Run Like You Care

At Princeton, Boulder resident Clare Gallagher, 28, professional ultrarunner and climate advocate, studied coral ecology and ran cross country and track. Her time outdoors made her realize the importance of protecting the environment, explaining, “Running outside turned me into an environmentalist.”

Clare began running professionally in 2016 after winning the Leadville 100. She’s since won Western States (2019), CCC 101k (2017, UTMB series) and has the Fastest Known Times on the Zion Traverse and Joshua Tree Traverse.

Today as a Patagonia global sports activist, she conducts store talks, writes for running magazines, volunteers for non-profits Protect Our Winters (POW) and Colorado Rising, and engages fellow trailrunners in environmental action.

On her radar is passage of the CORE Act (Colorado Outdoor Recreation Economy Act) that would protect 400,000 acres (78,000 of them as wilderness), and add new recreation management areas (RMAs). It passed the U.S. House of Representatives but is currently stalled in the Senate.

An athlete who runs 50-80 miles a week, often in her “personal cathedral” – Summit County’s Eagles Nest Wilderness – she has become politically active as well. “Wilderness doesn’t come for free. If we work and play in the outdoors, we have to vote like we care about it.”

Gallagher adds, “Earth is our home and you don’t have to be a professional ultra runner to be a climate advocate. Caring about our running experience means we care about our environment.” (

Cover photo by Brendan Davis

Related Stories


Blues from the Top Music Festival Celebrates 18 Years of Blues on August 14, 2021

On Saturday, August 14, 2021, Grand County’s Winter Park will host the 18th Annual Blues from the Top (BFTT) ‘Day of Blues’ from 11AM-7PM...

Get Outdoors Like Never Before with Adventure Pass!

Want to participate in a variety of awesome outdoor adventures year-round? Well, it’s easy with RMOC’s Adventure Pass, an affordable pass offering access to...

Buena Vista Outfitter Takes Outdoor Skills to the Next Level

So you’ve lived in Colorado for a few years now. You have even climbed to the top of several fourteeners and gone backcountry ski...

The All-New Looper MIPS Helmet

Sweet Protection is based in Norway and was founded by a tight-knit group of skiers, riders, cyclists and paddlers, looking to make the best...