‘Methods’ to the Madness: Scientist, Athlete Talks Part-Time Ultrarunning

Not all ultrarunners are pro athletes — they have day jobs like the rest of us. See one part-time runner’s story in ‘Methods.’

“Running is like brushing your teeth. It’s like part of self-care,” says runner Rachel Drake. “I wouldn’t run if it wasn’t fun.” In this film, she talks “methods” to approaching races, work, injuries, and more.

So what’s there to do when, like Drake, you find yourself balancing daily runs or a race training regimen with a 9-to-5, school, or a dissertation? She has some tips and tricks up her sleeve.

“I love that trail runners have other jobs, other ways of contributing to society, and don’t just run,” says Drake. “You can have a full career and be a competitive athlete, and I think that’s so awesome.”

Though looking at her race stats, you wouldn’t know Drake only runs part-time:

  • 2nd in the Salomon Golden Trail Championships (2020)
  • 59th at the U.S. Marathon Olympic Trials (2020)
  • 7th at CCC: Courmayeur-Champex-Chamonix (2019)
  • Cortina Skyrace Champion (2018)
  • Waldo 100K Champion (2018)
  • Mont Blanc 10K Champion (2017)

Rachel Drake is a Minnesota native. Her day job is as an M.D./Ph.D. student at Oregon Health and Science University, studying and researching neonatal metabolism.

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Mary Murphy

Mary is the Managing Editor of GearJunkie and is based in GearJunkie's Denver, Colo. office. She has a degree in English and journalism, and has a background in both newspaper and magazine writing. Her outdoor interests span from running to sport climbing, from landscape photography to skiing to pack-paddleboarding. If she's not writing, you can most likely find her at the top of a fourteener, or in a local bakery.

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