“Trail running has added to the quality of my life. I feel less pressured to be the fastest and I have a greater appreciation for nature and how we connect with the world around us.”
How long have you been a trail runner?
I’ve been trail running since Fall of 2012 with Montgomery County Road Runners Club (Maryland) winter trail program. It was their inaugural year.
What inspired you to start trail running?
I had a bad experience at the Rock and Roll Vegas marathon. After the race, I no longer had a passion for road running and thought what else is there? A friend of mine that also ran the race kept raving about this book she had finished reading. The book was about trail running and this unknown running tribe in Mexico. I was extremely intrigued about this unknown hidden tribe of elite runners. The book: “Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen,” by Christopher McDougall. I literally couldn’t put the book down and read every single word and was hooked. I had to try trail running. A few days after the RR Vegas marathon I received an email that MCRRC would be starting a trail running program and I didn’t hesitate to sign up and have never looked back since. The book also inspired me to run in minimal shoes. Yes, I run in Vibrams.
How has trail running impacted your life? What has it taught you about yourself?
For me trail running has added to the quality of my life. I feel less pressured to be the fastest and I have a greater appreciation for nature and how we connect with the world around us. I have also traveled to places that I would never have before to run a race (Alabama, Ohio, Tennessee & I’m sure the list will grow once we are able to safely take part in group runs again post Covid19). I’ve faced some fears (snakes, bears, mud, poison ivy, sleeping on rocks, peeing/pooping in the woods and pushing through the night during 100 mile races). I’ve met some of the most amazing lifelong friends that I consider my trail sisters and brothers. Trail running has taught me that life, just as trails, has many ups and downs, some flats, many curves and obstacles. You have to put in the work to succeed. The work you put in to overcome those obstacles without cutting the course determines how you face challenges and obstacles in life. I push and push, I fall, I pick myself back up, wipe off the dirt, and finish the race with a smile even though there were many tears and uncertainties that got me to that point – the finish line. And then I signed up for another race knowing that each challenge and outcome will be different from the one before and it’s the fight in me that will get me to the finish.
What is one myth about trail running that you would like to dispel?
I’m not sure if there were myths that I knew of beforehand or after. Personally, my hesitation before, was running in the woods and mountains. My fear of snakes, bears and many other unknown creatures or hunters that I may come across. Also, there are not many people that look like me (dark and extremely muscular) who trail run so I didn’t have the innate interest or acquisition. I’m built like a sprinter and I naturally gravitated towards road races where a good percentage of the runners look like me and I felt comfortable.
What is your favorite trail?
I cannot say I have a specific favorite trail. I’ve been on so many trails that it would be a disservice to name a favorite. There is something uniquely special about each one and also mundane at times. For me a good trail has all the bells and whistles in difficulty and variability of the terrain – mud, creek crossing, hills, flats, water crossings and a lot of greenery.
What is your next trail running adventure?
As of now due to Covid-19, nothing. I’m partaking in many virtual races. I’ve pulled out of all my races if they haven’t yet been cancelled and enjoying the solitude of solo safe social distancing running. I’m thinking perhaps 2021, still too early to tell and make a definitive running race calendar.
What is your favorite trail running gear and why?
I love xoskin. For me, it’s the best running gear from head to toe. Since I’ve been wearing xoskin I’ve had no issues with chafing and or blisters and barely change during the long over night races.
What is your favorite trail race and why?
Stone Mill 50 (Montgomery County, MD) has a special place in my heart. It was my first 50 miler. I could never had imagined in my whole life that I would someday run a 50 miler. The race is the real deal. It’s challenging, beautiful scenery, local, affordable and has the best race director and volunteers. Runners that also run this race have a special quality to them that I’m impressed by. Highly recommend race.