September 2019-Kassy Swanson

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

A: I am originally from Burke, South Dakota, but grew up in North Bend, Oregon. My husband Alfred and I met in college in Bozeman, Montana. We moved to Rapid City in 2016 for his family medicine residency. I am an optometrist in my “spare time.”

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

A: I started running in fourth grade when my family moved to Oregon. In my first week of school there, our PE teacher made us run the mile. I placed second – a boy running in cowboy boots beat me. My brothers and I “trained” for the Prefontaine for Kids Fun Run in neighboring Coos Bay every year through middle school. I ran competitive cross country and track through high school, and have been running recreationally since.

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

A: Depends… I love social runs but I value solo outings for specific workouts or when I need to clear my head.

Q: Do you prefer roads or trails? 

A: TRAILS

Q: What is your favorite distance or race?

A: “The next one.”

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

A: Spreadsheets… I’m pretty “Type-A” so if a workout is on my training plan, I will do it. That or I buy new running shoes…

Q: If I didn’t run I’d …

A: …get better at biking.

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

A: Two things: 1) Setting, working toward, and achieving goals – whether that be a specific race distance, time, or overcoming an injury.  2) The camaraderie of the running community/family – I love my BHRC family!

Q: Do you have a pre-race ritual?

A:  A little food, a little water, PRP (if you don’t know what that means I’ll tell you when you’re older), warm-up jog, stretching

Q: What are your running goals for the future?

A:  Alfred and I are moving to Anchorage, Alaska soon. So, immediate running goals involve finding a running community up there, and not being eaten by bears or trampled by moose. (That being said, there are lots of great trails in Alaska and you should all come visit!!!) Long term goals include regular trips back to the Black Hills (possibly a multi-day through-run/hike of the Centennial Trail???), and still running when I am as old as Dan Bjerke…

Q: Who inspires you most?

A: SO MANY OF YOU. Seriously.

Q: What advice do you have for new runners?

A: Find your running family. Be patient and train smart. Don’t compare yourself to others, unless that comparison makes you better or teaches you something. Have fun.

Happy Trails, friends! We love you,

Kassy (and Alfred)