Runner Profile

Profile: Cara Baskin

By: Matt Sherman

Name: Cara Baskin

Town: Thetford, VT

Where are you from originally and what brought you to this area?

Moved from PA to NH 8 years ago for grad school and ended up staying.

What do you do professionally?

I work in healthcare, though I took a break last summer to work on a farm. Free strength training and organic veggies!

How long have you been running? 

19 years!

How long have you been running competitively?

17 years!

Why do you run?

The “why” started to follow in my sister’s footsteps, continued for the friends and teammates, and is now about adventure. At this point I can’t stop and I don’t want to find a reason to!

Recent memorable moment while running?

There is something memorable about almost every run. I think summiting Moosilauke solo in a complete whiteout this winter is pretty high on the list. That and feeding birds out of my hand on Carrigain.

Best athletic accomplishment and why?

Probably finishing the VT100 mile race in 95° heat and humidity. Considering I can’t even stay hydrated at work I’m not sure how I pulled that off.

If you like to race, favorite race distance? Why? 

I’m not a huge fan of racing but the 50 mile distance is a fun one! The expectation for speed is off and the training doesn't have to take over your life.

Training partners?

I try to find a good mix of solo runs, one on one time and group runs. Sometimes you want the conversation, sometimes you need the vent session and sometimes you need to set your own pace and think (or not).

Cross training activities? 

Hiking! I also try to keep up with yoga, swimming & biking.

Favorite local running route?

Routes that include Bragg Hill in Norwich! I used to be so scared of that hill and now I look forward to it and the view from the top. 

Favorite post run treat? 

Carrots and hummus. Always hummus.

Strangest place ever run? 

I did a four mile run on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah on a cross country roadtrip. It was pancake flat across pure white salt patterns and pretty freeing to run aimlessly towards the sunset.

Any notable streaks or other unusual running events?

Last year I did a virtual David Goggins challenge with my friends from college. 4 miles every 4 hours for 48 hours. I added a goal of 8000’ of vert. It was harder than I thought and definitely scary running alone in the dark in the middle of the night!

Who is your running “idol”? 

I don’t think I idolize any one runner but like to appreciate something from a bunch of people I know or follow. Courtney Dauwalter has a never give up grit I admire. Magda Boulet continues to be fast and successful across decades and teaches me about nutrition and being humble. Alyssa Godesky spreads her talent across ultras and the triathlon which makes her super durable. And Alexi Pappas brings an artistic and poetic identity to the running world.

I probably idolize friends in the Upper Valley more though. I’m continually impressed and inspired by our friends who keep pushing themselves and finding new ways to adventure.

Why did you join UVRC? 

I knew about UVRC for a year or two before I joined. Two of my grad program professors (Paul Gardent and Robin Larson!) always looked like they were having so much fun in the race photos they shared and I desperately wanted that. I moved here feeling like a runner but didn’t know who to share that with. 

I eventually joined because Lydia convinced me to! A mutual friend/coworker introduced me to her as “another young woman in the UV who runs.” Turns out that was enough of a connection and she was the door to the UV running community for me! 

Ever run in a costume? 

I dressed as a prairie girl in a DIY Oregon Trail themed running relay. Among me were tombstones and horses!

The only running shoe for me is ______________________. 

I’ve found comfort in Brooks, Salomon, Saucony and Inov-8. There’s a shoe for every kind of run.

Ever been injured? How did it happen?

Unfortunately, yes. I got shin splints for 9 months in college after I ran my first marathon and didn’t take a break after. A few months before Boston in 2019 I got IT band syndrome from running an ultra and going right into marathon training (sensing a theme?). I had to finish training on the bike and it actually worked out great for my race. In 2018 I tripped on a flat trail, put a hole in my knee down to the tendon, and limped for a few weeks, so I pulled out of the VT100 that year. Other than those, just constant niggles and aches!

Hot or cold weather runner? 

Hot! I can lose feeling in my fingers and toes too easily in the winter, plus sweating feels so good.

Morning or evening runner? 

Evening hands down. 

What is your motivation?

I like to feel fit and tired, I need the escape, and I want to see pretty things.

How did you become interested in running?

My sister joined the high school cross country team in 2002 because there were cute guys on the team. I wanted what she had, so I started running in middle school to supplement swimming and then joined the team in high school. 

What is your favorite race?

Not a race but I’m in love with rim to rim to rim across the Grand Canyon (and back). I’ve been twice and would go every year if I could.

What does your daily workout consist of?

Every day involves something pretty. I do things that make me feel like I went on an adventure from 5-9 before going back to work.

How about favorite work out?

A long hike. It’s so satisfying to hike uphill, get a great view and run down. I used to be afraid of hills, and now I look forward to them. It’s a special kind of endorphin when you’re hiking or running slow uphill but working your butt off.

What is your diet like?

Pescatarian with a daily dose of hummus. Ideally I’d be more vegan like the Gonnermans but haven’t yet learned how to say no to a cookie. I also inherited my Dad’s love of carbs so that’s a staple.

Additional input or comments?     People to mention?

Thank you to Tim for keeping the UVRC weekly emails and workouts consistent throughout covid. While I didn’t always do the workouts, they were a constant reminder of normalcy and I’m appreciative!

What else should the club know about you?

Over the winter I took in a couple of thru hikers going southbound on the AT. It was -4° that morning and they had been camping. If you ever feel unmotivated about going outside, think about that feat.

Aside from running, what are your hobbies?

The UV taught me how to hike and I’m slowly working on my NH grid now. Other than that I’m trying to be a better cook and baker! So far during Covid I learned how to make bagels and focaccia and have upped my hummus game.

What question would you like to ask in next month’s Runner Profile? And what is your answer to the question?

“What is your running/race motto?”

When the pain starts in a race, I try to smile and say “this is exactly what you came for”.

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