Catlow Shipek

Coldwater Rumble 100 Mile 2014
Coldwater Rumble 100 Mile 2014

Tucson, Arizona

Years running, years running trails, years running ultras
11 years running. My first marathon was Whiskey Row Marathon (2004), my first mountain race was Imogene Pass (2005), my first 50 miler was Old Pueblo 50 (2007). Exploring trails has always been a passion.

Race plans for this year
Race with the giants of this sport! Set a mark for US Skyrunning in the ultra series.
Zane Grey 50 Mile
Cruel Jewel 50 Mile
Speedgoat 50K
Angels Staircase 60K
Flagstaff 56K

What does “Run Steep Get High” mean to you?
Pushing personal boundaries. New vistas. Pure joy.

How did you get into running?
I grew up competitively road and mtn biking and swimming. Post college and in grad school in Tucson I was burnt out of swimming and had limited time and money for cycling…I found running to be a fun new challenge that could take me new places. It took me many years to overcome personal running challenges before I became competitive and felt I could truly explore with freedom.

What drives you to compete in running?
Competition motivates me to push and overcome my own boundaries while helping others do the same. Running is simple and pure that does not rely on technology to give you an advantage.

What is your favorite race?
Each new course with epic views, twisting trails, and flowing streams. I am so looking forward to this summer’s Skyrunning race series!

What is your most epic running experience?
In preparation for my first 100 miler I had two epic training runs in southern Arizona’s Sky Islands which tested my mental and physical limits. Starting in the late afternoon and running into the evening the runs brought me into close encounters of black bears, wild turkeys, and scenic sunsets seen from distant peaks. During these runs I felt a true sense of freedom and joy that endurance running helps me achieve.

What is your favorite trail or place to run?
When I visit my Dad in Wyoming – much to his dismay – I try to pack in as many long trail runs as my legs can handle. I pour over the maps days prior to plan a new route often in a new range. And then I go and lose myself and often the route for a good part of the day in the Wyoming wilds.

How has running impacted your life?
Running is my release from a demanding job. It allows me to focus, reflect, and gain new insight. It gives me time to appreciate and enjoy my surrounds. Running allows me to recharge.

Favorite beer or other non-running indulgence?
I enjoy a crisp, fizzy, home-brewed ginger lemon kombucha – especially after a run. Oh, and a bag of potato chips might disappear after a good long run.

What are your other hobbies?
Puttering around my urban home-stead which includes veggies, fruit trees, and chickens not to mention supportive rain and greywater harvesting systems.

What is your profession?
I co-founded and am currently employed by a non-profit organization, Watershed Management Group, which fosters community-based stewardship of soil and water resources through educational and policy oriented programs.

Top running performances (personal bests) or recent race results?
Coldwater Rumble 100m (2014) – 15:09:52
Old Pueblo 50m (2013) – 7:21:57
Pemberton 50K (2013) – 3:24:58

Social media outlets:
Twitter: @catlowshipek

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