as November. After the first of the year about 5 races and still the interval or a pace workout once a week.

What I am finding out about getting older is that you need much , much more rest. If I want to have a fairly good race for example I need at minimum oftwo weeks rest! Doing nothing more than 3 hours a week and the only hard skiing I do are short sprints. I believe it is a combination of mental exhaustion and physical tiredness that cut into your performance. After being off or away from skiing for a time I feel I come back eager and refreshed to give more to it. Most of the winter is occupied with something to do with the Masters World Cup, in whatever country it is being held, and the National Masters events here in the U.S.

Yes, this is more than any mortal man of my age can possibly take on,however, I am still am doing it and hope not to let up in the near future.You can contact me if interested at

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