October 2020-Alicia Porsch

I will apologize in advance that I didn’t realize how long winded I was going to get. I also am now $15 short because none of my running friends helped sponsor my BHRC membership fee…you all know who you are. 😉 

Q: Tell me a little about yourself (where you’re from what you’re doing now…etc)

A:  I grew up in Harding County, SD on a ranch which is literally in the middle of nowhere. I went to Reeder, ND for elementary school where I had 2-7 kids in my class throughout the years. Reeder is where I became interested in running as I had to do the presidential fitness test (I hope that’s what it is called because I am too lazy to actually look that up right now as I procrastinated writing this) and we had to run a mile. There was one girl who beat me that year and she was an amazing cross country runner who went onto win multiple ND state titles in both cross country and track. She said that I should go out for cross country the next year because I did a great job.

I went to Hettinger, ND for middle/high school, there were a few more kids in that class HA! I started cross country the fall of my 7th grade year and was good enough that I was able to run varsity all throughout 7th and 8th grade. I had multiple state placings in cross country throughout my middle school and high school years, however track just never was my thing so we won’t bring that up right now…hahaha. If it were not for a couple of very supportive coaches, Coach T (Walton) and Coach Boxrud, and a very supportive family I know I would have never continued on. My favorite running partners during these years were my dog Mittens and my goat Sally. I bring that up because I know Dan Bjerke would be upset if that was never mentioned. 😊 I was fortunate enough to get to co-op with Bowman, ND for my Senior year of cross country as I literally would have been the only one on the team that year if not. I think this is where my true love of running emerged. I was able to run with an amazing team that took the ND state class B cross country title that year and I came away with my highest state placing. I was recruited, thanks to this amazing opportunity, by many college running programs. I eventually signed with Black Hills State University.

While at BH I met my husband, Chad (who also ran cross country and track), and I majored in Exercise Science and graduated in 2009. I was very fortunate at BH to have some amazing teammates and coaches. Throughout my 4 years we, the girls teams, were conference champions in cross country, indoor and outdoor track. My 2005 cross country team was 2nd at nationals and my 2006 cross country team was undefeated until we took 4th at nationals. I was able to run at nationals all 4 years for cross country and outdoor track with missing indoor only my freshman year. I fell in love with the track as I was introduced to the steeplechase my freshman year and qualified for nationals all 4 years. Obviously, there are many more great running stories/achievements that I will leave you all to ask me another day 😊

I then went onto the University of South Dakota to get my doctorate of physical therapy and graduated in 2012. I continued to run every day with an old teammate from BH who also happened to be in my physical therapy program. During this time running was a great outlet from school. I trained and ran my first half marathon, which is still my PR to date!  My husband and I moved back to Spearfish after graduation and I took a job working at the hospital for Regional Health, now Monument Health. We got married the summer of 2012 and can you all believe I waited 6 years for him to ask me to marry him? We now have 2 kids, Brayden 4 and Peyton 2 and I work in Belle Fourche for Monument Health in outpatient physical therapy. Anyone in need of PT I am your gal! I have competed in many races over these years with some of my favorites being the Ragnar Relays, BH 30k, local Mickelson and Spearfish canyon half marathons, many many 5ks, and a few trail races thrown in there randomly.

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

A: Both! It is so motivating to run in a group and some of my best friends have come out of those I run with. Does pushing a 2 and 4 year old in a double stroller count as a group run? Asking for a friend. Solo runs are where I can get into a groove and everything just clicks and I feel as though I could run forever.

Q: Do you prefer roads or trails? 

A: Both! I love the road because it is very convenient and you can run super fast! But I also love the trails because they allow you to slow down, not worry about pace and really take in nature.

Q: What is your favorite distance or race? 

A: I definitely dislike anything less than a mile hahaha but otherwise I really just enjoy running. Having finished my first marathon I will say it has been one of the more enjoyable races I have done but it has also been the most challenging to put in time for training.

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

A: I really try to make it apart of my daily routine so its just something that you do…like brushing your teeth (at least for most of us hahaha). Also going to run somewhere new helps even if it is to drive a few miles from the house to get there.

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

A: You get out of it what you put into it.

Q: What is your favorite running memory? 

A: Since it is so fresh in my mind at this time I am going to say winning the Leading Ladies Marathon and qualifying for Boston 😊

Q: If I didn’t run I’d….

A: Definitely bike! I enjoy it but it requires so much more equipment and maintenance than running!

Q: Do you have a pre-race ritual? 

A:  Not really…visualize success while kicking the legs around acting like I am doing some kind of dynamic warm up.

Q: What are your future running goals? 

A: I would like to train for an ultra…probably a 50k because it’s the shortest. And obviously to continue running as long as humanly possible.

Q: What advice do you have for new runners? 

A:   Its ok to walk, sign up for the race, talk to other runners, listen to your body and take rest days, and read/learn as much as you can about running!