Tessa Waldron, our DPMR Member Highlight of the Month. Not sure who she is? Read on, or better yet, ask your children who Teacher Tessa is, because there is a 96% chance she is involved in your child’s life in some capacity. Whether it’s Kids Korner after school, Adventure Camp during the summer, or she nannies for you, Tessa is probably your child’s best friend.
Tessa has been my supervisor at work, a trail buddy, but more than anything a kind and generous friend. She’ll join you for a beer, loves getting high (altitude), and apparently loves donuts, or better yet, hot guys with donuts. A true Tahoe girl in every aspect of the meaning, it’s no surprise she started running in order to train for Cross Country skiing.
Read on, and find out why your kids, and this kid, think Tessa is the coolest girl on the block.
Where are you from and where do you live now?
I grew up in Colorado and Wyoming (close to Jackson) and I live in Truckee now on Donner lake.
When did you begin running and/or long-distance running, if that applies? Why?
I always ran growing up, with my family or in sports. In high school, I ran to train for Cross country skiing. I started really running (and enjoying it) in college, for stress relief. I didn’t consider doing any races till I moved to Truckee and met Mike Barna who worked at the track at the Rec center. When I started running trails with Kristin Henry, marathons became too short and I liked the idea of pushing myself for longer distances. I also just love being outside, in the mountains for hours.
Do you race? Does racing motivate you? if not racing, what motivates you?
The only reason I race is for the social aspect. I’m kind of an introvert so it’s a good way to force myself to do something social. If I don’t have friends running it, I’m not doing it. I guess my motivation is scenery. I like getting up high and having a good view. Getting to the top motivates me.
Do you have any dream races (either hoping to qualify for or get selected for)?
I’m doing TransRockies this summer, which is definitely a dream. And someday I’d like to do a hundred-miler.
Do you have a favorite on-trail food or nutrition strategy? Favorite post-run meal or beverage?
This is something I struggle with. I drink some powder mix (I actually don’t even know what it is) and potatoes and Lara Bars seem to work. I like Gummy Bears. Post run I love water, and more Gummy Bears of course. I do love a good post-race after party but could care less about food.
What was your favorite running experience this past year?
Last year, Kristin got me to sign up for Sierra Crest pretty much off the couch and we had a blast. I didn’t die, so that was good too. I also paced her in Rio Del Lago, her 100-miler. I realized I love being a pacer because I don’t actually have to do the whole race, yet I get to celebrate at the end still.
I also did some epic runs on Mt Rose, Freel Peak and the PCT. Ragnar was also fun seeing as how it’s a “Party for Runners”.
What was your most challenging/ character-building experience this past year?
I did a half marathon in SF that was on pavement. That sucked. One time last year I also swallowed a bug and that made me immediately throw up. That was terrible.
What are your upcoming racing/adventure plans?
I just did a Color run in Vegas with the family I nanny for…that was pretty awesome. I’m doing Ruck a Chuck 50k in March, then Canyons 100k in April, Reno-Tahoe odyssey in June, Ragnar in July then Transrockies in August. I think it’s gonna be a good year.
What do you do for a living? Is it hard to fit in time for training?
I am the director of the After school program at the Rec center and during summer I run a camp for 4th, 5th and 6th graders. I am also an American Red Cross instructor for the district, which I love. It’s not hard for me to train but I am a fair weather runner. I’m not a huge fan of winter. But working with kids is great. I have way too much energy for my own good, or usually anyone else around me but the kids let me burn it off with them so it works out. Thank goodness I share an office with Kristin because she’s usually the only one I’m not “too much” for.
What led you to join the DPMR?
Kristin told me about it and then I met Helen who I thought was just amazing. I also heard there were hot guys. This is true.
What has been your favorite DPMR experience so far?
The hot guys.
Favorite local trail?
Wow, this is a hard one but I guess I have to say TRT or Flume. I like anything up high!
What other outdoor or indoor interests do you have?
I’m kind of your typical Tahoe girl…mountain biking, yoga, snowboarding especially in the back country, skate skiing. I also love cooking and reading for pleasure neither of which I get to do that much. I’m constantly taking some college class for my job, which I love. I also love scuba diving and surfing on my warmer vacations. Traveling is a huge part of my life. I hope to live abroad someday, maybe sooner than later!
Any interesting facts about yourself you would like to share?
Ummmm I like donuts?!