Heather Gothard, Austin, TX - PATH projects KREW
I am a Native Texan who moved to Austin this year. I grew up playing team sports, competing in basketball, softball and football as a kid. My dream was to be the first girl to play in the NFL but after a hard tackle I retired at age 8.
In 2016, I ran my first road half marathon and hated it. That fall some friends invited me to run a Spartan Trail Race and I had an instant attraction to the trails. I ran my first ultra trail race (50k) in 2018, finishing second place and never looked back. I spent the summer of ‘19 in Snowmass Village, CO training, pacing and crewing runners in 100 mile races. I was super inspired by the grit I saw and the beautiful scenery. I signed up for my first 100 miler in 2020 where I finished first and broke the women’s course record.
My focus now and likely forever is learning as much as I can about ultra-endurance running. I aspire to be a top competitor in trail running by the time I reach the Master’s division!
Running accomplishment(s) you are proud of
My favorite race is the North Face Endurance Challenge 50 miler in San Francisco. Running across the Golden Gate Bridge into Crissy Field to the finish line was epic! The views were incredible and the climbs were deceivingly tough. It was also the first race my family came out to crew me which made the experience even more beautiful.
Any races or adventures on your horizon and / or bucket list?
Western States is definitely a bucket list race. In 2022 I’m planning to return to Bryce Canyon for a redemption race after taking a DNF this year. I’m also looking at some mountain races in Colorado - TBD.
Your favorite PATH projects gear?
My favorite PATH Projects gear are the Sykes PX 7” short and the Simple Mountain Topo shirt. I prefer long-seam running shorts and they are perfect length. Both the shorts and shirt absorb sweat really well, important for running in Texas heat!
What do you enjoy about running?
I enjoy the flow state of running when time is no longer linear. Whether I’m on a long run or in a race, it’s a time for me to connect and be one with the trail and nature.
Advice for runners looking to improve?
I don’t know if this is advice for improving, but staying present in the moment with gratitude is my favorite way to run. As a minimalist runner, take what you need and leave the rest. Lastly, a good friend once told me, run with JOY!.
Social channels you are most active on?
Instagram. I’m not super tech savvy but can manage to create a good story here and there.
Learn about all other KREW members HERE.