Introduction by Renee Elsdon Jacobs:
“Chris is one of those people that will make you feel like you’ve been friends forever, even if you’ve just met, because of his welcoming smile and comforting demeanor (if he were a doctor, he would have a great bedside manner!) If you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting him yet to see what I mean, it may not be long before you do, as he and his wife are active DPMR members. They are regularly volunteering at aid stations (in years past), participating in group runs, and attending social events. His wife is even a current DPMR board member. In addition to being a runner, Chris is also a climber that enjoys spending time in the mountains – a man after my own heart!”
- Where are you from and where do you live now?
I grew up in Granite Bay, went to school in San Diego, lived in Seattle for a number of years and finally landed in Truckee, where my wife Meggie, our two boys, and I now call home. Here in Truckee, we can raise our kids relatively close to family and fully engaged in the outdoors.
- When did you begin running and/or long-distance running, if that applies? Why?
While I considered myself an athlete in high school, I didn’t pick up running until I left for college and needed a way to cope with the stress of life on my own. If I had procrastinated on a paper and was stressed out writing it at 2am, a 3-mile lap around campus was sure to snap me out of my writer’s block. Freshman year, I trained for and ran my first marathon. But, most importantly, I met Meggie on one of my long runs. She and I have made time to run together ever since :-).
- Do you race? Does racing motivate you? If not racing, what motivates you?
I typically do a race or two every year. I can’t say that it’s my biggest motivation, but I do enjoy getting out to new places. Race highlights include the Deception Pass 50k, Sun Mountain 50k, and Tahoe 100k. If anyone is interested in a destination race in Washington state, I’d be happy to share some experiences from my time up there. Lately, I’ve been more excited about challenging personal adventures, such as TRT segments or 7 Summits of Desolation (see below)
- Do you have a favorite on-trail food or nutrition strategy and favorite post-run meal or beverage?
Tailwind has significantly extended my ability to not bonk. As for a favorite post-run beverage: it was a joyous occasion when I discovered Lactose-free Chocolate Milk. A cold beer is always welcome as well.
- Do you have a favorite recipe to share?
I love to cook and eat the food I cook. During the summer we have the grill going most nights and I like talking about the meat that goes onto our grill. However, since it’s Fall, I’ll share a cold-weather recovery soup that’s interesting and one of my favorites: Hawaiian Oxtail soup. My family has a bunch of variations on this, but here’s a link to the recipe I typically use: Hawaiian_Oxtail_Soup. The combination of flavors as well as the protein, iron, and collagen make me at least think that my joints should be feeling as good as new after I gnaw the bones and sip that broth. Pro tip: Next time you’re near Folsom, stop by Ranch 99 for all the ingredients. Also, pick up some Gai Lan (Chinese broccoli) to add to your soup.
- What was your favorite running experience this past year?
When Adam Kimble took the Fastest Known Time (FKT) from Kilian on the Tahoe Rim Trail he reminded me that 2020 shouldn’t be an excuse. Even though all races were canceled, I wanted to do something that was hard and interesting. Toward the end of September when the smoke cleared (mostly) and the Tahoe National Forest reopened (mostly) I ran Desolation 7 Summits: https://www.strava.com/activities/4116642743. Aptly named, the route hits 7 of the best peaks in Desolation Wilderness, covers about 24 miles and about 10,000 feet of elevation. Some of the route is on trail, but most of your time is spent off trail and navigating steep terrain and a ton of talus. To me, this run was about accomplishing something really hard in one of the most beautiful places in the world (IMHO) which also happens to be in our backyard. I had great beta from those who had gone before me (thanks Renee and others’ Strava activities!). For me, longer and farther doesn’t necessarily mean better. If I’m looking for an all-day adventure, I care most about elevation and scenery. Desolation 7 Summits has both in abundance.
- What was your most challenging/ character-building experience this past year?
I’m going to avoid this question and talk about my two proudest experiences this year. My son and I invited a couple close friends with their two boys to backpack Desolation. We had a short itinerary planned with mild concerns of abundant 7-year old complaining. All 3 boys surprised us and we completed a stellar first backpacking trip polished off by summits of Echo Peak and Flagpole Peak. #prouddad Next time, their dads will remember to bring sunscreen and sunglasses. #dadfail
Just a few weeks later, my father-in-law summited the penultimate peak and hardest of his set of California 14ers. Polemonium had proven elusive and at 74 years, he was feeling less excited about hauling climbing gear over Bishop Pass and Thunderbolt Pass. This past July, we defied Covid and the bad luck of the past 4 tries and summitted. I supported as a guide and we pushed through tired bodies, steep and scary talus fields, and high-altitude 5th class rock climbing. At the top, it was a pretty cool experience for 4 of us to summit and celebrate together.
- What do you do for a living? Is it hard to fit in time for training?
During the day, I work for a large consulting firm called Slalom, and I help lead a team specializing in Salesforce implementation. The term balance and consulting firms don’t typically go hand in hand. However, I’m proud of my company for building a culture where its team members can deliver with excellence both for our clients and projects as well as for our kids and families and individual passions.
Besides work, I spend time with my two boys (4 years and 8 years), trying to instill in them a passion for the outdoors. Meggie and I split running time and our favorite date will always be a running date.
- What has been your favorite DPMR experience so far?
I run by myself so often that every run with DPMR feels like a highlight experience. Last year’s Pub run was especially fun and good friends and new friends made for a nice final long run of the season. However, by the time I made it to The Pub, I was so cold that I was wondering whether I could order a hot beer and what the server would think if I asked them to microwave an IPA for me.
- Favorite local trail?
- Do you have a favorite piece of running gear?
I used to blame my footwear for foot pain, rolled ankles, knee pain, and shin splints. One day, I found Altras, and they changed my life. I run in Timps for trail and off-trail, Escalantes for road, Lone Peak RSM for snow, and my approach shoes used to be Grafton’s until I destroyed them in a single trip in the Palisades. It’s been amazing finding shoes that fit my wide forefoot and skinny heel.
- What other outdoor or indoor interests do you have?
During the snowless months, I split my time between running and mountain biking and we try to get in several backpacking and climbing trips. When the snow gets good, you can find me working on my telemark turns (10 years and I still feel like an amateur!), sometimes inbounds and sometimes backcountry.