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Meet the Dream Team: Karen Vandenborre

Meet the Dream Team: Karen Vandenborre

Our newest dream team member spent her Summer running in the Bow Valley, and she liked it so much that she decided to stick around while studying law at the University of Alberta!
Meet our new community lead to help us organize a bunch of cool events coming to you this Fall!

Age: 30

Where are you from? Belgium

Tell us a little about yourself?

I am originally from Belgium and moved to Canada in 2013. I have always loved being outdoors and became a passionate trail runner in the summer of 2019. Obsessed with being outdoors, I picked up climbing and skiing as well in the past year. I am exited to be one of the newest members of the Canmore community and can’t wait to see what amazing adventures the coming years will bring.

What sports did you practice as a child?

I practiced judo as a child. I grew up on the countryside and used to bike to school every day. I loved playing in the hay with the chickens, cows and goats. I have always been a very active child who preferred going outside over sitting indoors and watching TV.

What brought you to the mountains?

After a horrible date with a guy who convinced me I had done nothing significant in my life, I signed up for the 2018 Calgary marathon. Determined to finish it, I started training in November 2017. I ran my first marathon in May 2018 and never looked back. In the Spring of 2019 my partner convinced me to try trail marathon. I fell madly in love with it. I recently also picked up ski-touring and climbing. When I found the opportunity to move to Canmore in March I did not hesitate and took it. I finally live where my heart can be free and I have not stopped smiling since.

What personal touch brought you to SkiUphill?

My love for this community and trailrunning. Added, they have a really good coffeemachine in the store (win-win if you ask me).

What draws you to trailrunning?

I love feeling alive. Being outside is so key to my kind of happiness. I absolutely adore the feeling of being outside and pushing my body to its limits. It is like a form of meditation. I lose any notion of time and space and just exist in the moment. I love the feeling of my heart racing inside of my chest and summiting the most beautiful peaks. I still regularly cry when I see the beauty around me and I feel tremendously grateful that my body carries me to these beautiful places. What a gift and a blessing.

What is your favourite area to ski?

Rogers Pass! Absolutely love floaty powder and sun filled days. I can’t wait for the first flurries to fall down from the sky.

What are your other hobbies and interests?

Cooking and drinking excellent wine. I love baking cookies and cakes for others (one of the Canmore favourites is my lemon turmeric loaf). If you are in the store on the right day you might be able to steal a piece of one my baked goods. I am also a big wine lover (come talk wine with me any time you like). 

What is your ideal day out in the mountains?

Run in approach to a multipitch. My best combo is a beautiful trailrun followed by a remote multipitch climb. Preferable with some excellent singing of my two favourite climbing partners, Becca and Paul and if the weather allows it blue skies and sun.

What is your ski set up this winter?

I am currently skiing with Scarpa boots and DPS Zelda skis

What is your go to running shoes?

I love Altra’s because of the zero drop, but I also run with Scotts  because I sometimes need to give my ankles a small break from the zero drop. Other favourites are my La Sportiva Bushidos. Nothing beats these shoes on technical terrain (their grip and sticky soles are boss in the Rockies). I am also super excited and curious to see what some of the bigger brands are going to bring on the market next year. I am longing for a durable Rocky Mountain shoe (as I have the habit of destroying my shoes in the span of only a couple of weeks).

Favourite coffee?

Latte with oatmilk.

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