This series talks to inspiring All-Season Runners from around the world. What's an All-Season Runner? That's what we call runners who don't let the wet, cold, wind or heat stop them from hitting their strides.
Here, we catch up with Clare Shea from Alaska, U.S.A.
[Photo via @eatinwild / Credit: Dr. Nathan K.]
Tell us a bit about yourself, Clare!
I am a mother of two kids, who ask me whenever I race if I win (I do not, but I always say yes). I am a tech teacher for the school district and a math and science nerd at heart. I have been openly obsessed with the color orange since I was a teenager, it's a legit obsession.
How long have you been running for?
I didn't start running till college. I had two good friends who ran all the time for exercise and I love socializing and exercising. I did my first 10K when I was 19, it was the Bloomsday 10K in Washington. I ran through college for fun, when I lived abroad my British flatmates made fun of my running tights everytime I ran. I didn't start mountain running till 2018. It was life changing.
What pushes you to get outdoors in any type of weather?
I have somehow lived in the worst climates; cold, rainy, long winters, snowy, icy, never close to the equator. Using weather as an excuse was not really an option. Also, I find treadmills beyond boring. I do have one though. Mostly because of the two kids.
"I didn't start mountain running till 2018. It was life changing."
What do you feel has been your greatest achievement as a runner?
I had a conversation with an old running buddy of mine once who was going to run Crow Pass for funsies on a Sunday (~23 miles/37Km, 3000ft/1000m elevation) . I questioned all the reasonable things, and he said he always liked to be about couch to half marathon ready. I thought he was crazy. That was over 2.5 years ago. I now feel ready to run whatever length on any day (I consider this an achievement), and also greatly appreciate my running friends who I can call and will go run 25mi/40K to a glacier for funsies on a Sunday (true story, these are our plans this weekend).
Are you training for any upcoming races?
I was, everything canceled. I am mourning the loss of the Zion 50K, but holding out for the Eiger Ultra in July. Turns out 2020 is the year of 50K's for me. If they don't happen, then I'll be making up my own adventures of similar length.
How has COVID-19 changed your outdoor lifestyle?
Yes, I am more wary of group outings. It isn't too hard to social distance from one friend, but groups are harder to hold the new social norms. I miss group pictures, I miss sharing snacks and beers. The trails have actually gotten more crowded with everyone home from work, but I am grateful to live in Alaska where we have many options to get outside and often I don't see a single person!
Follow Clare's All-Season adventures via her Instagram.
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