My name is Helen Galerakis. I was born in Twickenham, England to a Cretan (Greek) Father and a Welsh Mother. Apart from a couple of years when I was very young when we lived in Greece, I grew up in Colchester, Essex in England. I played football when I was little and then Judo in my teenage years, but really from the age of 14 onwards, sport had very little to do with my lifestyle.
I discovered my passion for the outdoors late in life, when I left the Corporate World of 22 years to embark on a journey of self discovery. At the age of 39, I found running and after a couple of years of road and marathon running on the island of Crete, Greece I decided I wanted to combine my 2 passions and learn how to run in the mountains.
I came to Flagstaff in 2017 for Rob Krar’s Trail and Ultra Running camp and ran on trails for the first time. While at the running camp, I experienced for the first time what it felt like to be part of something, a community, somewhere I belonged. I had found my people. This feeling was so profound, that this was one of the main reasons why I decided to move to Flagstaff, only a month after the camp.
I cannot imagine my life without running, as much for my mental health, physical health and finally feeling like I belonged and finding my people, the trail and ultra running community.
I am a board member for Girls on the Run and Willow Bend Environmental Education Center, a mentor to small/medium sized businesses through SCORE, a Flagstaff Open Space Steward and hold a drop in advisory clinic at the library.