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March 2017-Erin Walter

Q. Tell me a little bit about yourself. (Where you’re from, what you’re doing now, etc…)

A. I grew up in Lakewood, Colorado and moved to Rapid City for grad school five years ago. I have a degree in atmospheric sciences, so you’ll often find me taking pictures of clouds or incoming storms along a run. Mammatus are my favorite.

Q. How long have you been running and how did you get started?

A. I grew up as a competitive swimmer. I would run a random 5k or cross train with a few laps around the track, but I didn’t start running until college. As a year round swimmer in high school, I didn’t know what to do once the collegiate season was over. So I started to run.

Q. Would you rather run with a group or alone?

A. Both! My running buddies push me to run faster, wake up at ungodly hours, and get me out the door even through winter’s worst weather. But running is also the best way for me to clear my head and manage stress. Sometimes a solo run in the woods can be the most peaceful part of my day.

Q. Do you prefer roads or trails?

A. I most often choose trails over roads. I love the fresh air and serenity of cruising some single track. Plus my pup, Bandit, can run free in the woods rather than yank me around on a leash! You’re likely to catch him prancing around, barking, and chewing sticks and rocks. He’s obsessed. On the flip side, I also enjoy the freedom of running from my front door, or exploring a new city by foot.

Q. What is your favorite distance or race?

A. I am like the tortoise. Sprinting will never be my specialty, so I like to push myself to run further. My favorite races so far are the 50-mile in the Black Hills 100 series and the Steamboat Stinger Trail Marathon.

Q. What are your goals for the future?

A. I’ve really enjoyed the ultra scene and would like to try a destination race. There are some amazing places to explore; my biggest goal is to gain the courage to get out there!

Q. Do you have a pre-race ritual?

A. Avoid eating hummus.

Q. What do you love most about running?

A. I love how many inspiring people I’ve met from running, how I can clear my head from life’s silly complications, and how I’ve been able to push myself to the limit, then take a step further.

Q. What do You like least?

A. The trots. The trots are terrible. Injuries are also the worst.

Q. Who inspires you most?

A. I am inspired most by the women I run with. They are all so strong, fast, and beautiful; kicking a$$ while raising kids. I don’t know how they do it all! Thanks for making time to run with me 🙂

Q. Do you have any favorite races that you have run?

A. The Black Hills 100 series is my favorite race series in our backyard. The section of the Centennial Trail between Dalton Lake and Elk Creek Trailhead is some of the best single track in the Hills! I also really enjoyed the trail marathon I tried last summer in Steamboat Springs, Colorado and would like to go back. The series includes a 25 or 50-mile mountain bike race the day before the run (half or full marathon). A great race for couples who love to ride and run!

Q. What advice do you have for new runners?

A. Getting out the door can be the hardest part, but you’ll never regret it when you do! Some days feel great and others suck, but they all make you stronger and are better than nothing. Have patience and be persistent, but mostly make sure you’re still having fun! That’s what it should be all about.