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Kelly Tengelsen

Tell us a bit about yourself, where do you live, what do you do for fun, etc.
6 years ago my husband John and I moved to Wyoming from Bozeman. We bought an undeveloped property that has been used for cattle ranching since the 1890s. We had to improve the muddy two-track road into it so that we could haul in our camping trailer which is where we lived for a year before we’d finished a small apartment within our shop which is where we currently live. We’ve since improved 2 1/2 miles of road, built a barn and nearly completed our house all while learning how to care for our herd of Angus-Salers and two horses. Although this has been a lot of fun, our commitment to running has been the thread helping us maintain our physical and mental health even through the biggest challenges.
If you had $5,000 to spend at a running store but only 5 minutes to spend it, what few things would you grab first?
John and I are so fortunate to have a big healthy family and we do as much as we can to support their activities, especially running. We’ve run many races with kids, their spouses and grandkids; we’ve cheered each other on from the sidelines; and John’s even putting together a running camp for the grandkids participating on their cross-country teams. So, I’d be grabbing about 36 pairs of new running shoes for them all! I might need help getting out the door!

What’s your go-to running outfit?
I’m almost never without a Sparkly Soul headband (I have one with donuts on it–doesn’t get any better) and I’m pretty fussy about the fit of my running shoes which are currently Saucony Sinisters–great for track work and road runs up to 8 miles. In between the headband and shoes depends so much on the weather but I tend to stay in shorts and a tank down to about 45 degrees.


If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it — metaphorically speaking, getting a message out to millions or billions — what would it say and why? It could be a few words or a paragraph. (If helpful, it can be someone else’s quote: Are there any quotes you think of often or live your life by?)
So many good ones but this one’s been around with John and I for about 10 years; it’s the mantra I’ve had to rely on to get me out of bed for barn chores in spite of the -52 degree wind chill: “Attack every day with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind!”. Hey, it’s simple and it’s worked; I got it from Jim Harbaugh and, evidently, it’s worked for him, too!


Any pre run or pre race habits?

I’m fairly strict about a tip given to me by my former running coach regarding race day: NOTHING DIFFERENT! Meaning, I do exactly what I do before my training runs–same rolling routine, breakfast, hydration, clothing, etc. Except for the magic secret ingredient which is only for race day: Blasting “Eye of the Tiger” to wake up John. Sorry, Honey.

What’s one of the best running related investments you’ve made?

Every year for the last nine, Santa gifts me the new Complete Runner’s Day-by-Day Log without which I would fail at keeping track of my workouts, goals, progress, injuries and lessons learned. It’s rewarding to look back through them and note how far I’ve come and thank my body for all the many miles I’ve enjoyed, especially as I age.
What’s the most memorable thing you’ve ever seen or done while on a run?
One funny morning in particular immediately comes to mind: For 25 years I lived in a teeny mountain town in Utah and I’d take my run so early I wouldn’t see another soul or pass a car. After running the same route past my friend’s farm for a few years, one morning I heard “clip-clop” behind me and I turned around to see my friend’s billy goat and duck in hot pursuit of me. I thought they’d turn back after a few yards but they both followed me home another 1/2 mile and I had to call my friend and have him come pick them up. Memorable because this was the first time I’d had “company” on a morning run!
Toughest race you’ve ever done? Why?
Boston. I lost 3 toenails and had plantar fasciitis but still my FAVORITE race of all time, too.

What, if anything, do you listen to while running?

When running outside I listen to the conversation with my awesome running partner; if alone, I like to listen to my breathing. The treadmill is a different sort of run for me though and I find I need a little musical motivation from Queen, U2, The Rascals, etc.

What’s one running item you think is a gimmick and won’t buy?

Good for training runs but not races–a hydration pack. Learning how to grab a cup and drink water while running without choking has revolutionized my longer races.

If you could go run with any living or dead historical figure, who would it be and why?
I would love to take a couple of people on one of those long runs with the sideways snow and the 20 mph headwind: The Dalai Lama to remind me my suffering is temporary and Robin Williams to keep me laughing all the way home. Thanks, Robin!