Each week we interview members of our community to learn how the Coronavirus pandemic has impacted their lives, and how they are adapting in these challenging times. Our quarantine interviewees are healthcare workers, small business owners, students, parents, service industry employees, and, of course, runners. We hope that by sharing the stories of our neighbors we can find inspiration, solidarity, and connection as a community in the coming weeks and months. Please enjoy! 

For the fifth installment of the series we catch up with Ian Curtis. Ian is a senior at Hellgate High School, a distance runner and team captain for the cross country and track programs, a guitar player, a cyclist, a skier and much more. Read on to learn more about how Ian is maintaining a positive outlook, and staying connected to his team, amidst the uncertainty of his last season as a high school athlete.


Ian competing in the 2019 Bozeman XC Invitational



Thanks for joining the quarantine Q&A! First off, how old are you and how long have you lived in Missoula?

I am 18 years old and I was born and raised in Missoula. 

As a high school track athlete, what event (meet) were you most looking forward to this season? Has the season been canceled officially?

I was really looking forward both to the Arcadia Invitational in California, and the Montana state track meet. Arcadia was cancelled due to covid 19, but we have not heard officially about the state meet. There is still a small chance that we can have a short track season if school resumes.

What goals have you set for this track season, individually, and as a team?

My personal goal was to win the state championship in the 1600 meters or the 3200 meters. The Hellgate distance team was hoping to have as many all-state finishers as possible.

Are you staying motivated to train amidst this uncertainty? If so, how?

My motivation to do intervals on the track has been slightly lessened without definitive plans for a season. That said, I remain very motivated to train for the Double Dip, and for next fall’s collegiate cross country season.   

Are you doing workouts at home? If so, how are you getting creative?

As far as workouts at home, Courtney Babcock has been continuing to lead the team in strength training twice a week via Instagram live. Our coach, Anders Brooker provides us with a weekly training plan. I have been doing workouts on the river bowl track and the Kim Williams, and running some trails that are not accessible from Hellgate.    

What’s been the biggest challenge to keeping up with your running during this time?

Running has been something that I really look forward to during this time, but doing workouts alone is definitely a challenge. I miss running with my teammates and being able to go to practice every day. 

What are some of the largest ways that the COVID crisis has changed your life in recent weeks?  For school, are you taking online classes?

Yes, I have been continuing my classes at Hellgate online. I would say the biggest change is that there is no school, and subsequently no running practice. I have also started to rethink my college plans because of the uncertainty created by the covid pandemic. If schools are unable to reopen in the fall, I might opt to take a gap year. 

Are there any silver linings or positive moments you have experienced due to the COVID crises you would like to share?

In the absence of school, I have been able to do quite a bit of skiing and mountain biking in addition to running that I otherwise could not have done. I have also been getting more sleep. The extra time spent outside and adequate rest have greatly improved my outlook and mental wellbeing. 

Where are you finding inspiration right now? (books, music, podcasts, people, etc.)

I am very inspired by seeing my friends and teammates continue to train and remain positive through this period of isolation. Also, the Pengelly Double Dip has been moved to August instead of being canceled. That is extremely exciting and inspires me to train.

How are you connecting with others during quarantine and social distancing? Are you staying in touch with your team?

We have a team meeting on zoom every week. I keep in touch with the team as best I can, but it can be difficult.

What does the Missoula running community (or specifically, your team) mean to you during this time?

I am very grateful for the Hellgate distance program, and the incredible support provided by my coaches and teammates. Even though social running events have been suspended during the pandemic, it is comforting to know that the running community will return stronger than ever. I feel very fortunate to be a part of such a thriving community surrounding running and the outdoors. Thank you to the Runner’s Edge for organizing this, and so many other great events during this time!

We enjoyed getting to hear from Ian and hope you did too! If you think this interview would add value to someone in your life, please consider forwarding this email to them.

Also, if you are enjoying the Quarantine Q&A series, or have a question you would like us to ask our interviewees, let us know! Email Mike@runnersedgemt.com.

This edition of the Quarantine Q&A is brought to you by Sapphire Physical Therapy. Thank you Sapphire for supporting and celebrating these community stories!

Early morning hours during the 2018 Hootenanny. Photo by Votography Images.

Sometimes it’s hard to get up early and go for a run or walk.  Nowadays it can be even harder, where for the first time in history it’s completely okay to live in our comfy pajamas all day.

This week, Runner’s Edge and Run Wild Missoula are challenging you to get out of your comfort zone and catch the sunrise on your run or walk!

Not only will you be off to a wonderful start to your day, but you’ll also help disperse use on Missoula’s trails and paths by heading outside during an off-peak time. Now is the time to show off your favorite sunrise spot!


Rules:

  1. Get up nice and early and exercise your way out the door to your favorite sunrise location. Sunrise this week is around 6:30.
    1. Be sure to wear appropriate attire for running in the dark – bright, reflective, and lights!
  2. Snap either a selfie or a landscape sunrise photo (or both!) showing yourself beating the sun out the door.
  3. Share this photo on Instagram or Facebook.
  4. Be sure to tag @runnersedgemt and @runwildmissoula and use the hashtags #MoreThanRun and #LaceEmUp to be featured!

*If you would like for us to repost your photo onto our Instagram Feed, you must make your account public.


Categories & Awards:

  • Best landscape photo – who’s the best running/walking photographer in Missoula?
  • Best sunrise selfie – “best” could mean funniest, most creative, or something we haven’t thought of yet. Surprise us! 🙂
  • Prizes will feature gift cards to some of Missoula’s favorite breakfast spots!

All participants in this challenge must practice proper social distancing. This includes running or walking alone (unless with those from your home), keeping a 6’ distance from ALL people you encounter along the way, and letting people know you are coming up behind them to give them time to step to the side of the path. Also, please avoid busier times of day by running or walking earlier or later in the day. If somewhere looks too crowded – please go somewhere else!


Questions? Email adam@runnersedgemt.com

Each week we interview members of our community to learn how the Corona virus pandemic has impacted their lives, and how they are adapting in these challenging times. Our quarantine interviewees are healthcare workers, small business owners, parents, service industry employees, and, of course, runners. We hope that by sharing the stories of our neighbors we can find inspiration, solidarity, and connection as a community in the coming weeks and months.

For the fourth installment of the series we catch up with Kelsey and Travis Walnum. Kelsey and Travis are active members of the Missoula running and cycling community, and most notably the co-owners of Wally and Buck Burger Co. Read on to learn more about how they have adapted their business, lifestyles, and goals during this time. Spoiler alert, they are still open for takeout!

Kelsey and Travis in front of Wally & Buck Burger Co



Thanks for joining the quarantine Q&A! First off, how long have you lived in Missoula?

Kelsey- Born and raised!

Travis- 15 years, since 2005.

Are you training for an upcoming race? If so, which one? Has it been canceled or postponed?

Kelsey- Double Dip! Although, not a lot of training has not been happening due to making burgers for hungry Missoulians! I’m guessing it could get postponed.

Travis- I always look forward to local MTB XC series as well as some gravel events, and of course the Butte 50, Big Sky Biggie, and talk about the Spearfish 50 in SD.

Amidst these uncertain times, what challenges are you facing and how are you maintaining motivation?

Kelsey- Travis has a tendency to be a bit more motivated than I am. Work wise, we are taking business day by day and really only planning for the week. I’m hoping as the weather get’s nicer I can get outside more and establish more personal and fitness goals.

Travis- Taking things day by day. Despite the fact that we cannot participate in group activities, I typically find it challenging to establish a solid routine during the seasonal changes that occur at this time of year. Moving forward, it’ll be hard to stay focused since we may not have any events to look forward to. However, I always have personal fitness goals to work on as the seasons progress. 

In what ways are you staying active? 

Kelsey- Trying to run, hiking our two golden retrievers and hoping to get on my bike more as it gets nicer out.

Travis- Luckily for those who are active in individual sports, spending time outside or on the trail is still available. I’ve been riding a little more conservatively to reduce the risk of injury and being sure not to compromise my immune system.   

Are you doing workouts at home? If so, how are you getting creative?

Kelsey- We are lucky enough to have trail access right out our door in Missoula. I head outside!!!!

Travis- I try to set 30-45 minutes aside every morning for some basic mobility and core workouts.

How are you investing in your mental health these days?

Kelsey- It’s been tough but staying active, even if its a short dog walk or a run. Keeping in touch with family and friends. AND, enjoying guilty pleasures like chocolate ice cream and local beers!

Travis- Since the outbreak, things have only gotten busier for us. We’ve been stretched very thin between work, trying to get outside and projects at home.

As small business owners, what are some of the largest ways that the COVID crisis has changed your work life in recent weeks? 

Kelsey and Travis- Our initial instincts were directed at ways to save the business and allocate resources to give us the best opportunity of being able to open the doors again. We essentially had to restructure our operations plan, minimize costs and unfortunately layoff some of our staff. With that, we’ve been working more hours than normal.

Are there any silver linings or positive moments you have experienced due to the COVID crises you would like to share?

Kelsey & Travis- The support of our amazing community has been humbling. We would not be staying alive if it wasn’t for this amazing place we live in. Our friends and family are also coming out to help in amazing ways. The first week after we changed to our model to take out only, we had friends and family helping us out. Luckily we have been able to bring a few employees back.

Where are you finding inspiration right now? (books, music, podcasts, people, etc.)

Kelsey & Travis- Other local business owners!!! It is inspiring how everyone has become so creative and has adapted to keep their businesses going. Brainstorming constantly!!! Travis and I are constantly bouncing ideas off each other to see how we can improve or adapt.

What does the Missoula running community mean to you in a time like this?

Kelsey- Running is one of my favorite activities. I really miss running with friends and visiting with folks on the trails. I love heading out and seeing our community being so active right now.

Anything Else?

Thank you Missoula for your continued support! We love you!

 


We enjoyed getting to hear from Kelsey and Travis and hope you did too! If you think this interview would add value to someone in your life, please consider forwarding this email to them.

Also, if you are enjoying the Quarantine Q&A series, or have a question you would like us to ask our interviewees, let us know! Email Mike@runnersedgemt.com.


This edition of the Quarantine Q&A is brought to you by Sapphire Physical Therapy. Thank you Sapphire for supporting and celebrating these community stories!

Each week we interview members of our community to learn how the Corona Virus pandemic has impacted their lives, and how they are adapting in these challenging times. Our ‘Quarantine Interviewees’ are healthcare workers, small business owners, parents, service industry employees, and, of course, runners. We hope that by sharing the stories of our neighbors, we can find inspiration, solidarity, and connection as a community in the coming weeks and months.

For the third installment of the series we catch up with Larry Peterman. Larry works as a flight nurse with Life Flight Network and also in the St. Pats Hospital ER. He is an avid outdoorsman, a father of two, husband, and, if you have ever met him you would agree, one of the most positive people we know. Read on to learn more about how Larry is adapting at work, getting outside, and connecting with others during this time.


Thanks for joining the quarantine Q&A! First off, how long have you lived in Missoula?

Since 1972, when I left Ohio on my 18th birthday. My dad helped me drive out with all my stuff and I started that fall at the U of M.

Are you training for an upcoming race? If so, which one? Has it been canceled or postponed?

Yes, I’m hoping that the Rut will not be cancelled and that I can do the VK again. I’m looking forward to taking a break from the 28K!

Amidst these uncertain times, what challenges are you facing and how are you maintaining motivation?

This one is easy for me because I enjoy my routine trail runs so much that I remain pretty motivated to get out even if some races get cancelled or postponed. I enjoy seeing everyone at the races, and the entire race atmosphere, but my training goals are not new PR’s but rather consistency and trying to stay injury free.

Are you doing workouts at home? If so, how are you getting creative?

Yes, I’m doing my standard 30 minutes of core/push-ups/pull-ups/foam roller. And since I hate going to the gym I am being creative and using the shutdown as my reason for not going.

What’s been the biggest challenge to maintaining your running during this time?

Like everyone else, I want to comply with the new guidance for trail etiquette and this presents many new and sometimes humorous challenges. For example:  Should I pet the other runner’s friendly dog? How far off the trail should I get? Upwind/downwind? Should I say hi or are they trying to hold their breath?

How are you investing in your mental health these days?

I have been enjoying some of the best fishing in years lately.

As a health care worker, what are some of the largest ways that the COVID crisis has changed your work life in recent weeks?

I am an RN and I work full time at Life Flight Network and part time at St Pat’s ER. So much has changed. Quite a few patients have some combination of COVID symptoms; fever, cough, shortness of breath or travel history. This requires us to put on full PPE – gown, gloves, mask, and eye protection, while we treat them. There are lots of new changes to procedures both in the helicopter and in the ER to keep ourselves and the other patients safe. I am extremely proud of my coworkers at both Life Flight and St Pat’s . There are changes and new information almost every day and yet people are keeping up with it and maintaining good attitudes.

Are there any silver linings or positive moments you have experienced due to the COVID crises you would like to share?

Usually, finding out you have tested positive for the flu is bad news. Now, we can say, “I have great news, you have influenza A” (not COVID). As of April 3rd, about 95% of those with symptoms who were tested for COVID in Montana were negative. I think we are fortunate to live in Montana where the virus seems to be arriving later and our Governor took action early to call for social distancing.  By the way, did you know Governor Bullock is a trail runner? I knew he was a good person when he went around me at the Prickly Pear 12K a few years ago and nicely said, “Good Job!”

Where are you finding inspiration right now? (books, music, podcasts, people, etc.)

I’m really fortunate to have a healthy family, work that I enjoy, great local trails, and a pug.

What does the Missoula running community mean to you in a time like this?

While it is always fun to see someone I know while out running, it is even better now. It is great to visit even if standing farther apart than usual. And there even seems to be a common bond now with people I do not know as we both swing wide to keep our distance. We’ll be OK. We will high five again!


We enjoyed getting to hear from Larry and hope you did too! If you think this interview would add value to someone in your life, please consider forwarding this email to them.

Also, if you are enjoying the Quarantine Q&A series, or have a question you would like us to ask our interviewees, let us know! Email Mike@runnersedgemt.com.

Each week we interview members of our community to learn how the Corona Virus pandemic has impacted their lives, and how they are adapting in these challenging times. Our ‘Quarantine Interviewees’ are healthcare workers, small business owners, parents, service industry employees, and, of course, runners. We hope that by sharing the stories of our neighbors, we can find inspiration, solidarity, and connection as a community in the coming weeks and months. Please enjoy! 

For the second installment of the series we catch up with Josh Pierce. Josh is a healthcare worker at Providence St. Pats, an avid trail runner, a father of two, and and is currently in the middle of a goal to run every day for 1000 days straight! Get to know Josh and how he is working hard to stay healthy, motivated, active, and connected amidst these wild times.

 

Thanks for joining the quarantine Q&A! First off, how long have you lived in Missoula?

I was born in Plains and grew up in Missoula. My family and I moved away for a short time during my high school years but I’ve always considered this home. After graduating college in 2009 my wife and I moved back with plans of starting our careers and family here.

Are you training for an upcoming race? If so, which one? Has it been canceled or postponed?


My first race this year was the 10 mile Bitterroot Runoff, but it was recently postponed. At this point, I’m still planning to run the Pengelly Double Dip (Supernova) in June and the Beaverhead 55k in July.

Amidst these uncertain times, what challenges are you facing and how are you maintaining motivation?

Right now I’m trying to stay in shape for the Supernova and Beaverhead 55k. I’m really looking forward to the snow melting and being able to get into the backcountry for some longer runs.

In what ways are you staying active? 

I’m still going in to work so my weekday routine hasn’t changed much. I continue to trail run every week day at 4:45 am and feel its the best way to start any day! On the weekends we enjoy getting out on our bikes as a family and checking out the trails around our house.

Are you doing workouts at home? If so, how are you getting creative?

I’m trying to avoid being inside as much as possible while adhering to social distancing guidelines. However, my family and I are attempting to do at least 3, 15 minute workouts (weights, crossfit, yoga, etc.) each week in April. I haven’t done anything like this in a long time so it’s been fun and challenging!

What’s been the biggest challenge to maintaining your running during this time?

So far, running is the most consistent part of my life. At the start of 2018 a buddy and I started a challenge to run at least one mile a day, every day, for an entire year. In 2020 our group grew significantly to almost 70 people. Having a solid group of people to hold you accountable makes getting out so much easier! I’m trying to stay healthy enough to reach 1000 days in a row running OUTSIDE!

How are you investing in your mental health these days?

It’s been really great getting to spend extra time with my wife and kids. I’m working on finishing up a custom playhouse and checking chores off my list. Getting things done around the house gives me a great sense of accomplishment.

As a health care worker, what are some of the largest ways that the COVID crisis has changed your work life in recent weeks? 

My wife and I both work in the hospital and serve an extremely vulnerable group of patients. This means I need to do everything I can to stay healthy for my patients and family. One of the hardest jobs these days is finding time to home school our kindergartner. Luckily for us, his teacher is doing an amazing job and has given us all the tools we need for him to be successful.

Are there any silver linings or positive moments you have experienced due to the COVID crises you would like to share?

The best part about being home most of the time is being around family. I’m thankful for Skype happy hours, backyard bonfires, and living in a place where open space and public lands are right out our front door.

Where are you finding inspiration right now? (books, music, podcasts, people, etc.)

My inspiration comes from my family and the amazing group of friends that I’ve surrounded myself with.

What does the Missoula running community mean to you in a time like this?

The running and outdoor community in Missoula is incredible and I feel so lucky to be a part of it! Everyone is so supportive of one another and I know we’ll get through this together. Stay healthy, stay strong, social distance, and we’ll be racing together soon!


We enjoyed getting to hear from Josh and hope you did too! If you think this interview would add value to someone in your life, please consider forwarding this email to them.

Also, if you are enjoying the Quarantine Q&A series, or have a question you would like us to ask our interviewees, let us know! Email Mike@runnersedgemt.com.