Meet Tara Richardson!
Hometown: Wiggins, Colorado
Current Residence: Glenwood Springs, Colorado
College: Western State College
Occupation: Cardiac Rehabilitation Exercise Physiologist
1) How and when did you get into trail running?
I did my first trail race in the Spring of 2018. I had recently moved to Glenwood Springs where I have access to tons of mountains and trails. I immediately fell in love with the challenge of running uphill at high elevations and learned to push my body physically and mentally further than I had ever done before.
2) Tell us a little bit about your experience running in college. What were your main events/PR’s? What contributed to your success in major races after college?
I ran at Western State College. I was a very mediocre runner in high school and was unsure if I wanted to run in college at all but after visiting the small community of Gunnison, Colorado I was convinced to give it a shot. My main event was the 10k. My PR was 34:33. I definitely think I have found more success in running post-collegiately due to a new mindset. I put a lot of pressure on myself when running in college. I have stopped comparing myself to fellow competitors but instead want to be a part of the rise of badass women crushing the running scene!
3) Do you consider running to be your therapy? If so, what aspect is most therapeutic?
Running is 100% my therapy! The most therapeutic moments are when I’m miles out on a trail, forget that I’m even running, forget any worries and soak in the nature around me.
4) Can you define “skinning” for us? How does skiing help your running?
Skinning or skimo (ski mountaineering) is skiing uphill (sounds terrible I know!). I skin in the winter time to make myself decrease my running volume. If you have ever tried skinning you know that it is very hard! Skinning allows me to get my heart rate up without the impact of running and then of course you get the fun part of skiing back down!
5) Congrats on qualifying for the 2020 Olympic Trials in the marathon! Where and when did you accomplish this? What was going through your mind during and after the race?
I qualified for the 2020 Olympic Trials at California International Marathon in December 2018. I had run 4 50k races, a 40 mile race and a trail marathon in the summer and fall leading up to the marathon and was ready to shutdown for a while leading into the marathon. However I wanted to give the trials one last shot and my fitness was the best it has ever been. Going into the marathon the distance didn’t scare me but the speed definitely did. However, as soon as I started the race I found myself surrounded by encouraging women all working towards a common goal and I don’t think I ever stopped smiling. We were ticking off 6:10 pace like it was nothing and I felt good until about 2 miles to go! It was a magical day. After the race I was overwhelmed with emotion and cried happy tears. Luckily I had a bunch of friends who also ran incredible and enjoyed celebrating with them after.
6) Do you have a different mentality when racing on the roads versus the trails?
Not really. I just prefer the trails because there are more distractions/obstacles to keep my mind off of pace.
7) What’s your favorite post-run treat?
Hmmm. I like to go to local bakeries wherever I’m racing and indulge in some kind of baked good.
8) What’s your next race or running adventure?
To be determined! Hoping to run an ultra in March. Any suggestions?