He’s one of the OG members of DPMR and has been with us since 2014 when the club first started. Likely you’ve met him in a classroom, on the trail, at Broken Arrow or skiing in the back country (but hopefully not in a Search and Rescue kind of way). One of the nicest humans that I’ve had the pleasure of knowing, read on and learn more about Geoff– this month’s member extraordinaire.
Where are you from and where do you live now?
I was born in the San Francisco Bay Area and grew up in central Indiana. My wife Sarah and I live in Sierra Meadows.
When did you begin running and/or long-distance running, if that applies? Why?
I began running in the seventh grade. My older brother, Max, ran cross country at Carmel High School which was in its heyday and I wanted to be cool like him. I ran a two mile time trial in sixth grade PE and I did pretty well and that’s when I started running on the regular. Both my junior high and high school teams were successful and I learned a lot about hard work, commitment and excellence. After high school I played lacrosse in college and got into mountain biking and rock climbing. I started focused distance running again when I was 40.
Do you race? Does racing motivate you? If not racing, what motivates you?
I do race a bit but I’m not as focused on it as I used to be. I enjoy competing in a race setting but I also enjoy challenges like bringing down my Dick’s Peak climb or Mt. Langley downhill times. Long self-supported wilderness runs also motivate me. I enjoy training as much as racing so it’s fun to aim my training at a variety of objectives.
What was the best running advice you’ve received?
“Your mind will give up a thousand times before your body will.”
Do you have a favorite on-trail food or nutrition strategy and favorite post-run meal or beverage?
I can do Spring gels and water for a long time. In a race setting I’ll eat whatever looks good after that. For wilderness runs I’m a big fan of the adventure pizza. I’ll buy one at the beginning of a multi-day adventure and graze on it over the course of a few days. A slice of pizza in the middle of a long day is super tasty and a big morale booster.
What was your favorite recent running experience?
Probably the West End/Tinker’s Lollipop I did with Jack Macy today. Great route he drew up and I felt like we pushed pretty hard. Full value effort.
What was your most challenging/ character-building running experience?
Hard to pick one as I think most of us seek out those challenging situations where you’re on the verge of shattered. Maybe my first ultra (Bishop) when I threw up like 20 times in the last 5 miles. Castle Peak in 2016 was rough as well. No puking but lots of miles feeling like death warmed over.
What are your upcoming racing/adventure plans?
Mammoth Trail Fest Triple Crown at the end of September! Then some TBD adventure runs until the snow flies.
What led you to join DPMR?
The people I was running with back in 2013 became DPMR. If I remember right there was a first meeting at the Mellow Fellow with Peter Fain, Pete Broomhall, Jeff Brown and J.P. Prince. I think Chaz Sheya and Sean Flanagan were there too. Then there was a second meeting at Helen Pelster’s house and DPMR was formed shortly after that.
What has been your favorite DPMR experience so far?
Chris Cloyd’s Annual Beer Run…hand’s down.
Do you have a mental training technique, mantra, or similar that you rely on to combat the mentally trying times of a longer run?
Joy and gratitude.
Do you listen to audio while you run and if so, what have you been enjoying lately?
I’m a big music lover but I don’t always listen to music when I run. Right now I’m listening to Lila Iké, The Beths, and a Henry Rollins Top 20 Albums Playlist.
Recovery technique(s) that you swear by?
Tailwind Recovery and then a Nevada Elk Burger from Burger Me.
Do you have a favorite piece of running gear (hydration system, shoe, clothing layer, sock, etc.)?
La Sportiva Kaptiva is my daily driver and I love the Salomon S/Lab Ultra 3 for longer efforts. Smith Optics for anything eyewear.
What other outdoor or indoor interests do you have?
I love backcountry skiing. I’m also passionate about expanding public access to public lands in Tahoe, especially in the winter time. I volunteer for Tahoe Backcountry Alliance and we’re working diligently to expand trailhead access around the Basin. Access in the traditional sense of parking lots but also access in the sense of providing opportunities for underrepresented communities to enjoy the backcountry in the wintertime. This past year we partnered with the Washoe tribe to offer winter recreation opportunities for the kids via the Washoe Kids On Snow program. It was a great year one and we’re looking to expand this program this coming winter. TBA is also working diligently with our community partners to create new year round trailheads in the Tahoe Basin.
In addition to volunteering for TBA, I also help coach the Truckee HS cross country team, volunteer for Tahoe Nordic SAR and along with Brendan Madigan and Ethan Veneklasen, am one of the race directors for Broken Arrow Skyrace.
Any interesting facts about yourself you would like to share?
I’ve driven in a presidential motorcade.