Javelina Jundred 100 Mile Endurance Run, October 2017. Photo courtesy of  Howie Stern .

Javelina Jundred 100 Mile Endurance Run, October 2017. Photo courtesy of Howie Stern.


About Larisa Elaine

My journey into the running world was somewhat unconventional. Although I dabbled in team sports in high school, I was never very active as a kid. Upon starting my first office job back in 2007, I became especially sedentary. As my weight started to creep up, I knew I had to do something to improve my fitness. Many of my warmest childhood memories center around the White Mountain Region, where every summer I would venture north to hike New Hampshire’s tallest peaks. The decision to take up hiking as an adult seemed almost instinctive. It was as if the mountains I loved so intensely as a child were calling me back.

What began as a goal to simply get in shape led to my discovery of the White Mountain 4,000-footers. Suddenly, I found myself filled with an urge to stand atop all 48 of New Hampshire’s tallest peaks. First, in any season. Then, in a single winter season. And ultimately in every calendar month.

As my trail mileage increased, the transition from hiking to running seemed to come naturally. I learned that I could travel more efficiently by jogging the downhills, then the flats, and, in time, the uphills. Upon discovering ultrarunning in 2009, I suddenly found my calling.

From 2010 through 2016, I raced a lot. Running enabled me to achieve things I never thought possible. The sport also taught me many difficult lessons as I struggled – and at times failed – to balance competing at a high level with living in a healthy, sustainable way.

I’m amazed by how things often come full circle in life. At my core, I’m simply a gal who loves the mountains. My running journey began in the Whites, and after many years away, I find myself back in the place where everything began: the rugged, wild New Hampshire peaks that brought – and continue to bring me – so much joy. Life nowadays involves lots of year-round mountain adventuring. Photography has always been a passion of mine, and I especially love sharing my landscape pictures with others on Instagram (beware: countless photos of clouds, trails, and summits ahead).

Truthfully, I'm not sure how much racing is in my future. Regardless of where life takes me, I'll forever be grateful for the experiences ultrarunning brought me, and for the friends, sponsors, and coaches who believed in and supported me. Here's to the next adventure, wherever it leads...