Our goal is to help inspire you to keep going, train harder, dig a little deeper and cross the finish line. For this week’s Finish Line Friday, Kelsie will be sharing her personal sources of inspiration.
Current Position: Retail Customer Service Representative
Favorite Part of the Job: That excited feeling when I have helped a customer find their “perfect shoe”. I can’t help but smile, and feel happy that I have contributed in a small way to their enjoyment of the outdoors and a sport I love dearly.
I started running cross country and track in high school based off a family friend’s suggestion. It was so hard for me, but giving up on running never crossed my mind! My high school coach, and all her friends in the area were ultra-runners, so it seemed completely normal to me to spend all day Saturday on the trails or running through the night. I would beg Mary, my coach, to let me join her group of ultra-running friends on the “ninja” runs (12 miles through the Marin Headlands, often in darkness, once a week). I was only 16 at the time and loved every minute. I even paced her in a 100miler and thought it looked pretty easy.
As a wide-eyed, young, and impressionable lover of trail running, I knew I had found my calling. After my freshman year of college, I ran a 50k trail race. It was a humbling, learning experience, but I was addicted. The longer the run, the more I get to experience the outdoors and explore. Since that race, I have competed in other 50k’s. I just finished my first 100k, the Courmayeur-Champex-Chamonix race around Mont Blanc in France at the age of 20 (youngest ever?!). These days, you can often find me jumping around on a trail, several wildflowers in my ponytail, and a big grin on my face.
What inspires you?
When I run, I am inspired by my surroundings. The beautiful weather, the next big hill, the allure of what is hiding behind a turn… these things push me forward. However, the biggest motivator for me is that I want to be a role model for other young female athletes.
I want to be the best I can be and gain a large audience in order to encourage other young females to pursue their dreams. I always want to have a positive attitude and put my best foot forward because I realize I am so incredibly lucky to be a part of the amazing, supportive community of ultra-running! On another note, when I went through a really low point in my Courmayeur-Champex-Chamonix race, about 28 miles in, I started singing along to Taylor Swift & Mulan on my iPod. It boosted my spirits and I resumed running uphill; passing many, many men!
As far as inspiring mentors and heroes go, any woman that constantly changes the rules, breaks the barriers and has a smile on her face is someone I look up to. Women like Ann Trason, winning Western States 14 times, Rory Bosio, an American winning UTMB 2x AND finishing 7th overall one year, or women in their 50′s like Meghan Arbogast, who are rocking World 100k’s faster than I can run 5k’s!
What are you training for now, and what do you refuel with post workout?
I am currently training for The North Face 50-miler in December and the Bandera 100k in January. I’m trying to earn a spot in Western States 100-mile!
Post workout, I try to refuel with a balanced meal of protein (usually eggs), fats (like avocados), and veggies. And lots of dark chocolate.