WHY I RUN: GORDON CLARK
BY Ben Hooke
For Gordon Clark, running is a priority. As much as food, drink, work. It’s his clarity. This is why he runs:
Why do you run?I run because I can. I’ve run enough to know the benefits on my mental state and wellbeing. It's meditation for me. More than the physical reason that I started. It clears my mind and helps me focus on things. There's no problem that a 90-minute run can’t solve.
When do you run?I have no real consistency with running. I’m not a morning runner. If I’m running in the morning it’s because of a group or a team of people that prefer to get it out of the way - some of that may be in response to the weather and different stimuli.
I like running in high-noon hell and heat just as much as I like a rain run but we don’t get that too often in LA. Originally a phoenix native, 120 degrees Fahrenheit is something I’ve run in before. I figure it is a strength I have that others don’t. I usually run anywhere on a low week in the 50 miles range – a high week is 75-80. I’ve had weeks where I run 170 miles. Not accidental but more a focus thing to see how much I can hammer in a week.
What stops you from running?There’s nothing that really stops me from running man. I try to prioritise that as much as everything else in life - income, jobs, responsibilities. My mental being and being able to see problems clearly, I think, is as important to me as eating a good meal or readying myself to go to sleep. I’m really focused on the biohacking in that respect.
Where do you run?In the last couple years, I’ve been prioritising trails more than anything. Although, I’ve just finished a lot of road runs.
Some people hate the redundancy of it and that sort of makes me unique in some sort of a way. I don’t mind redundancies like running the same route over and over again, especially if it comes to some sort of training plan or attack. With me not having to guess or plot out a stage, just knowing I know a stretch of cement that is familiar to me and I could focus more on what I really want to do.
I’m not thinking about pace or place, I’m just addressing the terrain that is rolled out in front of me taking as much as I can in and basking in this natural beauty.
I’ve always been a real city boy so the trails and natural spaces are all kind of new to me. The calming effects are amazing. The ease that I can spend time on my feet.
Three to five hours spent just communing with nature, looking at plant life trying to observe small things. And I mean insects, birds, anything that fascinates, I’ll stop and try to observe which makes it less of a route redundant task and more of a time for me and the natural space around me.
How often do you run?Any time of day. I’m a big fan of David Goggins. Goggins hit me with something early on reading his book and that’s that people are only at 40% of their maximum potential and one thing to reach that higher is daring yourself to be scared or doing something that is challenging or out of your comfort zone daily. Because of that, there have been runs that I’ve made at 2/3 am, night runs on the trail just a couple times. I want to do more of that and get into more of a camping out, quick packing with just what’s on my back and some fuel. I’ll take a small nap then get up and start running again so that’s kind of my evolution of where I hope to go.