Last week, while running with the new DPMR Pacers team, I met a friendly new member, Greg, and his sweet dog Jin on the trail. Although it was our first time meeting, we quickly realized we’d been in email contact for the May Member Highlight, and I already knew his condensed life story! Introducing Greg Dering, a geologist who recently moved to Truckee from Australia. Come out to the next DPMR Pacers run (Wednesday nights at 6:30pm) and say hi to Greg!
Where are you from and where do you live now?
I grew up in Berkeley and now live in Truckee, but bounced around in my 20s, living in eastern Washington, Boise, Reno, and most recently 3 years in Perth, Western Australia.
When did you begin running and/or long-distance running, if that applies? Why?
For a time I took road bike racing really seriously and made training my life. I burnt out pretty hard and after a year on the couch started running just to work off the beer and tacos. It was normal to me to ride a bike for 2-4 hrs at a stretch and looked at running no differently. Going longer, especially on trail, almost always leads to more interesting encounters, whether pedaling or running.
Do you race? Does racing motivate you? If not racing, what motivates you?
No and no. Actually, it’s been surprising to discover how race-oriented so many runners are. After a lot of bike racing, structured training and race day preparation holds zero appeal. I love the simplicity of running. I used a GPS watch for awhile, but have been running recently with no time keeper at all. It’s a nice feeling, just thinking about the trail and the effort instead of looking at the numbers–though running watchless does often make me late for things. That said, I’m motivated to get stronger to be able to cover longer and bigger terrain and acknowledge the gains that come with some structured training.
Do you have a favorite on-trail food or nutrition strategy? Favorite post-run meal or beverage?
Honey mustard pretzels, carnitas, a good pilsner, a maple old fashioned, a slug of cold thermos coffee all make me happy. I’m not picky about trail calories, but have found that even a 50 min run goes better with some easy-to-digest carbs toward the start.
What was your favorite running experience this past year?
I was in Melbourne Australia for work a couple months ago and joined some colleagues for a Tuesday evening run through the Dandenong Ranges northeast of the city. It’s an old growth Eucalyptus forest much more lush than the blue gum groves we have in coastal California. Big ferns, big cockatoos, and bats everywhere. It was sweet to run at dusk with all the forest sounds, but the best part was getting to hang out with a crew of new friends.
What are your upcoming adventure plans?
Pretty stoked for the Peter Sagan Fondo gravel ride that’s happening May 5 between Truckee and Sierraville. Also piecing together a fire road cycle tour through Colusa County for a long weekend in May. In late summer would love to do a backcountry trail run in the central Sierra by backpacking in to a wilderness lake with plenty of snacks, beer, fishing gear etc, and doing 1 or 2 big day runs from there.
What do you do for a living? Is it hard to fit in time for training?
I’m a geologist who travels a lot for work. Running kit is so portable, it’s usually with me and I can find time at the end of the day. But since I’m not training with a goal in mind, it’s no stress when a long work day has to take precedence over a run.
What led you to join the DPMR?
Meeting folks to drive the pace (because I won’t on my own, haha), share knowledge and enthusiasm.
Favorite local trail?
In the winter and spring, Evans Canyon in Reno is beautiful and often warm. Summertime, it’s hard to beat the PCT section south of Sugar Bowl.