Gail, looking at your results on ultra sign up, you seem to be a relative newcomer to the sport. How did you get into trail and ultra running?
I have been running for 29 years, and am an avid marathoner, currently with 83 marathons in 38 states, and a handful of ultras. My husband & I are aiming to complete 50 state marathons, and have been averaging 5-7 marathons each year. Our first ultra was the Nifty 50k road race in 2003. Three marathons we ran were open/non-tech trails (Michelson Trail Marathon, SD; Tobacco Road Marathon, NC, and Freedom Run Marathon in WV had 10 miles on the C&O Canal trail). Meeting other runners who do ultras got us thinking about trying a 50-miler. Signing up for the 2012 Rocky Raccoon 50m is what got me out on the trails.
**Warning Epic Fail Question** If memory serves me, you’re from NH (my favorite state on the planet!). What is your favorite trail or park in the state.
I am from Sharon, MA, and I love running both trails and roads over at Blue Hills! During the winter, when the trails aren’t runnable, the roads are well plowed, and sanded. It’s my favorite local training grounds.
I see some 50k's and 50 milers on the resume, do you plan to make the jump up to the 100 mile distance?
Jump? No! In my humble opinion, desire is the main ingredient necessary to tackle a run of any distance. I will admit that while I observe my friends training, thinking, strategizing, and planning, a 100 mile seed has been planted. Whether or not it will germinate is a matter of time. And desire. J
Name one piece of advice you would give to someone concerning trail running.
To run aligned with life, let go of expectations because nature has a way of reminding us that things don’t always go as planned.
What is your favorite trail/ultra running race up to this point and why?
TARC races are absolutely the best, and I had a blast at this year’s Spring Thaw! The snowy course conditions made the run very challenging, but it also challenged my psyche days prior—it was ultimately a good reminder to put one foot in front of the other, and not sweat the unknown.
Five races on your bucket list are: Pineland Farms, Kettle Moraine 100k, Stone Cat, return to Rocky Raccoon to do the course correctly, TARC buckle?????
Tell us about your weekly training regimen. Run 20-50 mpw ~10-20% trails; yoga (I teach 8 yoga classes/week). X-train more during recovery: elliptical, swim, spin.
You just finished a 50 miler! How do celebrate and recover?
After Rocky Raccoon, we took a 7-night cruise out of Galveston,TX. That was PERFECT! We walked a lot, took the stairs everywhere, and used the elliptical machines at the gym.
10 in 60 (10 questions in 60 seconds. One or two word answers will suffice or the first thing that comes to mind)
1. Solo runs or group runs? both
2. Favorite trail shoe? TBD. Currently Saucony pro grid lite
3. Technical or non-techy trails? moderate
4. Favorite aid food? bananas
5. Music while you run? Make my own kind of music with breath, cadence, lyrics that come to mind. (like “Magic Carpet Ride” “Ain’t nothing gonna breaka my stride”)
6. Biggest running accomplishment to date? Longest, 50m. Biggest, 1st place F NH 26.2, 1997. Bigger than biggest, 1988 Hawaii Ironman finisher.
7. Cold or warm weather? Temperate
8. Run mountains or run flats? Rolling
9. Water or Gatorade? Water
10. I run trails because...it’s a peaceful place to connect with like-minded friends, on terrain that challenges me to grow exponentially.