Name: Olga Helmy

How many years have you been running?  I ran intermittently and then only half-heartedly for years, mostly during the off-season from biotech fieldwork, but after I had my second child four years ago, I signed up for a road running class in Vancouver, BC, where we were living at the time. I can’t say I enjoyed it, but it taught me a few tricks and improved my fitness enough that by the time we moved back to Missoula in 2016, I was in shape enough to start running trails. We lived at the base of Mount Jumbo and for the first few weeks, I just hiked up as fast as I could go, and then bombed down, several times a week. Eventually the hiking evolved into something resembling running and by then I had just fallen in love with the movement and sustained effort. It’s pretty addicting.

Do you prefer road or trail running, why? Definitely trail running. I like the challenge of footwork and balance that comes with moving over uneven terrain. And I love bombing down mountains. It feels like flying.

What has been your favorite running event? Because I just started running in earnest in the summer of 2016 I haven’t run in very many events. My husband and I climbed Mt Kinabalu in Borneo as part of the Climbathon in 2010. I made good time to the top and it’s pretty hard to beat that view, but I didn’t really do much running. In 2016, a friend tried get me to sign up for the Elk Ramble, but I thought it seemed too far to run hard. Honestly, I didn’t think I could do it. It’s funny to think that the following year I ran the Rut 28k and it didn’t feel like that big of a deal. Not having 28k, 7,500 feet of elevation gain feel like a big deal was such a mind warp. I had to come to terms with a new definition of self, I had more discipline and determination than I ever knew. Being over 40 isn’t all bad.

What is your favorite thing about running? Definitely the descent!

You recently improved on your 2017 Bitterroot Runoff time by 7 minutes! What’s your secret? Well, a few weeks ago I started the Run Wild Missoula Avanced trail running class and picked up a few skills. It’s good to have some coaching from folks who know what they are doing. Also, the race was on my birthday and I wanted to beat my time from the previous year, so I had some internal competition!

What do you have on your running calendar for the rest of the year? Eventwise, the Pengally Double Dip and the Rut 50k are looming on the horizon. But mostly they are just targets to aim for. For me, the real bliss comes in just in getting out there every week.

If you show up to any race in the Missoula area, chances are you’ll see Kailee Carnes at the start line. Trail or road, she’s always looks happy to be there. This winter she’s also rallied a group to hit the trails, despite the snow, and they have been consistently running every Sunday for the last few months. Next time you bump in to her on the trails, stop and say hi.
Name:   Kailee Carnes
Number of Years Running:   14 years
Favorite Run:  It’s hard to pick a favorite. I love all the trails around Missoula but my favorite runs are all day adventures with high alpine lakes and running along mountain ridges. All of Glacier National Park and the State Line trail near Heart Lake top the list.
What are you training for?   The Rut 50k and RATBOB
You just went on a big trail running tour of the Southwest. Where did you go and what was your favorite place to run?  We managed to fit in runs in Zion, Grand Canyon, Sedona, Tucson, Joshua Tree and Red Rock Canyon.  It’s a tough choice but my favorite would be the Grand Canyon. We ran down the Bright Angel trail to the bottom of the canyon and across the Colorado River twice and back up the South Kaibab trail. It was an amazing experience I’ll never forget.
What is your favorite thing about running?  The amazing places running can take you. Plus, that runner’s high is real good.
What’s your food of choice during a run?  I eat a lot of bars. I like to mix it up with type/flavor to keep it exciting. Peach gummy rings and Huma gels are good too.

Zeke Campfield is a wonderful example of how dedication to running pays off. After making some life changes he picked up running and has made it a habit. You can find Zeke and many of the local races always having a good time.

Name: Zeke Campfield

Age: 36

Number of Years Running: Four in April

What got you started running? I ran my first mile as an adult almost four years ago when I checked into a treatment center for addiction. My life felt so dark at that moment that I was willing to take any suggestion for turning it around, and it was suggested that exercise might do me some good. I chose running because my dad was a lifelong marathoner.

Why do you keep running? At this point, there’s no stopping. My physical fitness is not only a huge component of my overall mental, emotional and spiritual health – it’s also the easiest way to measure my growth over the past four years. Faster miles, longer distances, leaner body … I like to think that reflects similar – but less measurable – progress in my heart and soul.

What has been your favorite running memory? Honestly, I have not reached a plateau, so every time I get out there is more amazing than the last. Personal feats aside, the friendship and support offered me by other runners (you know who you are) is something for which I’m deeply grateful.

Are you training for anything in particular? I’m not sure when or how, but I’d like to eventually transition from road races into trail running and do something epic! I got to witness the Bighorn Trail Run down in Wyoming two years ago, and I think it’s calling …

What do you enjoy doing that’s non-running related? What I enjoy more than anything, running included, is finding ways to give thanks for all these blessings of recovery by extending a hand to those who still struggle. I felt hopeless four years ago, my life is more rich today – and trust me, that’s not all my doing. The least I can do is pay it forward.

Name:  Becky Dettmann (or as my friends call me Forrest Gump)

Number of Years Running: 2.5 years

What got you Started Running? “Hey I’m thinking about getting a group together to run on the Great Wall in China.”  These were the words uttered to me by one of my good friends and I thought that be cool. There was a Full Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K and 5K literally right on the Great Wall – I thought to myself what a cool experience…why not. I started training for the 5K because previously to that I never ran before. I was and always will be first a dancer. I was trained extensively in ballet, tap, and jazz – I thought sure I can run…its only 3.1 miles. I trained rigorously during my busy season, with an estimated 15,000+ stairs on the course – the stair climber was my best friend. I successfully ran the 5K in 2015 and then after that I stopped running till I moved to Montana from Wisconsin. I was looking for a way to meet new people so I joined the Running 101 class and then the Running 102 class. Next I found myself training for the Missoula Half Marathon with the Jeff Galloway Program…in July 2017 I successfully ran the Missoula Half Marathon and went on to run 3 more half’s that same year.  The rest is history.

What’s your favorite thing about running? For those seconds…minutes…miles…I am thinking about nothing but the pain of running. With each footstep, breath, and turn, it’s just about me – running. It doesn’t matter what happened 5 minutes ago or what’s coming – for those minutes I am free from my thoughts and worries. There is just something so perfect about that.

What is your best running memory? Every time I see that arch of the finish line, no matter if it’s a 5K, 10K, or Half Marathon. The sense of accomplishment from when my foot crosses that rubber ramp for the chip timer to that last burst of energy that I thought was long gone miles ago. The most memorable finish line crossing was of course at the Missoula Half in 2017.  It was my first half marathon and running the bridge with people lined up on both sides…people cheering, cowbells ringing…I still can close my eyes and see it, there are no words.

What goals do you have for this next year of running? Some of my goals include improving my speed, double my running miles from 2017, and beating my previous year’s Missoula Half Marathon time.

What keeps you getting out the door everyday? Sunrises and sunsets…if I can time my run just right – there is just something so magical about these when it involves the mountains surrounding Missoula.

Thanks Becky! Good luck beating your 2017 1/2 Marathon time, we will be cheering for you!

Name: Santa “The Grinch” Claus

Age: 1,747 years old

Why do you run? I have plenty of excuses to not run – I’m old, it’s perpetually cold at my house, it’s dark most of the year, and I am carrying some excess weight because I eat too many cookies at work – but I set all of those aside and force myself out the door every morning. Partially I run to stay in shape for the kids of the world. Partially I run to train for my big event each year, the Worldwide Dash. Mostly though I run for me. Running keeps me sane. It’s a chance to escape the elves, a chance to breathe fresh air, and a chance to keep my cookie gut in check.

When did you start running? I first laced up my running boots way back in 1347. The Black Plague was just going crazy and I had to move faster that Christmas. I started running to avoid the plague and never looked back.

What’s on your running calendar coming up? Next up is the Light the Way 5k, one of my favorite events every year, and then I of course and doing my annual Worldwide Dash a few days later.

Any advice for aspiring runners? Try not to drink more than a gallon of eggnog before each run. And consistency is key. I never run too far, but I run often and that’s what’s kept me injury free.

James Sapp has run just about every trail race that RE Events offers, as well as most of the Run Wild Missoula races. The last couple years he has been a regularly participant in the RWM Advanced Trail Classes and has seen great improvement. 

Name: James Sapp

How many years have you been running? Around 3 years

Do you prefer roads or trails, why? Trails! I think they play to my strengths and allow me to explore places that I think are interesting. I get really motivated when I’m trying to see a new place or summit a peak.

What keeps you getting out of bed in the morning head out for a run? The joy that I will feel from the experience. I run a lot by myself so it is a great time to have set-aside just for me. In the winter I usually stay in bed in the morning with a toasty beverage and run or ski in the evening/night.

You recently had a great race at the Blue Mountain 30k, how did that day go for you? It went smashingly well. This summer my training was a little different due to being away from home and not racing at all. I felt like last season I had put too much pressure on myself to push myself and run fast. So I dialed it back and just made sure I was getting out there and enjoying myself. After I returned to Missoula I was able to sneak into the Blue Mountain 30k a couple weeks before the race and I really had no expectations since I had never ran that distance before. During the race I just felt amazing and had one of the best performances ever. I remember thinking “I feel way too good to be running this fast” at the halfway mark. I could hardly stop smiling the whole race.

What goals do you have for running in 2018? I just want keep feeling good on as many runs as possible! I think that a big part of that is letting go of the expectations I have for myself. For me, that seems to be the key to running well and enjoying the sport. I would like to dabble in some longer distances in the future too. I had a great time training on skate skis and snowshoes last winter. I would like to continue getting out in the snow this year.

Thanks James! Enjoy the snow and we will see you on the trails next season.