Karen Smidt

Club Member Since 7/23/2002

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Karen Smidt - With my girls after winning the Okoboji Marathon July 19, 2003.
With my girls after winning the Okoboji Marathon July 19, 2003.








"I like to make something beautiful when I run." Steve Prefontaine


City: Brighton State: CO

Favorite Shoe: Saucany Size: 9.5

Age: 50.6 years old

Marital Status: Married

Family members:
Two daughters Meghan-16 Abigail-13 / 2 Golden Retrievers--Bear & Bailey

What I do for work:
High School Teacher / Librarian

Places I’ve called home and why I like where I am now:
California (Yeah-I'm one of those), Guam, and now Brighton. Brighton actually still has trails even if they are rural. Although Brighton is not Manitou Springs, it's close enough to the mountains and far enough from the city.

When I started running and what got me started:
I began running when I was 10 years old because no one believed I could. My first race was a 1/2 marathon and I've been crazy ever since.

What does running mean to me:
After my family, running is my life.

Running accomplishments: View my Pikes Peak Ascent/Marathon results
I passed on my passion for running to my daughters! My next accomplishment will be to lure them to trail running.

I'm a 3x All-American in the 10k on the track and in cross country--all of which I earned after turning 30 (VERY nontraditional student at UNC). I've run six sub 3:20 marathons and one nearly Olympic Trials-qualifying race at 2:52 in 1999. I achieved my life-long goal (okay, just since I was 12) of running the Pikes Peak Marathon, and I actually finished well.

What I like about trail/mountain running:
It's serene and the pressure is not the same as on the road. Every trail offers its own challenge and that's what keeps me going.

Favorite running trail and why:
Emiline Lake up near Pingree Park. It's runable to the top and it offers a wonderful view of a pristine lake at the end. It's also one of the training runs we take our campers on for Camp Isaiah, a Christian Running Camp for middle school and high school runners. I love to see the look on the face of a kid from Nebraska who never thought he would ever make it to the top. It makes me giddy to think that we just might be sparking interest in the next Matt Carpenter.

Favorite trail/mountain race and why:
Barr Mtn. because it was truly my first trail race (in 2002), and I wiped out twice coming down out of Barr Camp. There's nothing like a fall to make you appreciate a mountain trail and nothing like recovering from that fall with determination and hunger to run faster.

Best running experience:
Running a 5k track race in college 6 months pregnant and coming in 4th overall (actually, I was 5th...Aby--my daughter--was about 6 inches in front of me).

Worst running experience:
Running through a typhoon on Guam. I didn't time the eye of the storm correctly and thought I could make it around the navy base before the second half hit. Needless to say, it's nearly impossible to stay on your feet during 70 mph winds. At least I made it in the house before the real fun started! That typhoon recorded winds in excess of 250 mph (the storm measuring gear actually blew away).

Neatest thing found on a run:
A baby turtle that I brought home to my kids. The dog ate it a few weeks later.

Running related bathroom stop story:
I'm known for my lack of modesty--so it's no surprise to my friends at some of the places I've stopped to pee. One place that did surprise everyone though, was in the middle of the track during a National Track & Field meet with thousands of spectators looking on. We had just been herded into the pre-race area on the middle of the field before the 10,000 and I REALLY had to go. I just sat down, pretended that I was stretching, and took care of business. No one ever knew--not even my competitors. So, if you ever come across a blonde stretching on the side of the road--a word of caution...

Running pet peeves:
Runners who don't smile or return my greeting as we pass.

Something non running related that no one would guess about me:
I ride a Harley Sportster 1200 but I'm not a biker chick (although I fit right in at Manitou Springs when I come in for Sunday runs).

Other hobbies and interests:
Writing, reading, and creating (anything).

Other stuff:
I want to run until the day I die.

Page last modified: 12/6/2010


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