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Clare Gallagher

Saving the Earth

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Clare Gallagher

Saving the Earth

Brought to you by

iKOR Logo
Clare Gallagher headshot, wearing a headlamp in the mountains

BORN TO SAVE THE EARTH

Since she can remember, the fate of the Earth has always been on Clare Gallagher’s radar. She found inspiration early from individuals and organizations prioritizing sustainability.  In middle school, Clare read Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard’s autobiography, “Let My People Go Surfing”. In his book, Chouinard, outlines 8 philosophies that keep Patagonia on the forefront of environmentally safe business practices.  Clare’s focus on Earth’s health has never faded. In high school, she led the Recycling Club and at Princeton, she ran a Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign.

BORN TO SAVE THE EARTH

Since she can remember, the fate of the Earth has always been on Clare Gallagher’s radar. She found inspiration early from individuals and organizations prioritizing sustainability.  In middle school, Clare read Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard’s autobiography, “Let My People Go Surfing”. In his book, Chouinard, outlines 8 philosophies that keep Patagonia on the forefront of environmentally safe business practices.  Clare’s focus on Earth’s health has never faded. In high school, she led the Recycling Club and at Princeton, she ran a Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign.

REALITY SETS IN

Before pairing trail running with environmental awareness, Clare was set on going to medical school.  At that time, Clare’s dream was to attend medical school so that she could go on to do one of two things: work in family planning in developing countries or continue researching coral ecology.  While researching coral ecology, Clare found the work disheartening. Despite being able to SCUBA dive on a daily basis for months at a time, she could see firsthand the devastation of human activity on the planet’s oceans.

Clare Gallagher Trail Running

REALITY SETS IN

Before pairing trail running with environmental awareness, Clare was set on going to medical school.  At that time, Clare’s dream was to attend medical school so that she could go on to do one of two things: work in family planning in developing countries or continue researching coral ecology.  While researching coral ecology, Clare found the work disheartening. Despite being able to SCUBA dive on a daily basis for months at a time, she could see firsthand the devastation of human activity on the planet’s oceans.

Clare Gallagher Trail Running

GOING AGAINST THE GRAIN

After graduating Princeton, Clare returned to her hometown of Boulder, Colorado where she focused on preparing to apply to medical school.  With most pre med prerequisites completed, Clare had one more course to complete. She signed up for Organic Chemistry II at CU Boulder during the summer.  In addition to completing her course load, Clare also needed clinical experience. She served as a scribe at the local ER, going on little sleep and completing 12 hour shifts.  Organic Chemistry II and ER shifts were very demanding and when she wasn’t working, she spent her free time running.

Clare’s quality of life deteriorated into an unhealthy loop of stress – trouble sleeping and not eating well.  As Clare pushed through, she began asking herself why she was continuing on this path at all. There had to be another way to help people that didn’t require so much sacrifice in happiness and health.  In the end, she dropped Organic Chemistry II and the race to medical school. Instead, she took a chance and ran against society’s expectations.

Clare Gallager running at RUFA event

GOING AGAINST THE GRAIN

After graduating Princeton, Clare returned to her hometown of Boulder, Colorado where she focused on preparing to apply to medical school.  With most pre med prerequisites completed, Clare had one more course to complete. She signed up for Organic Chemistry II at CU Boulder during the summer.  In addition to completing her course load, Clare also needed clinical experience. She served as a scribe at the local ER, going on little sleep and completing 12 hour shifts.  Organic Chemistry II and ER shifts were very demanding and when she wasn’t working, she spent her free time running. 

Clare’s quality of life deteriorated into an unhealthy loop of stress – trouble sleeping and not eating well.  As Clare pushed through, she began asking herself why she was continuing on this path at all. There had to be another way to help people that didn’t require so much sacrifice in happiness and health.  In the end, she dropped Organic Chemistry II and the race to medical school. Instead, she took a chance and ran against society’s expectations.

Clare Gallager running at RUFA event

PIVOTING

Weeks later, Clare won a different, challenging race: the 2016 Leadville 100.  No small feat, this ultramarathon, which is held annually in Leadville, Colorado, has participants run 100 miles at high elevation (elevation varies from 9,200 feet to 12,620 feet). Using the momentum of her victory at Leadville, Clare followed her dream to keep running and promote environmental awareness.  Shortly thereafter, she fulfilled her dream of working with like-minded entities to save the planet. She signed on to work with Patagonia at the end of 2017.

“If I’m going to share facts and spread awareness about climatic and environmental and political facts, I need to hold myself to the highest of standards, and with Patagonia—which is like a photovoltaic cell in a world of oil rigs—I can finally do that.”

Clare Gallagher speaking at Fort Yukon

PIVOTING

Weeks later, Clare won a different, challenging race: the 2016 Leadville 100.  No small feat, this ultramarathon, which is held annually in Leadville, Colorado, has participants run 100 miles at high elevation (elevation varies from 9,200 feet to 12,620 feet). Using the momentum of her victory at Leadville, Clare followed her dream to keep running and promote environmental awareness.  Shortly thereafter, she fulfilled her dream of working with like-minded entities to save the planet. She signed on to work with Patagonia at the end of 2017.

“If I’m going to share facts and spread awareness about climatic and environmental and political facts, I need to hold myself to the highest of standards, and with Patagonia—which is like a photovoltaic cell in a world of oil rigs—I can finally do that.”

Clare Gallagher speaking at Fort Yukon

"MOVEMENT IS MY ART"

In 2019, Clare won the iconic Western States 100-mile ultramarathon in which participants gain more than 18,000 feet in elevation and descend 23,000 feet throughout the course. Before running Western States, Clare was invited by expert climber Tommy Caldwell to spend two weeks on a Patagonia sponsored trip to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. While in Alaska, Clare also attended a conference in Fort Yukon to support the case against drilling in the Arctic Circle.  

Today, Clare continues her quest as a Patagonia global sports activist and ultra runner.  Her dedication to Earth’s fate hasn’t faltered one bit. She continues to bring awareness to environmental issues locally and globally.  

"MOVEMENT IS MY ART"

In 2019, Clare won the iconic Western States 100-mile ultramarathon in which participants gain more than 18,000 feet in elevation and descend 23,000 feet throughout the course. Before running Western States, Clare was invited by expert climber Tommy Caldwell to spend two weeks on a Patagonia sponsored trip to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. While in Alaska, Clare also attended a conference in Fort Yukon to support the case against drilling in the Arctic Circle.  

Today, Clare continues her quest as a Patagonia global sports activist and ultra runner.  Her dedication to Earth’s fate hasn’t faltered one bit. She continues to bring awareness to environmental issues locally and globally. 

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