Running has been a big part of Stephanie Howe’s life since college, where she raced cross-country and Nordic skiing and was a two-time All American. After college she fell in love with trail running and started to compete in longer races. Today, Stephanie calls Bend, Oregon home and she is one of America’s top professional ultra runners. She trains and races in the mountains year round and loves it. There, she is able to let go and just be present.
Professionally, Stephanie fulfilled her passion for endurance sports by studying Exercise Science. She received a Master’s degree in Exercise Physiology from Montana State University and is currently a doctoral candidate in Nutrition & Exercise Physiology at Oregon State University. She also owns a coaching and sports nutrition business, Endurance By Stephanie, where she works with endurance athletes of all abilities.
Stephanie’s goal for the future is be one of the top ultra runners in the world. She wants to continue to race competitively in local, regional, and international races against the best competitors in the sport. She also wants to be present in her local community and inspire others to live healthy and fulfilled lifestyles. She is truly thankful for each and every day she is able to get out the door and run. It’s a lifestyle that gives her great satisfaction and makes her very happy. Judging by her recent race results, it’s a lifestyle that suits her well!
When I’m not training or competing, I love to: Cook. I’m constantly making up my own recipes and love preparing healthy, nourishing meals that emphasize fresh, whole foods. I also really like anything outdoors. Whether that be camping, mountain biking, skiing, paddling, or just hiking with my dog Riley.
Something that very few people know about me is: In high school my main sport was softball. I was a pitcher and wanted to attend Arizona State to play softball in college.
A good title for my autobiography would be: Never a Dull Moment.
What first inspired you to push your potential? I’ve always been a competitor. Probably the first memory I have of pushing myself was during the mile time trial for physical fitness when I was about 9 years old. I didn’t want to get beat by a boy, so I ran as hard as I could the last lap and finished in 6:59…ahead of the boy.
My favorite moment or achievement to date is: Winning Western States last year. I will never forget the feeling of floating around the track and crossing the finish line. It was even sweeter because Western States is such a iconic race and it was my first 100 mile race ever.
The toughest moment I’ve ever experienced in a race is: Last year at Run Rabbit Run 100 mile I had to drop out around mile 78. I was leading by quite a bit, but my knee was starting to hurt pretty bad. It was tough for me to admit that I was hurt and needed to drop out. Looking back, I’m proud of how I handled the situation. I stopped before I did anything too serious and was able to run about 2-3 weeks later. I’m really stubborn and I hate to quit, but I hate being injured for months even more.
I live in Bend, OR because: It’s totally awesome! Bend has such a great community and awesome running trails. It’s a very active outdoor place and there are more olympians per capita in Bend than any other city in the US. True story (I actually looked it up). There’s a reason so many outdoor enthusiasts live in Bend. Downside: the local 5k is super competitive- breaking into the top 10 can be a challenge here!
One thing I hope to achieve this year is: Be competitive in distances from 50k- 100 miles, in both national and international races. Racing a 50k is WAY different than a 100 miler. I want to have the versatility to be competitive in the whole spectrum. My race schedule this year includes 50k, 50 mile, and 100 mile races, both in the US and abroad. My non-race related goal is to continue to be a ambassador for the sport of ultra running and to run #LikeAGirl to show that females can be runners too. It’s really important to me to be a positive role model, especially for young girls.
My pre-race superstition is: I don’t have too many superstitions pre-race, but I do tuck my shoelaces in so they won’t come untied and I always turn to the person next to me at the start line and say “good luck”.
Nathan helps me run stronger and run longer by: Allowing me to carry food, water, and clothing! Some of my best runs are 4-5 hours in the mountains by myself. Sometimes I’ll run without seeing another person the whole time. On these runs, it’s important that I have enough food and water, extra clothing in case the weather changes, and my cell phone for photos. Without my Nathan pack, I wouldn’t be able to go out on such great adventures.