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Runner Spotlight - Kate Elstad

7/7/15 under Team Running Strong MCM



1. Why did you start running?
I used to run when I was in high school, but only as it related to playing soccer. Once I grew up, got a real job and had a kid, I realized that I was no longer in shape and was worried I wouldn’t be able to keep up with my daughter. So I joined the local Fleet Feet’s NoBoundries program and I haven’t stopped running yet!

2. Best running memory?
I made a goal after reading Eric Orton’s Cool Impossible to run up Cascade Canyon to Lake Solitude at Grand Teton National Park. My best memory was probably when I hit the top of the trail and realized that although I didn’t make it to the lake (a snowy avalanche field stopped me about ¾ of a mile short) I had still accomplished a huge goal and at the finish of that run, which was about 17 miles, I decided I could actually do a marathon.

3. What shoes do you run in?
It depends on where I’m running and how far I’m going. I’m a big fan of Vibram’s, but for longer distances I eithe run in Brooks PureConnects or Mizuno Wave Riders.

4. Favorite & least favorite distances to run?
Distance doesn’t matter as much to me as surroundings- if I’m in the mountains I feel like I can go all day! For local races I like the 10k the best and if I had to pick a least favorite I’d go with the 5k, even though I run a lot of them. I feel like I’m just getting into my groove on 5k’s and then suddenly the race is over!

5. Do you have a running partner?
I run a lot with Fleet Feet Syracuse, both as a coach in the NoBoundries program and as a member of their newly created running team. I also run with some co-workers who keep me on the ball since they are all much faster than I am! My best friend also runs, but since she lives in MI and I live in NY, we only get to run together once a year, but she’s definitely my long distance running partner!

6. What is your favorite running accessory?
My Garmin! I didn’t think I would like having a watch, but once I got one and started tracking my runs I became a bit of an addict. Now I try to not pay attention to the watch sometimes and just enjoy the run, but I do love plugging it into my computer and seeing where I went and how far I’ve come.

7. What is your favorite time of the day to run?
I’m definitely a morning runner, but if the weathers right and I’ve got some time, anytime can really be the perfect time.

8. What is the hottest or coldest weather you have ever ran in?
I live in the frozen tundra of Central NY, so we get some seriously cold weather. I think the coldest I’ve run in was a feels like -20. I had paid for the ½ marathon, so I was going out, but it got so cold that both my water line to my hydration bag and my phone froze by mile 2. It was a long cold race. The hottest probably seems pretty tame to other people, but probably mid-90’s.

9. Other exercises you love?
I love soccer, paddleboarding and I take ballet barre and dance classes as well. I like to switch it up a lot so I don’t get bored.

10. Do you bring an iPod with you, and if so, what's on it? What’s your power song?
I have a very random mix of songs that get me going. Everything from Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings, to New Kids on the Block and the Pitch Perfect Soundtrack. I like to start every race with Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run and if I’m running a distance where I can predict my pace, I try to set it so Bon Jovi’s Living on Prayer plays at the half way point. (“Ohhhh, we’re half way there! Ohhh, living on a prayer!”)

11. What are your current or future goals?
I’ve been running more trail races and while I don’t think ultra’s are anywhere in my future, I do want to bump up the distances to the ½ and full marathon distance. The Marine Corp is a huge goal for me right now as it’s my first marathon.

12. Advice for new runners?
Have fun. Jump in Puddles, stop for pictures, dance with the bands on the course, whatever you can do to enjoy the adventure.

13. Tell me about the most interesting thing you've ever seen while on a run.
I’ve seen a ton of great views as I’ve run around in the Tetons and the Adirondacks here in NY, but the most interesting thing I ever saw was a guy and girl walking their pet on the trail. Not a dog or even a cat… but a bunny.

14. What drew you to Team Running Strong or for returning runners what brought you back?
When I didn’t make it into Marine Corps through the lottery I knew I still wanted to run and started looking into Charities. I knew that I didn’t want to run for one of the huge teams that I see at a lot of local races, and when I saw Team Running Strong’s logo on the site I knew I wanted to be part of this team. I have always been a fan of Billy Mills and the opportunity to not only run with his team, but to raise money for a really worthwhile cause was too much to pass up.

15. What's your motivation?
My daughter is a huge motivation. I also run in memory of my cousin Chris, who was a brilliant runner and who we lost way too soon. I chased him (from really far behind) at most local races and even though he’s not here anymore, he still motivates me to work hard and keep running hard.


Support Kate in the Marine Corps Marathon!

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