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Trails Collective

TC Interview: Sophie Kotok

Imagine this, you’re at the start line of a race ready to have some fun on a beautiful sunny day. Suddenly, your worst racing nightmares have come true! You’ve forgotten your shoes! They simply didn’t make it into your race bag, your kid borrowed them, your cat ate them. Point is, they aren’t on your feet and the gun is about to go off. What would you do? That won’t stop Sophie because she does most of her warm weather running in sandals.

Not a student of Born to Run, Sophie has lived a life outside of shoes beginning in Colorado and now here on the East Coast. She feels most comfortable living that barefoot life, and isn’t showing it off. It’s simply who she is. Sophie Kotok just won the Cayuga Trails 50M, her FIRST 50 miler, in a pandemic no less. The day was blistering hot, masks were worn and there were no crews allowed, but that didn’t deter her. Her strategy? Well, you’ll have to watch this video to find out!

Sophie grew up white water canoeing in Colorado but didn’t find her love for trail running until about 5 years ago. She moved to Rochester, got a dog and needed some way to exercise them. Easy barefoot runs turned into her first marathon, which then became trail runs, and only trail runs. Sophie was going to run the Twisted Branch 100k as her first attempt at the distance, but the world had other plans, so she’s been adventuring and getting outside for other reasons these days.

Sophie is a Mathematics PhD student at RIT proving you just might need those calculations after high school. She talks about the broader applications, like self driving cars. Wouldn’t that be amazing after a long run? You’ll adore this interview with Sophie, check her out at some handles below.

Instagram: @sophieandshayla

UltraSignUp: https://ultrasignup.com/results_participant.aspx?fname=Sophie&lname=Kotok

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