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Talking with Allie Kolaski - Finding the Outdoors, Connecting with Others

Talking with Allie Kolaski - Finding the Outdoors, Connecting with Others

In addition to being an inspiring mountain athlete, Allie Kolaski is also a deeply passionate counseling psychologist who conducts diagnostic assessments for people of all ages. Since graduating from college in 2013, Allie has called the Salt Lake Valley home. She began competing in trail races in 2017 and enjoys pacing friends in her downtime as well as being an active member of Women of the Wasatch. During an early morning mission to one of her favorite spots high in the Wasatch, we stopped to admire the sunrise and I had the chance to learn more about her love for the outdoors and what keeps her motivated to go even further!

- How has the outdoors impacted your life? Physical and mental health?

I actually wasn't outdoorsy at all growing up in New Jersey, it wasn't really a thing for us. In college I was a high achiever and a lot of pressure was put on me to do well and amongst all of that my parents were divorcing and my father was diagnosed with Parkinsons. It became a really tough time for myself and my family while I was trying to still manage school. But during freshman year my college had this outdoor orientation program where we would go backpacking and canoeing in the Delaware Water Gap. It was the first time where I really felt teamwork and camaraderie in an effort to diminish the singular pressure that school placed on me. It became my recreation, my exercise, my solace, my spirituality. An escape created out of necessity.

- What attracts you most about the outdoors?

I think it’s really multifaceted, a large part of it is the fitness aspect. A large part of it is just being able to get out and move my body. It's just the best way to contrast the work life and to feel a sense of release from other aspects of life. 

It’s also the community for me in ultra running and how everyone can come together. There’s nothing I love more than getting to know someone on a run. When you do a hard effort with someone it kinda gives you this vulnerable side of each other that allows you to really connect on a deeper level. Women of the Wasatch has been a really inspiring group to be a part of that I’m really thankful for.

- Any big goals or events you're preparing for?

The NYC marathon I’m doing with my sister for the Michael J Fox Foundation in an effort to still support my father.I would also like to do the R2R2R (Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim) this fall.

- How has nutrition impacted your experience in the outdoors?

I came from an athletic background, I was a lightweight rower in college. Figuring out how to fuel your body effectively and feel your body effectively is obviously super important. When I first started marathon running I was doing lots of energy gels and it caused a lot of GI tract issues that I knew I needed to find a more sustainable fuel source if I was gonna continue to push myself. My journey has been to lean on more real, whole foods and then to supplement quite a bit with liquid calories. Ginger Ale is my secret weakness after a race, before and during I’m pretty careful about what I take in.

- What’s your favorite NOM Flavor?

Blood orange, non-caffeinated. A lot of other endurance supplements I find to be too gritty but this one just has always been subtle yet potent enough to really be beneficial.



I can't begin to explain how much this interview impacted me. It immediately turned into something more from the moment I asked the first question. As an athlete myself it's an extremely special and unique feeling to align for a moment with different people in the mountain community to gain an inspiring and fresh perspective on why we do it. I hope that this small glance into Allie’s life will further strengthen the community around you and encourage you to go further next time you are out on the trail! 

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