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.

Welcome to the Quarantine Q+A

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 first installment of the series we catch up with Sara Boughner. Sara is a licensed and practicing physical therapist at Sapphire PT in Missoula, a member of the Women’s Big Dipper Running Team, a dog lover, and most recently she won the Siuslaw Dunes 25K trail race in Oregon last month! Get to know Sara and how she 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 have lived in Missoula since September 2014, but it seems like forever since Missoula feels like home.

 

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

I am training for the Scout Mountain 21 miler in June, and ultimately the High Lonesome 100 in July, but the word is still out about whether or not those will happen. I have been dreaming of alternative adventures in Montana in the event that my races get cancelled, but mostly I am taking it day by day and training for life!

 

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

I imagine that I am facing similar challenges as many people right now. To name a few: uncertainty, consideration for how I can be the most helpful to my community, and how to stay mentally and physically healthy when routines and rhythms have gone awry. Maintaining motivation is multi-faceted for me. I start with recognition of gratitude for what I have: the ability to move my body; the ability to go outside (alone); a network of friends, family, and colleagues who support me in figuring out how to most responsibly navigate this ever-changing situation. It is a wild ride right now, and I am thankful to additionally lean on my running coach to not only get me out the door every day, but also make sure that I am not doing too much and putting myself at risk for injury.

 

In what ways are you staying active? 

I have been running solo on the roads and trails, trying to avoid crowds and also maintain stewardship of our trails by stepping off and waiting for others to pass. Walks and hiking with our dogs have remained a necessary part of the routine, as well. I keep thinking about dusting off my mountain bike, but the call of putting my feet on the ground is still too strong.

 

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

I have been doing some workouts at home, though my usual routine is mostly running. For my running-specific strengthening I have been getting creative with weighted squats, step ups, and heel raises while wearing my loaded-up backpack. I have been motivated to keep up with core and push ups by staying accountable to friends on a text thread where we text “DONE!” to each other every day.

 

How are you investing in your mental health these days?

Mostly I pet my dogs. Running, deep breathing, lots of sleep, and remembering to take the pressure off everything I do has also been important for me. Taking moments to sit in the sunshine (when it makes an appearance), doing virtual hang outs with friends, and simply acknowledging my stress levels have also been helpful. Gratitude and perspective are always important for my mental health, though this is often easier said than done for me. At this point, my mantra has become, “smile through the suck.”

 

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 work as a physical therapist at Sapphire Physical Therapy, an outpatient orthopedic clinic in Missoula. The COVID pandemic has significantly impacted our caseload, and I have transitioned my patients to telehealth visits. We are currently adapting to a new reality in healthcare, and we are continually evaluating ways to safely offer the care that our patients need. Though I am not a healthcare worker on the “frontlines,” it is important to recognize that COVID-19 has impacted the healthcare system as a whole, and will likely transform how primary and secondary care is accessed for the time being.

 

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

Appreciation for time spent with others has been a huge silver lining to see across the board. Seeing families out for hikes and walks fills my heart. In any time of crisis, it is always inspiring to see how others bring kindness to the table. Simple acts like making masks for healthcare workers and grocery shopping for others in higher-risk categories are some of the stories that will get us through this time.

 

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

The Physical Performance Show Podcast with Brad Beer, and NPR’s Hidden Brain Podcast. I just finished Where the Crawdads Sing as my fictional escape.

 

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

The Missoula running community has always served as an incredible support network. I look to Runner’s Edge, Run Wild Missoula, Missoula Parks and Rec, and Montana Trail Crew for leadership and guidance regarding how to maintain physical distancing while running and keep our trails from being negatively impacted. Most importantly, though, the running community in Missoula serves as family during a time like this. We understand and respect each other’s need to run for our health, and also know that we can lean on each other (metaphorically) if needed. Seth Swanson’s “Keep Your Distance Phatty” [virtual challenge and food bank fundraiser] was a great example of this.

 

Anything else you would like to share?

Of course, a big thank you to everyone who is working tirelessly to lessen the impact of this virus. Additionally, an appeal for kindness. Approach every situation, no matter how infuriating, with kindness to each other and yourself. It is a big task, but the last thing we need right now is unnecessary negativity. Stay safe, practice appropriate physical distancing for the greater good, and remember we are all in this together.

 

We enjoyed getting to hear from Sara 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.

 

Evie Tate put on a show at the Treadmill Challenge pulling away dramatically in the last four minutes. In 2018 she finished 4th in the Missoula Marathon, and won the Elk Ramble. Evie is also in her second year of Physical Therapy school.
Name: Evie Tate
Hometown: Spartanburg, SC
What brought you to Missoula? I moved here for physical therapy school and the goal is to stay here once I graduate.  I love the proximity of the mountains and also, have yet to find a pizza better than Biga’s so I can’t ever leave!
How long have you been running? I have been running competitively on a team for 11-12 years but really have been going on runs for fun pretty much as long as I can remember.
You ran for a very competitive Clemson program. What has the transition been like from collegiate running with a coach and a team, to running for yourself? Though I loved having the opportunity to live out a dream and compete at the collegiate level, I have really enjoyed competing for myself on my own terms.  I thought I would take an extended break from running once I finished, but I sort of fell back in love with the sport again.  Moving here has been a fun challenge running and training for longer trail races (and the occasional treadmill competition) rather than a fast 5K on the track.
What’s been your favorite thing about the Missoula running community? I love all the people I have met so far! That is another thing I love about Missoula is how large the running community is.  It makes the races seem more like a social event rather than a stressful competition.
What are you training for this year? I will be running the Bitterroot Runoff and am a part of a relay team for the Hootenanny 100K.  I may try to find a faster road marathon later in the year.
Thanks Evie! Good luck this summer!
Tammie was nominated for Runner of the Month by a friend who she helped motivate to be active consistently. They are both now working on the Frozen Feet Challenge and towards bigger goals this summer!

Name: Tammie Dry
How long have you been running? I started running in spring of 1992 to lose weight and get fit. My grandpa was a long-distance runner and in great shape. I started by running laps up and down my street. My goal was to run a marathon with my grandpa. I completed the LA Marathon in 1995 with not just my grandpa, but an uncle and my brother too. I’ve been running consistently ever since.
What do you enjoy most about the running/walking community? I love the year-round opportunities in Missoula. There is no excuse to delay getting out there and being active. You can always find someone to walk/run/hike with and you can always start training for an upcoming event. The positive, welcoming community makes the hard work more fun!
You’re currently doing the Frozen Feet Challenge; why did you sign up? Even after years of running and being active, I still need motivation to get outside. This challenge provides the push I need when the day gets away from me, the temperature drops, or the snow falls. My type A personality won’t let me leave even one of those little boxes by my name empty!
You were nominated for Runner of the Month by a friend you convinced to start getting out and now she is considering a half marathon. First, nice work! Second, how are you able to get friends excited to spend time outside, especially this time of year? Well, strategically I started working on them back in the fall, so when the colder weather and snow finally came we were already in the habit of meeting and we were all kind of hooked on that time together. With busy schedules it sometimes is our only chance to catch up and check in with each other, so the uphill trudge through the snow and great workout is the bonus! When friends are texting you to hike/run/walk in the morning, you need a pretty good excuse not to make it.
What do you have on your running calendar this year? I’m super excited to be participating in the Missoula Half this year with not only some great friends but also my 66 years young mother. She has always been an example to me of living an active and healthy life, and she has traveled to support me in many races over the years, so this year we will be walking those 13 miles together! It will be the first half marathon for everyone I’m racing with, and I can’t wait to share the amazing experience with them!