Meet a Rogue Expeditions Runner: Claire Weustenraed

What type of people go on Rogue Expeditions running trips? It seems that everyone worries that they'll either be too slow, or too fast. That the mileage will be too difficult, or not challenging enough. That they'll be too old, or too young. That the other people will be super serious running geeks who talk about nothing but training, or that the other people will all be there to take it reeeeeeally easy. That they'll be the only person who doesn't know anyone else.

In truth, there is no "type." The trips attract all sorts of backgrounds, all sorts of ability levels and all sorts of motivations for being there, and the beautiful thing is that it works for just about everyone! To prove it, we are highlighting a number of our runners using their own words. Read on to find out about the running background, pre-trip hesitations, favorite trip memories and most surprising realization of a Rogue Expeditions runner.

Next is Claire Weustenraed who currently lives in London and joined us in Morocco last fall. Claire is one of those people who bursts with enthusiasm for just about everything, and her energy is infectious! Though relatively new to running when we met her, she dove in headfirst and set a personal weekly distance record on our trip (no matter that it was the most challenging terrain she'd ever attempted), and she has continued to push her limits with a newfound love of mountain running.

 

Which trip did you do and when?
Morocco: Mountains & Coast (October/November 2016)

Describe your running background:
I started running around the end of November 2015 after moving back to Europe from Asia. Friends convinced me to join a social trail run with North Face (10km) and from there on I was hooked! I then joined the AdventRunning December run streak where I met great people who inspired me even more. Seems like since then I never looked back, and running is now a part of my life. 

How did you end up on that trip? What led you to the decision?
I was looking for a run-holiday and Rogue Expeditions popped up on Google. With Frostie [Anna Frost] being a run leader on the trip I was sold!

Any hesitations or uncertainties going into it?
I didn’t know what to expect so … I just jumped into an adventure .. and OMG .. what a super duber great adventure …

Did you know anyone else in the group beforehand? How was it traveling with a group of strangers?
I didn’t know anyone on the trip, but Rogue Expenditions made me feel welcome from the first minute I stepped foot in Morocco ..  super friendly bunch of crazy badasses!

What was your favorite run and why?
My favourite run - that’s a really difficult question. Every run was great and different .. run in the rain / sun / more flattish … crossing rivers … running up and down .. and always supported by the team of running friends and the lovely drivers who carried water and super food snacks!

Food is a huge part of any travel experience. What was your favourite thing that you ate?
Really, I don’t know where to start .. the Rogue Expeditions cooks are AMAZING !!! Every single meal, every single dish is just like heaven on earth … I loved it ALL !!!

Both travel and running have their ups and downs. What was your most challenging moment or issue during the trip? How did you overcome it?
No issues at all as it all is soo well organized by Rogue The heat sometimes wasn’t easy, but then again our lovely drivers were there with water whenever you needed it and there is always someone who waits for you to help you to finish together.

What surprised you the most about the experience?
This was the first time that I ran a week of 100km. I was soo overwhelmed and happy to have done this with such a great bunch of friends, and while running in such an amazing country! Please take me back …

 Claire and Joel finish sunset bonus miles on the last night in Morocco, wrapping up a personal weekly distance record (100km!) for Claire!

Claire and Joel finish sunset bonus miles on the last night in Morocco, wrapping up a personal weekly distance record (100km!) for Claire!

Runcation vs a race: what do you think are some of the key similarities and differences? Or are they even comparable?
I don’t think its comparable. It's a different mind set .. different vibes … I learned soo much on this trip about mind-over-body, food and rest. I’m seriously thinking on taking another trip … Allison and Gabe are just … AWESOME !!! They made me feel welcome and they are such great runners. They take the time to talk to you, listen to your experiences and always help you to push your limits. Since my Morocco trip I’ve run 2 mountain races (Spain and Italy) and I couldn’t have done it without them as the runaction gave me so much confidence. Oh and I met some great friends on this trip!

Sum up your Rogue Expeditions experience in one sentence:
ABSOLUTELY SMASHINGLY AWESOME !!!