There’s a software engineer working remote in our mountain community, who, on a whim moved here from the hustle and bustle of the big city life in San Francisco. Sound like a familiar story? I am not too sure. Tara Eckenrode is our DPMR Member Highlight for the month of May, and couldn’t be a better fit as we make our transition from this historic winter, into a well deserved summer.
Similar to this year’s drastic seasonal change, Tara has reconstructed a life that is to be inspired by. She has recently discovered that what happens in ultras, is “not normal”, but what truly isn’t normal, may be a lobster obsession. But don’t let the red crustacean infatuation fool you, Tara has a PhD in Bioninformatics! Yes, you heard that right, I said she has a very weird fascination with lobsters.
She posts a photo a day for a notable reminder that we can all learn from, and feels she has found a home here with “like minded people”, who, like herself, will spontaneously go on a random adventure, and summit Mt. Whitney. Please read on and get to know our May Member Highlight, Tara Eckenrode.
Where are you from and where do you live now?
I grew up outside of Philadelphia (in Pottstown, PA). I moved to Scotland when I was 18 for year (that turned into seven!) and did my undergrad at St Andrews and PhD at Dundee. When I moved back to the States, I landed in Charleston, SC (my second, and probably real, home) and lived Lowcountry life for three years there before moving to San Francisco in October 2015. I spent exactly a year in the city and then (somewhat spontaneously) moved up to Truckee last fall. I currently live at Northstar with one of my best friends from my St Andrews days and Otis the Beagle.
When did you begin running and/or long-distance running, if that applies? Why?
Do you race? Does racing motivate you? if not racing, what motivates you?
Do you have any dream races (either hoping to qualify for or get selected for)?
Do you have a favorite on-trail food or nutrition strategy? Favorite post-run meal or beverage?
What was your favorite running experience this past year?
What was the best race advice you’ve ever received?
What was your most challenging / character-building experience this past year?
What race PR are you most proud of?
What’s the biggest mistake you’ve ever made during a race?
What are your upcoming racing/adventure plans?
What do you do for a living? Is it hard to fit in time for training?
What led you to join the DPMR?
There was a day in July where I jokingly said to a friend that I should move to Tahoe… and t
hen came home, started googling, and what was a flippant remark suddenly turned into something that could actually be reality.
e, I wanted something similar. I think I found the Facebook group, posted very randomly when I was coming up one weekend to do some ‘can I actually live here’ reconnaissance, and had ended up going to an event. I’d probably made up my mind about moving before that, but even the short time I was there was enough to confirm that this whole ‘move to the mountains thing’ wasn’t totally crazy, and I’d be joining a community of like-minded people who, for some reason similar to one of mine, had also decided to drop themselves in this place.
What has been your favorite DPMR experience so far?
Favorite local trail?
What’s your typical weekly mileage these days?