Q&A with Mountain Runner Sandi Yukman

Sandi Yukman
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New Balance and RootsRated have teamed up to profile runners making a difference in their communities. We asked each of our runners a series of questions to learn a little more about what running means to them, where they like to run and what are some of their running goals.

Sandi Yukman is one of Colorado Springs' most dedicated runners, both to her craft and in her community. You can read more about her in her RootsRated profile.

Where does running fit into your life?
Running is my way to stay in shape for all I do and all I want to do.

What appeals to you most about running?
It’s so simple. There’s so little equipment.  I can put on my shoes, drive to Garden of the Gods, and I’m running.  You can do it any time, anywhere, by yourself.

Describe one of your best running experiences.
I did a race last year called the Kite Lake Triple.  (Runners run four fourteeners – Mounts Democrat, Cameron, Lincoln and Bross – either once, twice or three times.)   You get so much time at 14,000 feet. I love that.

Your worst running experience?
I signed up for a half-marathon in a small town in California. I went to dinner the night before, and everybody was all psyched about the marathon.  I got to the startling line, and thought, ‘I can do a marathon. I hadn’t trained for it, but what the heck? I can get out at 10 miles and turn around any time I want.’  But it wasn’t an out-and-back. It was a gigantic loop, so I had to finish. The last six miles were the hardest of my life.’

Have you had any injuries?
I’m pretty healthy. I don’t get blisters, and I’ve never had shin splints. I have had both knees scoped because of bone spurs, and I think I can get another 10 years out of them.

What’s one thing about you that surprises people?
I’m a hunter.  I love fishing and hunting elk and deer.  We’ve been married 26 years, and I have not bought beef in all that time.  We have all the elk and deer we need.

What are you afraid of?
I hate lightning.  I’m not a big fan of being up there and having nowhere to go in a lightning storm.

What’s your advice to people who ask about running?
They say, ‘oh, you are so good at it.’  I tell them to think of running or working out like brushing your teeth.  You never have a morning when you don’t get up and brush your teeth. There’s no negotiation.  It’s that simple.

Where is your favorite place in the world?
The Silverton and Ouray (Colo.) area – in southwest Colorado.  I can’t get enough of that part of the country.

What do you think about when you run?
Running is my non-thinking time. I listen to my music – hip hop to country to pop – whatever has the right rhythm.  And I just run.

What’s on your to-do list?
We want to hike the Pacific Crest Trail, and climb Kilimanjaro.  We are planning a hiking trip in Patagonia, and while we are there, we’ll go to Antarctica. That’s my last continent.

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