Polly Choate (in her own words): I started running about 15 years ago. I fell in love with it when I discovered trails. Mother Nature…the people…the escape…every single aspect of it. Trail and ultrarunning is an opportunity to think, to feel…to experience life in its simplest form. Heading out on a run, with virtually nothing but a decent pair of shoes…and just run for hours – that, for me, is an almost indescribable experience. A reflection into your own soul, to meditate on the purpose of one’s existence and find balance and harmony within.
Date of Birth: May 9, 1971
Place of Birth: Tulsa, OK
Currently Residing: Tulsa
Marital Status: Widowed seven years ago after being married to my first love, Jeff, for 20 years – Now, very happily coexisting with my man, Craddock.
Job(s): Tech Instructor / Rules Admin – REALTOR Association –17 years
Children: One – Lauren
Height: Five Seven
Weight: LOL Depends on the day
Shoe Size: Men’s 10
Best Physical Feature: My eyes (right Jorge Gonzalez?!)
Worst Physical Feature: My saddlebags
Political Affiliation: Hardcore Libertarian
Educational Background: BBS from NSU – Marketing
Personal Strength(s): Grounded, giving, analytical
Personal Weakness(es): Critical of myself
Make Of Car You Drive: Chevy HHR
Make Of Car You Would Like To Drive: I love my car
Pets: No thank you
Favorite Author: Mitch Albom / Scott Blum
Favorite Book: Atlas Shrugged, of course
Favorite Non-running Magazine: I don’t read magazines
Favorite Movie: Grease
Favorite TV Show: Amazing Race
Favorite Actor/Actress: The Rock
Favorite Music: Anything with a good rhythm and purposeful lyrics
Favorite Musical Performer: MJ
Favorite Artist: Myself…or my buddy Todd Sparks – his paintings are amazing
Favorite Spectator Sport: Football
Favorite Subject in School: Math
Favorite Game: Pretty much any game where strategy is involved
Favorite Vacation Destination: Culebra Island, Puerto Rico
Favorite Time Of Day: Morning
Favorite Item Of Clothing: My brown, long shorts that look ridiculous but I could seriously wear them every day
Favorite Non-Running Leisure Activity: Relaxing with my family
Favorite Running Shoe: Men’s Brooks Cascadia
Favorite Food/Drink Before An Ultra: Day before, Subway / Morning of, Perpetuem (HAMMER) or Purely Elizabeth granola with milk
Favorite Food/Drink During An Ultra: HEED (HAMMER), Justin’s maple almond butter, Pepsi and McDonalds oatmeal (Saved my life at the Honey Badger 100!)
Favorite Food/Drink After An Ultra: Recoverite (HAMMER), Mexican food and anything but water
Favorite Crew/Pacer Person(s): Like I’m going there…Hello!
Favorite Place To Run: In the woods
Favorite Type Of Running Surface: Trails
Favorite Famous Quote: If This Were Easy It Would Be Called Your Mom! (Thanks Patrick Hupp!)
Number of Years Running Ultras: First Ultra was Double Chubb 50K in April 2011
Number of Ultras Finished: Over 40
Best Ultra Performance(s): That’s a subjective question. Does one quantify it based on pace, or how one felt, or how good one looked doing it? Or maybe which I waddled least after?
Most Memorable Ultra: Usually the last one.
Typical Training Week(s) Before A Major Race: What’s “major”? For my last 100, I ran a min of 60 miles/week. Otherwise, I run a minimum of 40 on surfaces similar to upcoming races.
Injuries: No thank you
Ultrarunning Idol: Hands-down, no question…Joseph Galloway
Why Do You Run Ultras: I love to run. I run year round – race or not.
Advice For Other Ultrarunners: Lofty goals are fine, but be realistic. Doing long distances right out of the gate is just setting yourself up for injury. Life’s about the journey, not the destination. Enjoy every single step.
ACHIEVEMENTS / GOALS / MEMORIES
Personal Hero: My daughter, Lauren
Personal Philosophy: Worry about yourself
Short-Term Goal: Maintain my health and happiness
Long-Term Goal: Maintain my health and happiness
Most Prized Possession: Photos
Most Proud Achievement: Continuing to raise my amazingly beautiful, talented, loving daughter.
Happiest Memory: It’s not one big thing…it’s all the little things. When I think about those, that IS my happiest memory.
Secret Ambition/Fantasy: If I told you it wouldn’t be a secret…and I’d have to kill you!
Greatest Adventure: The over 300 wild caves that Jeff and I explored.
DISLIKES / FEARS
Least Liked Subject: History
Least Liked Household Chore: Dusting
Pet Peeve(s): People who don’t worry about themselves
Greatest Fear: Not being there for Lauren
Book Currently Reading: “Faithfully Religionless” and “The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto”
Hobbies: Poetry, painting (abstract art – acrylic on canvas)
Collections: Finisher medals
What’s next: Depends on when this is published. Do-Wacka-Do 50 miler in Erick, OK on Labor Day Weekend (Editor’s Update: PR’d and finished in 12:55:56). After that, no telling. I rarely sign up for winter races…I’m a heat runner. So, I’ll just keep logging miles and hope for mild weather so I can throw another race or two in there before the year is up.
Polly’s “all smiles” after finishing her first 100 Miler at the Kansas Rails-To-Trails 100!