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June 2021-Kari Griffin

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

A: I grew up in Spearfish, graduating from Spearfish High School in 1988.  I am married to my husband Gene, and we have one adult son, Brett.  He and his wife live in Sheridan.  I am a registered nurse at a clinic in Spearfish. 

 I went to college in Sheridan, WY, a beautiful town at the base of the Big Horn Mountains. We lived in the little town of Dayton, which is where the Big Horn Mountain Trail Run ends.  I used to watch the runners coming into town, being envious of what they were capable of!  I never dreamed this would be something I would or could do!

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

A:  I have been running for about 12 or 13 years.  I always admired the people who ran, but running is hard and it took me awhile to convince myself I was capable of doing this!  I knew a gal who was training for the Mickelson Half, and I thought if she can do this, so can I.  I started slow, actually doing some boot camps, just trying to get back into shape and progressed to 5ks, 10ks, a lot of half marathons, eventually a 30K,  a marathon and now have completed a few 50ks.

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

A: I mostly run alone, or with my beloved border collie, Ranger.  I enjoy the quiet time after a busy work week. It is my time to think and self reflect!   I wouldn’t mind doing some of the group runs, but with my schedule it is really hard to make it happen. I prefer to run first thing in the morning at 5 or 5:30 am, or there is a good chance going for a run is not going to happen.   I do run with my husband or friends on occasion.

Q: Do you prefer roads or trails?  

A: I prefer the scenery, and peace and quiet of the trails.  We truly live in one of the most beautiful places,  and we have so much to explore.  During the week, I do mostly  pound pavement due to lack of time.  

Q: What is your favorite distance or race?

A: This is a tough question!  I like the half marathon because it is fairly easy to stay in shape for and does not take up so much time to train for, but the 50 K keeps me more motivated to get out there and challenge myself.

I have more than one favorite run, Big Horn 50 K, Mystic, The MAC- Meeteetse Absaroka Challenge and Trail Fest in Utah top the list, along with the trail running series. 

Q: How do you stay motivated when you don’t want to run?

A: I think about all of the runs I signed up for, and how miserable it will be if I show up unprepared!  I also know how good I feel when I finish a fun, and how disappointed I am in myself if I don’t go!

Q: If I didn’t run I’d ………..

A: I love being outside!  If I didn’t run, I would spend more time hiking, camping, fishing, hunting and looking for elk sheds.

Q: What do you find to be the most rewarding thing about running?

A: I think the most rewarding part of running is the people.  I have ran in quite a few different places, Alaska being the farthest away, and everywhere I have been, the people are always so supportive and kind to each other.  It is also rewarding to look back, and see not only my progress, but the progress of others.

Q: What is your favorite running memory?

A:  The first year I ran the Big Horn 50 K, and looking down at my watch at mile 26, and thinking I have literally just run a marathon which was a distance I had not completed .  My longest run to date was 22 miles, so needless to say,  I was a little overjoyed.  I knew at that point I was actually going to finish the race, which was something I never thought was possible.  This year will be my 4th 50k.

Q: Do you have a pre-race ritual?

A:  The night before I like to plan what I am going to wear, getting everything set out and ready to go.  I usually make spaghetti or some pasta and garlic bread for supper, and a bowl of oatmeal in the morning. 

Q: What’s the most valuable lesson you have learned from running?

A:  I have learned running is more mind over matter.  Your body is capable of much more than you think.  I tell myself over and over, “Get out of your mind, and into your run!”

Q: What is one of your funniest running stories?

A:  I don’t really have a funny running story.  I have had so much fun on road trips with friends going to races.  I have learned a couple of things about my friends such as do not let Tricia Miller (who I met during the Frozen Challenge)  drive in Denver or Erica Donovan drive in Vegas, and make sure Michelle Schmidt remembers to eat!

Q: What are your running goals for the future?

A: Mostly I want to remain healthy and injury free, but I secretly  want to run one 50 miler, and run R2R2R in the Grand Canyon.  We will see what the future holds!

Q: What advice do you have for new runners?

A:  My advice would be to start slow, try not to be too hard on yourself because running is not easy.  You should never compare yourself to other runners as we all come from different back grounds, and  have different goals.