Nichol Des Jardins

20081110NicholDesJardinsClarkIn cataloging all the past Profiles since Joe started writing them 15 years ago, I am not sure any can match the personality and liveliness of Nichol Des Jardins Clark’s profile. As such I will limit my introduction by thanking Nichol for her contributions as a runner and person to this community and the world (keep reading).

Name: Nichol Des Jardins Clark
Age: 37 (2008)
Nicknames: “Gome.” When I was living in Senegal and sporting a suppurating wound on one leg for several weeks, my friend Samantha started calling me this. According to her, it is the Pular word for “purulent, infected wound”.
Hometown: Santa Barbara
Employment: Telemetry nurse, SBCH. Past life employment — licensed agricultural biologist for SB County.
Family: Spencer (age 10), Tristan (age 4). My boys are amazing human beings. They rock my world, every day. They’re brilliant, funny, and kind to everybody but each other. Jeff Clark, ex-husband, owns EOS Lounge and is a great friend and father, as is Jarrett. Robert Des Jardins (my dad) is an attorney and author in OC and my mom, Judy, is the most loving grandma that I know. Also, the Faulding family, Kathy, Cassie, Chrissy, Kathy, Phillip, and Lex. We’re not related but I love them like my own.
Other sports, hobbies, interests, etc.: Other than being with my children (which is in itself an extreme sport, hobby, and interest), I like to write, read anything that I can lay my hands on, fish, camp, go geocaching with my boys, and go on road trips. I am in love with West Africa and if it weren’t for the malarial aspect (have had malaria three times), wouldn’t mind retiring there. Until recently I drummed with the Dancing Drum Community Ensemble and I knit. My ten year old attends San Roque School and I am co-chairing their auction this year after being on this fundraiser’s committee for the past two years.
Most Prized Possession: My first impulse was to answer “my kids” but I don’t own them. They own me.
Favorite Food: Mafe Haku Bantura (rice with cassava leaf and habanero sauce). I can’t get this in SB and have acquired a Taco Bell habit.
Favorite Movie: Out of Africa, with the Princess Bride coming in a close second.
Favorite Spectator Sport: U6B AYSO soccer. It’s hilarious.
Favorite Movie: Still Out of Africa.
Car I’d Love to be Driving: This must be a question for the men you profile. I don’t really give much thought to what I’m driving as long as it can withstand spilt slurpees and other such abuse. I’ve actually hit my house while parking my car. Four times. I would be interested in a car that could run on McCainocarbons and turn them into harmless liberal byproducts.

My friends describe me as: “Witty,” “bright,” and “hyper”. At least that’s what they said when I took a poll.
My trademark expression is: “Fabulous.” In this context: my son: “Mom, I’m going to be a booger for Halloween. I saved up all my boogers in a jar and you need to glue them to my face.” Me:”Fabulous.” Or… Nursing supervisor: “I’m giving you a patient that has been transferred from the county jail after having been caught peddling meth to preschoolers. He’s got the Ebola virus, explosive diarrhea, and is in four point restraints.” Me: “Fabulous.” Another is, “Oh, LOOK! A chicken:” but that would take too much explaining.
If money were not a consideration, I would love to: Bring home the patients that I care for who have either been forgotten by their families or have no one left to care for them. Have more children. Give all R.N.’s a salary that would enable them to own a home in SB. Adequately fund the school system so that teachers and children could have an optimal learning environment.
In the next 5 years, I hope to: Be what my children need me to be, get a little faster.

In the next 10 years, I hope to: Maintain compassion as a nurse, enthusiasm as a runner, contribute positively to the lives of my children, and be driving a car that doesn’t depend on petroleum products in a world where polar bears have no reason to worry.
Personal accomplishments: Only graduate in the history SBCC nursing program to maintain a 4.0 GPA in the program and I did it as a single mother. As a Peace Corps Volunteer I worked with UNICEF to hold midwife trainings, with USAID to build a school and reforest parts of a watershed, did AIDS education in schools, and more importantly got over my naive idealism and realized that I had much more to learn from my Guinean friends then they had to learn from me. Found my way overland from Guinea to Timbouktu which was a huge accomplishment considering that I get lost in my own backyard (even with a GPS).
Personal fact that will surprise my friends: I moved from OC and started UCSB when I was 16.

Favorite Running Shoes: Asics
Favorite Distance and PR (post collegiate): Marathon
Best Race and Why: St. George marathon 2008. Qualified for Boston, 23 minute PR.
Worst Race and Why: Vicki’s 3000 (2008). Went out too fast and stopped and walked. It’s what? Not even two miles?
Average Weekly Mileage (last 12 months): 30
Favorite Local Race: Thanksgiving Day 4 miler
Most Memorable Running Experience: Uhh..running so hard that I wet my pants during the State Street mile. NEVER going to forget that.
Favorite Place to Run: Jesusita Trail on a misty morning with my friend Isabelle. She’s a Labrador. I borrow her because my Labrador is a little pudgy and more of an eater then a runner.
Glory Days PR: That would be St.George again, meaning that these must be the glory days.

Realistic Running Goals for this Year: 3:39 at Boston
Wildly Optimistic Running Goals for this year: 3:38 at Boston
Lifetime Running Goals: An 80% age graded performance in any distance.
Local Running Heroes & Why: SBAA member Marilyn Hansen. She’s like a cross between a fine wine and an energizer bunny, gets better and better as she keeps going and going. She convinced me that I could join SBAA and run local races despite the fact that I am not ridiculously fast like some of you superhuman people. Not-so-local Eric Forte. His age graded performances are unbelievable. Jim Kornell for so many reasons, none of them related to running.
Personal Training Tips: Boston Baked Beans are the perfect premarathon snack. Carbs, protein, and superstition all rolled into one little candy. I can’t decide if it was the beans or Mike Swan that helped me to qualify for Boston.
Why I Run: Sheer joy. I also go into ventricular bigeminy when I don’t do at least 25 miles a week. (It’s a cardiac arrhythmia.) I started running with Team and Training to raise money for LLS and discovered that lowering my resting heart rate and the stress reduction of running enabled me to stop taking heart medication. GO TEAM!

I love runners who: Run
I don’t care for runners who: Spit without checking to see if anybody is directly downwind.
Suggestions for local races: They’re all fabulous.
Suggestions for SBAA: It’s fabulous too.

My views on: Sarah Palin…….better not get started.
Add Anything: 2 + 2 = 4
Favorite Quote: “To the illuminated mind, the whole world burns and sparkles with light” — Emerson. And anything by Yoda.
SBAA Member since: 2008

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