I am Chris ‘Tarzan’ Clemens, and no, my parents did not give me the middle name Tarzan, I picked it up as a trail name during my Appalachian Trail Thru-Hike. I grew up in rural rural Indiana and can remember when my hometown installed its second and third stoplights. I ran cross country and track in high school, at mediocre speeds, but I had fun. During my freshman year at Ball State University I ran the Chicago Marathon. I was hooked.
Just kidding, it hurt like hell, but it landed my picture on the back page of the newspaper. I ran off and on for the next 4 years, mostly to or from trouble, but not another marathon.
After graduating in 2006 I fell into a job in Santa Barbara, California. I decided to run again and trained along the beautiful beaches for the 2006 Chicago Marathon. This time I really was hooked.
In 2012 I quit my job, left everything behind, and headed to Springer Mountain, Georgia to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail. 2,184 miles and 136 days later I stood atop Mount Katahdin in Maine at the end of the adventure of a lifetime, ready to continue creating a lifetime of adventure. Just a month after returning home I toed the line at the Bulldog 50K in Malibu Creek State Park. From there my feet have led me through the Born to Run Ultramarathons, Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim in the Grand Canyon, nearly 2 years of “a marathon of the month”, the Burning River 100 Miler, the Plain 100, and beyond.
To continue following my passion of adventure and simple living I got rid of almost everything I owned and moved into my Honda Element. After a year spent in 35 square feet I “upgraded” to an 80 square foot 1985 Volkswagen Westfalia campervan. Following 3 years of #VanLife, I traded to a truck bed home in a 4×4 Toyota Tacoma, eventually renovating a slide-in pop-up truck camper, all while sporadically living out of a backpack, traveling around the world.
In June of 2015 I took the show on the road, left my full time job, and started traveling full-time, doing freelance work wherever I could find WiFi. Since then I’ve driven around the United States, backpacked in Ecuador and Peru, drove the Trans-Canada Highway, bicycle toured Chile and Argentina, cycled in Race Across America, toured Vietnam & Myanmar on motorbikes, hiked the Camino de Santiago, drove the Alaska Highway and swam in the Arctic Ocean, wintered in Bali, and got “stuck” on a tiny Thai island during the COVID-19 global lockdown.
I guess that was long-winded way of saying, “I’m Chris Tarzan Clemens, and I’m living life to the fullest.”