I dabbled in running off and on my whole life but was never all that serious. In 2009, I decided it was time to run my first marathon. As I approached the finish that fateful day in November at the Philadelphia Marathon, I thought to myself, “One and done.” I crossed the finish line in a respectable 3:30 and after I got home, went online to find my next marathon. Six years and 70+ marathons/ultras later, it has really gotten out of control.
In my achievements, you will see my first ultra result ever in 2011. I have included all the major ultras I have run since. Not all the results are good but I wanted to show the progression rather than paint a glowing resume of top 3 finishes. With guidance from my coach, Michele Yates, and a lot of hard work, as well as more rest between races (because lets face it we can’t all be “Mike Wardians”), I was able to begin to achieve things I never thought possible. Since then, I have been a member of the USA 24 Hour Team where we won a gold medal in Turin, Italy in 2015. In 2016, I earned a Golden Ticket to Western States at the Georgia Death Race. To top off my year, I accomplished a bucket list item by running a sub 15 hour 100 miler at the Brazos Bend 100 and even made an attempt at the America Trail Record in the process, because why not?! I missed the record but managed to beat all the men that day and snag the overall course record finishing in 14:47.
Running has opened doors and shown me places I never even dreamed of going. I am a proud Member of Team TROT (Trail Racing Over Texas). These people have become like family. I have met and befriended runners in the sport that I had only read about in magazines and looked up to for inspiration. Now I compete alongside them. Sometimes I just have to pinch myself.
You can learn about my story and my journey to Western States in this short film from Trail Racing Over Texas.
And to clarify, that is not a real neck tattoo.
When I’m not training or competing, I love to: climb, camp, or throw a tennis ball for our Weimaraner, Titus, who has won numerous doggy 5ks.
Something that very few people know about me is: I went to art school and when I was in 4th grade, my best friend was a guinea pig named Ralph.
A good title for my autobiography would be: Moderation…Just kidding. That would be a terrible title!
My favorite moment or achievement to date is: 146.5 miles at the 2015 IAU 24 Hour World Championships. 4th place individual and Gold for the Women’s Team USA. It didn’t go as I planned that day but I fought hard the entire 24 hours for every single meter I ran. How can you not when you are wearing the “USA” across your chest?
The toughest moment I’ve ever experienced in a race is: Honestly, there have been so many. It’s hard to rank the toughest. If I have to choose I would say death marching for 9 hours to finish the last 25 miles of my first trail 100 Miler.
I live in Paoli, PA because: It is close to the local trails that I love to run.
One thing I hope to achieve this year is: Improve my finish at Western States
The event on my bucket list is: I would really like to do an FKT. The Wonderland Trail is one of my ultimate FKT goals but I would like to do a local FKT trail in the near future.
My pre-race superstition is: Beets
Nathan helps me run stronger and run longer by: Nathan has an appropriate hydration vest or bottle for any type of run, for any distance or even just for hanging out, traveling or working. They also keep me gainfully employed as I am the full time Nathan Marketing Coordinator.