Meet the Confluence Running Team: Kristena Barnes

Next up on our Confluence Running Team is Kristena Barnes aka Special K 



CR: How and why did you begin running?


I started running in middle school and high school for Windsor. As an adult a co-worker asked if I would do 5k with obstacles, I agreed and was hooked from there. It led me down a wild path of fast friends, fitness, and muddy glory. It also helped me become a better runner, coach, and all-around person. Who knew one little race would change a life.



CR: What does a typical day look like for you and are you currently working on anything?


My daily grind currently consists of starting my day off at Confluence Running. After work, I am either coaching/programming or putting in the work from my coach Morgan McKay. Whatever free time I have left goes toward helping my parents renovate and upgrade their house for safety and their well being :)



CR: If you were a new edition to a crayon box what color would you be and why?


Fushsiacorn the hybrid being Fuchsia(a purplish-pink hue) and Unicorn. Mix of the two is a unique twist on a mythical creature with a color to match. Also, there's a good chance when you see me I will have a Unicorn mask on :)




CR: Tell us about one of your worst runs ever? You define what makes it "the worst"


One of the worst runs I had was actually this year. 2020 has been crazy for everyone and sadly almost everything has been canceled. One event I was really looking forward to was the Mojave Death Race. Later down the road, a virtual event was put in its place if teams wanted to still do so. All the while I was recovering from an MCL sprain and in the process of moving the event came up rather quickly without much training, to say the least. Fours legs to log all in order by distance(3.8, 4.8, 5.5 &7.2). I did the first 3 in Portland, Oregon, and the last one in Johnson City, New York. All probably in the worst conditions you can think of and with very little training. Usually, anything under 5 miles is no big deal for my training or not... Oh boy was I wrong... The entire four legs just felt like what you would expect actual MDR would feel like... Heat, sand, and death mostly... But in the end, I'm still glad I did it, my motivation was not letting my team down. Goal achieved and I didn't die :)


CR: Trails, Track or Road Races? What is your favorite distance and why?


In order, trails, road and track. Love being in nature, living in the PNW(Pacific NorthWest) for ten years will do that to a person. The road can have its purposes and be fast and fun. The track will always be that good kind of pain. Fast, efficient and brutal. But I prefer beauty over pain these days.


CR: You are going on a running vacation, What are the 3- 5 items (hopefully something we sell) you bring?


Things I have bought and used on a running vacation this year before Covid19 were actually: Trail Butter for nutrition, Nathan's vest with hydro bottles, Balega Enduro and Altra King MT with gaters (great for sand running).

CR: What is your go-to pizza topping?


Pineapple :)


CR: If you could have dinner with anyone alive or dead, who would it be?

My Grandpa Parker. He died way too soon of cancer. I never got to really get to know him and I miss him every day..


CR Who is your running idol?


Morgan McKay, Amelia Boone and KK Paul


CR: What is your favorite movie/book?


Books are "The Art of Asking" by Amanda Palmer & "Mindless Eating" by Brian Wansink Movies would be "Across the Universe" by Julie Taymore


CR: What do you like most about your job?


Well I am still new to the store but as a runner and working for a race company back home it was a natural progression. (Portland, Oregon and Terrapin Events)


CR: Most memorable running moment?


There are lots, but I think one of my most memorable moments was my first Spartan Super in Seattle, Washington. I ran my race and then helped for hours after. Helping people cross the finish line and seeing them light up is like magic. One of my favorite parts about the race community is just helping others :)


CR: What is your biggest achievement to date – personal or professional?

My biggest achievement to date would be getting my AFAA by NASM and SGX Certs (along with many more) so that I would help others in the fitness field. I just love to help, listen and also get in a good workout.


CR: What time of day do you like to run? 

  1. Morning (let's get after it)
  2. Mid-day Afternoon ( I like to run when it is super hot out and the sun is up)
  3. Evening (I feel fastest in the dark)

Evening (I feel fastest in the dark)


CR What has been the longest event(s) you've ever done? 


Agoge 60 class 002, SISU IRON 40+ and Several SISU 24's


CR: What is your favorite post-run meal?


Sandwiches or subs with a cold Fitaid.


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