Clare Wilkes

Having swapped the bright lights of London for the serenity of Kits, Clare was first dragged to Flight Crew by fellow ambassador and Brit, Hollie, in May last year. Most often seen chatting her way around the Thursday road routes, dreaming of a day when the trails don’t kick her butt.

How long have you been running for?

I ran my first ‘race’ almost 11 years ago, but I’ve only been running consistently for probably the last 4 or 5 years.

Where is your favourite place to run?

In Vancouver, the seawall around Stanley Park or through the Pacific Spirit trails. When I lived in London I always enjoyed running along the river early in the morning before the crowds were out.

Describe your best running memory

Any time I manage to hit that ‘sweet spot’ of running where you feel like you’re flying and could run all day. The day I realised you don’t have to be in extreme pain and be struggling to breathe to have a good run was a very happy one.  

What is your favourite post-run treat?

All of the brunch food. Eggs, bacon, pancakes, muffins, pastries...occasionally all at once. I’ve been known to take down a hotel breakfast buffet multiple times, not always having run beforehand.

Why did you start running with Flight Crew?

Hollie (fellow ambassador) made me! She dragged me along with her and I figured it would be a good way to meet people, having just moved to Canada from the UK. Little did I know at the time that it would lead to some incredible friendships and a pretty awesome job.

Your favourite Flight Crew memory?

Probably the first time I ever ran with Flight Crew—I’d been in Canada for about 48hrs, and had never really run with a run ‘crew’ before. I felt quite sick beforehand worrying about whether I’d be able to keep up, and was quite puzzled by all the stopping for photos (not much of a thing in the UK), but everyone was so welcoming I knew I’d be back.

What’s the running achievement you’re most proud of?

Completing two marathons, the second in a time that I never even dreamed of being able to run. I am definitely proof that anyone can run a marathon, you just have to want to do it, and put in the hard work to get there.

What’s your favourite item of running clothing/accessory?

Shoes! There’s nothing better than finding a great pair of shoes and feeling like you could run forever. I’m currently loving my Nike Zoom Elites, and my Adidas Bostons.

If you could run with anyone in the world who would it be and why?

A family friend back in the UK who is still busting out 3:10 marathons at the age of 65 - I can’t even comprehend doing that now, let alone in 30 years time. He’s been a huge inspiration to me, and has been very encouraging of my running goals too.

Favourite running distance?
Somewhere around the 15-20km mark—long enough to know you’ve had a decent workout and can get into a good rhythm, but not so long that you can’t do anything except lie on the sofa for the rest of the day.