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Somer Kreisman the Habitual Runner

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Headshot of Corrine Malcolm, Editor-in-Chief at Freetrail

By: Corrine Malcolm

Freetrail Editor-in-Chief and co-host of the Trail Society podcast.

A self-proclaimed “habitual runner” Somer Kreisman‘s wide ranging interests and skills, to me, screams renaissance woman. A road runner who found her way to the trail, a physical therapist who found her way behind the camera, I have to wonder “What can’t Somer do?” Get to know a little bit more about the Freetrail fan and mountain goat in the following interview and video by Ryan Thrower.

Somer run's under the Cascade giants

FT: Somer, you’ve appeared in quite a few images produced by our very own Ryan Thrower for Freetrail – introduce yourself to the Freetrail community!

SK: Hi, I’m Somer (pronounced like the season). I’m a physical therapist by weekday, a photographer by weekend. I love participating in both road running and trail running at a recreational level when I’m not in the clinic or out shooting. Also, big Freetrail fan 😎.

FT: How did you first discover trail running?

SK: In short, through peer pressure. I have a very talented trail running friend (Meredith Heestand) who convinced me to join her on a run at Tiger mountain. At the time I was exclusively a road runner, and I have never been more humbled athletically by anything as much as I was on that run. So naturally when you’re terrible at something the response is to keep doing it until you’re less bad at it, right? Anyway. Here we are!

A bird takes flight in the Cascades

FT: Some of us find community in running – some of us turn to it for the solitude it provides. Why do you love miles out on the trail?

SK: I think for me it’s a good blend of both. One of my favorite sayings is β€œmovement is how the body tells the brain it’s alive.” It’s so easy to get lost in the monotony of the day-to-day weekday routine, so running before work gives me the chance to get some fresh air and reclaim some brain space for myself. As it turns out it’s also easy to get lost on the trails, so friends are great for company and navigation skills. A bonus of trail running is that I tend to get less injured than when I’m doing road-focused things, my delicate little bird bones prefer softer surfaces.

FT: We know that you are a race photographer – how did you get into a job (or passion) behind the lens?

SK: I received a BFA degree in photography in 2012 that I never really used until 2020. I started photographing my running club’s cross-country meets when I was injured as a way to participate in the running community in a more low-impact way. Then Ryan, who was shooting for local companies at the time, introduced me to the wild world of trail race photography.

FT: For those new to trail running, maybe being talked onto the trails for the first time what advice can you offer them?

SK: Bring a map. Stretch your calves. Take as many photos as you can!


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