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HomeRunningStephanie Case Pre-2022 Hardrock 100 Interview – iRunFar

Stephanie Case Pre-2022 Hardrock 100 Interview – iRunFar


Canada’s Stephanie Case will make her first lap of Colorado’s San Juan Mountains in the course of the 2022 Hardrock 100. On this interview, our first with Stephanie, she talks about her life and her work in human rights, how she discovered her technique to racing very lengthy mountain ultramarathons, and her ideas forward of Hardrock.

To see who else is racing, learn our in-depth 2022 Hardrock 100 preview.

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Stephanie Case Pre-2022 Hardrock 100 Interview Transcript

iRunFar: Meghan Hicks of iRunFar. I’m with Stephanie Case. It’s a few days earlier than the 2022 Hardrock 100. Hello, Stephanie.

Stephanie Case: Hello, Meghan.

iRunFar: Welcome to Silverton. Welcome to Hardrock.

Case: Thanks a lot. We’ve simply been laughing as a result of I’m fearful about being out of breath on this interview. [laughs] However don’t lose confidence in me. I can do it.

iRunFar: And you’ve got two extra days to acclimatize for Friday, for Hardrock.

Case: Yeah, which is like, loads of time. And my watch tells me my acclimatization goes up. So it’s good.

iRunFar: Off we go then. This interview is just a little bit unfair as a result of we’re mates and I do know so much about you, however that is iRunFar’s first on-camera interview with you, so I’d like to again issues up and listen to a bit about who you’re. You’ve gotten a fairly vital job whenever you’re not utilizing your little feets to run across the mountains.

Case: [laughs] Sure. So I work for the United Nations. I’ve been working in human rights. I’m a lawyer. For in regards to the final 15 years. And now I’ve simply taken, a number of months in the past, I took a brand new job working within the Center East, so serving to Palestinian refugees, working throughout Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, West Financial institution, and Gaza.

iRunFar: Are you allowed to say the place you’re primarily based or the place you really work?

Case: Yeah, for this summer season, I’ve been primarily based in Amman in Jordan, however doing a variety of journey across the area, significantly as a result of I’m new. So, touring fairly a bit, however as quickly as Hardrock is over, I principally transfer all my stuff to Jerusalem.

iRunFar: With like grand whole altitudes of about 100 meters above sea degree is that?

Case: Yeah nicely, I joked, , everybody advised me I wanted to follow operating at excessive altitude and I simply by chance went the incorrect method as a result of I used to be on the Useless Sea like a month in the past.

iRunFar: [laughs] Beneath sea degree?

Case: It was like -400 meters. So messed that one up, however yeah.

iRunFar: [laughs] You mentioned the opposite method. You additionally assist function a nonprofit known as Free to Run. I imply, you’re not a busy woman in any respect.

Stephanie Case: Yeah, I began Free to Run about eight years in the past in Afghanistan. It’s presently working in Iraq. And we’re nonetheless exploring methods to maintain a foothold, or toehold shall we embrace, in Afghanistan.

iRunFar: I see what you probably did there.

Case: Yeah. After the Taliban took over the nation final August we actually needed to shift in direction of evacuating our workforce, however Free to Run is all about utilizing out of doors sports activities and journey to create feminine leaders in areas of battle as a result of we consider, and I strongly consider, that when ladies and women are seen outside, once they’re seen, that modifications the concepts and the views that folks have locally in regards to the roles that they need to be enjoying in society.

iRunFar: Individuals, ladies coming to occupy more room in numerous areas.

Case: Yeah, and reclaiming public house that they’ve been pushed out of. And, , that exists in a really excessive kind in Afghanistan, or in another locations of battle. However, , I feel we want much more visibility of girls, on the mountains, on the paths, even in locations just like the US or Canada or Europe.

iRunFar: Talking of Canada, I hear the residual accent. It’s in there. You might be Canadian. Did you discover operating and sports activities, like whenever you have been a child or yeah, someplace in your worldwide like work, or how have you ever turn out to be a runner? Of like large mountain trails, too?

Case: Yeah. You understand, after I was a child, I used to be only a faculty geek actually? I didn’t. I didn’t have …

iRunFar: That’s nice. All of us have been.

Case: No like, severely, I keep in mind I really made a criticism in opposition to my math instructor to the steering counselor as a result of he hadn’t given me extracurricular homework. It was, anyway, shifting on.

iRunFar: Self-identify, right here we’re.

Case: We’re shifting on. So I used to be not a sport particular person. Yeah, I imply, I can keep in mind driving across the streets, operating across the neighborhood, simply feeling this whole freedom. However I did one race, I feel in grade 5. And I used to be so embarrassed about how like, my face turned crimson, and I used to be so harassed about, , simply competing in opposition to different those that that was, , the one race I actually did. So, I didn’t decide up sports activities till later. I joined. Nicely, I used to be a sailor, sort of in highschool. Yeah, I taught crusing. So yeah, kicking and screaming.

iRunFar: That shall be helpful right here. [laughs]

Case: My dad introduced me into crusing classes kicking and screaming, and I hated it till I discovered a really, extremely popular teacher. [laughs]

iRunFar: We’re getting full honesty right here.

Case: So, that’s how I grew to become a runner. No. [laughs] Then I grew to become a varsity rower.

iRunFar: That is superb.

Case: That is terrible. [laughs] College Reverend Faculty, after which in regulation faculty I simply needed to strive a marathon and I assumed that that might be the largest problem that I’d ever carried out. And I watched all these YouTube movies of individuals making an attempt to complete marathons and , Ironman, within the ’80s. Did Ironman exist within the ’80s? Anyway, that is my reminiscence.

iRunFar: I imply, the glasses did so I feel possibly early ’90s.

Case: Yeah. And , crawling throughout the end line. And I used to be like, so excited to expertise that, that degree of problem and it simply …

iRunFar: Placing your self solely on the market.

Case: Yeah. And, and it simply, , wasn’t. I didn’t do an important marathon, however I completed it and, , the considered sort of coaching for one more yr, one other couple of years, to deliver my marathon time down by 10 minutes or 20 minutes simply appeared like pure madness to me. I imply, I don’t take away from anybody who does that. However I used to be fairly within the distance side of it. And , how a lot additional can I am going to make {that a} problem? And that’s simply sort of what’s saved me entering into ultrarunning I assume.

iRunFar: And also you’ve taken that to love sort of an excessive. I imply, you’ve carried out Tor des Géants, which is over 200 miles. Tor des Glaciers, which is 300 and what number of miles?

Case: So, 450k. I feel that’s 287 miles. Yeah.

iRunFar: Okay. Simply shy of 300.

Case: Yeah.

iRunFar: I imply, like, you’ve simply taken that distance factor and run with it. Sorry, pun, pardon me.

Case: Yeah, I imply, I haven’t but discovered that distance that’s, that’s too lengthy. And , I feel we’re all the identical the place, , your mind is simply set for no matter distance you inform it it ought to be set for. And so, , the second that I crossed the end line at Tor des Glaciers, and took off my footwear, I couldn’t stroll a single step. I imply, it’s …

iRunFar: The underside line, no.

Case: It didn’t, like there was no method that I might even put my foot down on the bottom. I needed to be carried round for the following 24 hours to and from the bars, actually. [laughs]

iRunFar: [laughs]

Case: So yeah, I’m fairly … I’m fairly , , to see how a lot additional that may be pushed. I’m not quick. I’m by no means going to be quick, and it doesn’t excite me to attempt to run quicker. However to attempt to simply preserve going additional for longer in a really sleep disadvantaged state, I simply discover unimaginable.

iRunFar: So, right here at Hardrock, it’s simply 102.5 miles this yr, however there are another extenuating circumstances which are most likely going that can assist you discover a restrict of some kind. [thunder booms] Like that. [points at sky]

Case: Yeah, I feel the altitude for certain goes to be the toughest for me. It’s, I’m simply actually drained. And , I’ve tried all of this stuff. I purchased this altitude machine and, , went by the navy and the police and , all of those different officers to attempt to get it to Jordan, after which, , in my final month, I really obtained approval to return out and practice in Chamonix.

So my machine is again in Jordan. And I wasn’t in a position to make use of it that a lot after I was there. So yeah, I imply, the hassle has been there, it’s simply the execution might be not nice. However , I feel everybody’s going to be in the identical boat just a little bit. Apart from the entire, , all of the runners who’re primarily based in Colorado, or who’ve had an opportunity to be in Colorado. I don’t know.

I imply, I don’t know what else will chunk me. I feel it’s a distinct, , the climbs are huge. I’ve carried out these kinds of climbs earlier than. I’ve carried out the space earlier than, nevertheless it’s all, each race is, each race is new. And it’s simply sort of throwing a bunch of issues right into a bag and shaking it up and seeing what you pull out. Yeah, yeah.

iRunFar: On that newness and that differentness side, what will get you enthusiastic about Hardrock? Like whenever you’re laying in mattress at evening? What are you want, “I’m actually stoked about this”?

Case: For me, it’s going to be simply the rawness of the mountains. The surroundings, , I like to simply disappear as a lot as I can. I don’t like large races. I don’t like lots of people round. I like to simply disappear into the wilderness and expertise regardless of the parts are throwing out. And I’m actually excited this yr that there’s 27 ladies.

That for me, it’s one thing that all of us have to have a good time and we have to, yeah, actually need to focus on. Definitely, I’d wish to see far more ladies on this race, however I feel it’s vital to focus on the variety of ladies which are there and I hope I’ll get to see a few of them.

iRunFar: We’re going to be taking a look at ponytails this yr as a substitute of similar to, dude hats.

Case: Yeah, I imply, a few of the dudes do have ponytails.

iRunFar: Sorry, I didn’t imply to overgeneralize that; simply enthusiastic about bouncing ponytails, okay? [laughs]

Case: [laughs] Man buns. Nicely, I do prefer to be alone. I really like attending to …

iRunFar: Okay I gained’t speak to you in the course of the race. [laughs]

Case: [laughs] What I used to be going to say was, I really like interacting with different ladies on the path. And many of the races I do, there’s so few ladies, you simply don’t have that likelihood. And so, with 27 ladies, , possibly there’s an opportunity that I’ll get to talk, not with , you [iRunFar’s Meghan Hicks is also racing] or Maggie [Guterl] or any of the opposite robust ones. Perhaps there’s another person, , round the place I’m sitting within the race that I’ll get to share a number of miles with, which I simply assume shall be actually cool. Yeah.

iRunFar: Nicely, I sit up for watching you make your first lap across the San Juan Mountains and I really like the thought of like, disappearing your self for a day or two.

Case: Yeah, me too. It’s simply that is my break from work stress the place I can simply disconnect, . The final race I did, the Tor des Glaciers, it was proper after we had simply evacuated ladies and women from Afghanistan, and I used to be nonetheless getting pinged, , every day. And in order that race for me, I actually needed to give myself permission to vanish, nevertheless it was tied in with a variety of guilt. And there was additionally a movie occurring, which is displaying tonight.

iRunFar: In simply a few hours.

Case: Yeah, however , there’s stress concerned in that as nicely as a result of then you might have drones, and shooters, and it’s fairly arduous to get that utterly immersive expertise. And I’ve obtained nothing to show right here. And I’ve no guilt with shutting off my cellphone this time, so.

iRunFar: I like it. Shut ‘er down.

Case: Yeah, it’s going off.

iRunFar: And good luck together with your lap across the mountains.

Case: Thanks! You, too! Get a beer for me on the finish. [laughs]

iRunFar: Get a beer for me on the finish.

Case: [laughs]

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