Ultimate Directioner Clare Gallager is about to toe the line at this weekend’s Western States Endurance Run. This will be Clare’s second hundo to date, as her first was a 1st place finish at the 2016 Leadville Trail 100. Before the “big dance” commences, we wanted to ask Clare a few questions about her trail running background, and her go-to mantras and methods.
UD: Where did your love for trail running begin?
Clare: In Thailand, where I ran my first ultra, an 80k through the hill tribes of the Golden Triangle in Northern Thailand.
UD: What triggered you to do your first race, and where/which race was it?
Clare: The Thailand Mountain Ultramarathon looked sweet when I googled it. I was teaching English in southern Thailand and wanted a goal race to trail for.
UD: What is about trail running that you love the most, or what inspires you to get out the door each day?
Clare: The feelings of being free and a tiny piece of a big world.
UD: So we hear you fuel on candy and frosting…how did you figure that out? Do you have a favorite candy/frosting?
Clare: I just tried it during my first 100, Leadville, and it worked. I don’t love gels, but I still eat them. Honey Stingers taste like honey, so that’s great. I eat all flavors of FROST’D. frosting and lots of Sour Patch Kids. Also HOTSHOT–for the spicy anti-cramp kick.
UD: You are racing at WSER this weekend! Woohoo! What was it about WSER that made you chase after a golden ticket?
Clare: It’s the most competitive 100 in North America, arguably the world this year for the women’s competition.
UD: What are you most excited to experience at WSER?
Clare: A heat wave.
UD: Do you have a go-to mantra that you use while racing?
Clare: Don’t stop. Go Clare. Keep it up. Come on, Clare. You’re doing great. …I say all of these incessantly.
UD: If you could only provide one trail running tip to the readers, what would it be?
Clare: Run on new trails often. Exploring is half the fun.
UD: Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions?
Clare: Don’t freak out.
UD: Tell us one thing about you that not many people know ..
Clare: I don’t focus on outcomes. If I win, great. If I DNF or get dead last, great. I do this for the process and try to have no attachment to the outcome of a race scenario. This race doesn’t set my self worth. That’s a dangerous road if I, or anyone, cares about race outcomes that much.