Tara Dower

Mountain/Trail Ultramarathon Athlete


An Appalachian Trail thru-hike inspired me to spend as much time on trails as possible; now, I am a professional ultramarathon trail athlete racing all over the country. My favorite ultramarathon distance is the 100-miler because there are so many possibilities for adventure, but I also love the competitive aspect of setting FKTs on longer trail routes. The FKTs I’ve set include the Mountains-to-Sea Trail (1,175 miles), Benton MacKaye Trail (289 miles) and the Colorado Trail (486 miles).

"I never had a dream job or career that I was interested in, I just wanted to be a happy person surrounded by good and kind people.


Benton MacKaye Trail

OVERALL Supported FKT (289 miles) | 4 days 21 hours

Run Rabbit Run 100

1st Women 2023 | 20:32

Hellbender 100

1st Women and CR 2023 | 24:45

Favorite Strava Segment

Tara's Top Picks


Goal(s) for 2024

My goals for 2024 are to complete Hardrock 100 successfully and set the fastest known time on the Appalachian Trail. Big big goals!!!

What’s your favorite quote and where did you first hear it?

“Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time.” - Steven Wright. I’m not sure where I first heard it but when I did it deeply resonated with me. 

How did you get started in your sport?

I started my sport after completing a thru hike on the Appalachian Trail. During a thru hike you are completely immersed in nature. I wanted to see a lot of the trail without hiking for hours so I took up trail running. I was able to see so much in about half the time it’d take to hike it.

If you had to be shipwrecked on a deserted island, but all your human needs—such as 

food and water—were taken care of, what two items would you want to have with you?

Definitely a camera in order to capture the shenanigans of being shipwrecked. I’d also bring lots of sunscreen! I never leave the house without putting it on. 

What’s your favorite website?

No doubt, YouTube. You can learn everything and anything on YouTube. 

When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be happy.

I never had a dream job or career that I was interested in, but I just wanted to be a happy person surrounded by good and kind people. Now that I am that age I can say I am happy with my decisions in life and the path I’ve chosen.

What's your favorite movie and why? 

As I’ve grown older, my favorite movie has changed many times. A movie that I can always watch and be inspired by is Into The Wild. My opinions have changed on Christopher McCandless (Alexander Supertramp). After having watched the movie and read the book so many times, I think he was very irresponsible – especially in Alaska. He is a flawed person, but it still remains my favorite because he lived such a unique and adventurous life. 

What is something that you learned from a parent or grandparent that has guided you in life? 

How to apologize! I was very young in the car with my dad and he apologized to me. I remember it so clearly – how sincere his apology was. I know it sounds simple but I learned the importance of admitting your wrongs and being honest with yourself and others.

Tell us about your pet(s). 

Jerry was my blind and mostly deaf dog. I had to put him down a couple weeks ago because he had bladder cancer that was really aggressive. He was the best little buddy. He was gentle, loving, and so patient. I miss him a lot. 

What’s your favorite sound? 

Birds chirping in a forest.

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