team trot ambassador

Team Trot Ambassador Christina Pierce

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If you Google the phrase “tough as nails,” you will see a picture of Christina Pierce as the only search result.  Christina is a 2nd year ambassador who splits her time between a fulltime nursing career and crushing every ultramarathon race that she shows up for.  Christina finished BB100k as the 1st Female overall, cementing her status as a true competitor in the Texas trail running scene.  Don’t even think about getting on the podium when you see Christina getting ready to start a race!

10 Questions with Christina:

What’s the most useless talent you have?

I have this insane ability to wake up about 10 minutes before my alarm clock goes off. With. Out. Fail. I work night shift 3 nights a week, and it doesn’t matter if my alarm is set for an a.m. or p.m. time. I can beat it by at least 10 minutes. I would gladly trade this useless talent for anyone else’s useless talent.

What is the dumbest way you have been injured?

When I was younger and dating the man who is now my husband, I jumped up from the dining room table and ran full speed to answer what I thought was the phone ringing. I slammed my foot into the china cabinet and probably broke a couple toes. They were purple and mangled for weeks. To add insult to injury, the phone wasn’t ringing. My ears played a trick on me.

Whats the most interesting thing you’ve read or seen this week?

I have been reading through a blog from a guy named Jacob Evans who thru hiked the Lone Star Hiking Trail recently. I’m just picking up bits of information here and there. I’m hoping that a group of friends might want to team up to complete the hike next spring.  

What is the most distant place you’ve visited?

I spent a Thanksgiving holiday in Seattle, Washington one year visiting my sister. My Air Force enlistment took me to Idaho, Mississippi, and Missouri, but I was born and raised in Texas and came back as quick as I could.

Favorite running shoes?

I am a big fan of Hoka One One. I usually run in Cliftons on the road, but for trails I am in love with the Speedgoat 2. They are the Wacky Wall Walkers of trail shoes (google that Millennials). I have taken the Speedgoat through the swampy conditions of the Horseshoe Trail run, the sands of 7iL, the hills of Cactus Rose, and to the peak of Franklin Mountain, and they have held up well in all conditions and kept my feet happy.

Favorite time of day to run?

I like to hit the road at about 4-5am. I love running in the dark. I love to see the stars and catch the sunrise. Even in a 100 mile race, those night time hours are my most favorite time. I love to be alone with my thoughts and being out there while the rest of the world sleeps. I can remember a time quite a few years ago when I was worried that in a 50-mile race I would still be out there after dark. I considered a pacer just so I wouldn’t be alone. Now I will jump at the chance to be on the trail at night.

Favorite song on your playlist?

I am always digging for music for my playlist that really inspires me or helps me to see the beauty around me when I am out running. I really love groups like The Head and the Heart and songs by Peter Bradley Adams (look them up, good stuff). My favorite song right now is a song called “Where the Mountain Meets the Valley” by Joshua Hyslop. I added it to my playlist just before Lone Star 100 and I just go back to it over and over.

Listen here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LddPiPE1a4k

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

As hard as running a 100 mile race is, nursing school was harder by several magnitudes. I am most proud of the fact that I had the guts to go back to school after being a stay-at-home mom for 10 years to follow my dream of becoming a nurse. Being a nurse is absolutely insane, and I LOVE it! I find a lot of the personality characteristics that it takes to be an ultrarunner work very well for me as a nurse…looking at gross feet, dealing with bodily functions, and just having the ability to just laugh at the ridiculousness of situations you end up in.

Favorite ice cream flavor?

Mint Chocolate Chip. It is the ONLY flavor.

What trait do you like most about yourself?

One of my friends told me a few months ago that she admires that I always “make the payments”. I am not a “fake it until you make it” kind of person. If a challenge requires a certain amount of training or hard work I get the work done and show up prepared for the challenge.

 

 

TEAM TROT AMBASSADOR EMILY RIALS

Emily Rials is an OG TROT Ambassador who is small in stature but HUGE in personality.  Straight off her 3rd place finish at Jackelope Jam, Emily is eyeing Brazos Bend for her first 100k finish and induction into Buckle City, USA.  Emily is the brains behind the popular Huntsville State Park Trail Run group, and she is always looking to spread her love of the trails to new people and places! 

 

10 Questions with Emily:

What’s the most useless talent you have?

All of my talents are legit, but I am a professional ghost crab hunter.  Pretty proud of that..
 

What is the dumbest way you have been injured?

Only one?  Hmmm… when I was leaving my doctor’s office and I was running on the sidewalk back to my car, a toddler totally body slammed me and I ate pavement…That kid was so thug, and I still have the scar to prove it.


What’s the most interesting thing you’ve read or seen this week?

The updates coming from the Barkley’s.  Tough year and STOKED to watch Maggie take a stab at it.

 

What is the most distant place you’ve visited?

The Bahamas (don’t laugh at me). I plan to travel more someday.

 

Favorite running shoes

My Altra Lone Peaks!  I love them so much, there’s days they might go on the road with me.

 

Favorite time of day to run

Just before dark, especially if it’s a summer evening and a storm is coming in while the sun is going down.

 

Favorite song on your playlist

I have two,,,

Send Them Off! by Bastille and Cassette Tapes by L.I.F.T.

 

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

My kids        In running?  Horseshoe 2017 50k – my first ultra.  It was a flooded, muddy mosquito infested mess and I’m STOKED to have completed it!!

 

Favorite ice cream flavor

Starbucks Java Chip

 

What trait do you like most about yourself?

I try to stay positive and find a way to keep smiling even when things are really difficult, and I hope that makes life a little easier for the people around me.

TEAM TROT AMBASSADOR TREVOR MEDING

Trevor Meding is fast, fearless and relentless when it comes to ultra-marathon running.  But, did you know that he rarely ran before the age of 35?  After some serious introspection, Trevor decided it was time to change his sedentary lifestyle and he registered for the Red Deer Half Marathon. With only 5 weeks of training and his trusty Nike+ phone app, Trevor achieved his goal of a sub-2 hour finish time and was well on his way to becoming a kick ass ultra runner. Trevor won his first 100 mile race at River Valley Revenge in June 2017 and followed up with a sub-21 hour finish at BB100 last December.  Trevor has now set his sights on the San Felipe Shootout and the BB100k races as his next big challenges for the spring race season.  Don’t forget to wave at Trevor when he passes you on the trail!

 

10 Questions with Trevor:

What’s the most useless talent you have?

I can wiggle my ears.
 

What is the dumbest way you have been injured?

Diving into the corner of a coffee table when I was young and stupid.

Running wise I have yet to be injured (minus the battering of toes in ultras).


What’s the most interesting thing you’ve read or seen this week?

More running articles and writeups on social media leading up to the Barkely Marathons. I’ve been clicking on all those links and stories getting ready for this year’s event to follow.

 

What is the most distant place you’ve visited?

Australia, Egypt, & Abu Dhabi all for work. Not sure which is the furthest away, but they were all interesting to see and work with different people and cultures.

 

Favorite running shoes

Ever since I discovered Altra I have not looked back. #embracethespace

 

Favorite time of day to run

Usually after work to relieve some stress. But honestly I just run when I can due to work and busy family life.

 

Favorite song on your playlist

Hadouken – Levitate

 

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

Going from off the couch to running, completing, and winning my first 100mi race only 14 months after starting the journey.

 

Favorite ice cream flavor

Mint Chocolate Chip

 

What trait do you like most about yourself?

Grit. Ability to be able to grind through anything.

Team TROT Ambassador Aaron McCreery

Our ambassador of the week is fresh off of his 2nd place finish at the Jailbreak 5k in Baytown last week!  Aaron McCreery is a fast AF runner who known to sport a serious beard during the race season.  As a new TROT and NFP Ambassador, Aaron knows how to represent the true spirit of Texas trail racing while looking sharp on the course. 

10 Questions with Aaron:

What’s the most useless talent you have?

I very proficient at harassing my wife in every way imaginable.
 

What is the dumbest way you have been injured?

I lived on a skateboard as a teenager and managed to fracture my skull grinding a bench in a K-Mart parking lot.


What’s the most interesting thing you’ve read or seen this week?

I’m reading Running Man by Charlie Engle.

 

What is the most distant place you’ve visited?

Colorado

 

Favorite running shoes

Hoka One One , Clifton 3
 

Favorite time of day to run

In the morning.

 

Favorite song on your playlist

Ugh, so hard to choose… Probably something by Janes Addiction or The Growlers.
 

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

My proudest running accomplishment came at Brazos Bend 50 mile race in December. I’d never run over 35 miles before that race so I was really happy with a sub 8hr (7:59:59) 8th place finish.
 

Favorite ice cream flavor

Pistachio Almond

 

What trait do you like most about yourself?

My stubbornness, when I focus on something I don’t give up.

Team TROT Ambassador Lisa Decker

If you have run a TROT race within the past 3 years, you have seen our next ambassador volunteering and supporting the runners all over Texas.  Lisa Decker is a second year ambassador who truly defines the “ambassador” role through her outgoing nature and tireless volunteerism. Get to know a little more about Lisa and see why she is one of our best!

 

10 Questions with Lisa:

What’s the most useless talent you have?

Tripping on nothing! Doesn’t matter the shoes or surface, I will trip 5 times a day!! However I rarely fall, so I have that going for me!


What is the dumbest way you have been injured?

When I was a kid, I tried to jump on the side step of my dad’s truck as he was parking (saw older sister do it a million times). I slipped, fell and my leg got ran over! Badly sprained ankle from the fall and pretty nasty tire bruise on my thigh! No broken bones though!!


What’s the most interesting thing you’ve read or seen this week?

All the Lonestar100 race reports have been interesting to read!

 

What is the most distant place you’ve visited?

Harrisburg, PA (I only remember going to Hershey Park and coming home with chicken pox!)

 

Favorite running shoes

Altra Timps for trail. Altra Paradigm for road.
 

Favorite time of day to run

Until Snowdrop, it was always sunrise. After Snowdrop, it’s between midnight and 4am when everyone is sleeping!

 

Favorite song on your playlist

“Til I Collapse”- Eminem or “Jackal and Hyde”- 5 Finger Death Punch


What accomplishment are you most proud of?

Finishing Snowdrop this year and earning my first buckle! I never imagined I could finish 100 miles and now I’m itching to earn even more buckles!!.
 

Favorite ice cream flavor

Peppermint stick ice milk from Dewars in Bakersfield, CA

 

What trait do you like most about yourself?

My stubbornness and willpower....definitely has gotten me to finish a few races I wasn’t quite trained for! LOL It’s also rare to catch me without a smile on the trails!

Team TROT Ambassador Rosalba Zuniga

It’s Lone Star 100 week, and we are highlighting an El Paso Ambassador to show you how tough our West Texas team really is!  Rosalba Zuniga completed her first 50k in 2017 at the Cactus to Cloud race in NM and followed up with the Bryce Canyon 50k in UT a few months later.  She’s running her first 100 miler this weekend at Lone Star because she wanted to challenge herself with one of the toughest mountain races in the country.  We know that Rosalba is an exceptional trail runner, and she will leave her mark on the Franklin Mountains this weekend as she races towards her epic finish.

10 Questions with Rosalba:

What’s the most useless talent you have?

Paddle boarding, definitely a useless talent living in the desert.


What is the dumbest way you have been injured?

Not running related: I was cutting butter and cut myself with a butter knife. There was blood, but instead of me getting a bandaid, my kids laughed so hard and said that must be the dumbest way to get hurt. My kids won't ever let me live it down.


What’s the most interesting thing you’ve read or seen this week?

“When you think about it, what other choice is there but to hope. We have two options, medically and emotionally: give up or fight like hell." Lance Armstrong

 

What is the most distant place you’ve visited?

Korea

 

Favorite running shoes

I'm an Asics kind of girl
 

Favorite time of day to run

Night runs

 

Favorite song on your playlist

Mis Sentimientos feat Ximena By Los Angeles Azules


What accomplishment are you most proud of?

My first ever 50k last year Cactus to Cloud with 9,000 feet of elevation gain. All vertical climbing for the first 10 miles, and the rest of the course was not easy. It was just supposed to be a training run for my first ever 50k at Bryce Canyon. I came in with a wonderful time and finished with the first 5 people. This is the place I fell in love with 50ks.
 

Favorite ice cream flavor

Cookies and cream

 

What trait do you like most about yourself?

I love that I'm adventurous and very strong willed.

Team TROT Ambassador Victor Valenzuela

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This week’s ambassador needs no introduction!  Known simply as “Vic200,” Victor Valenzuela established himself as a true endurance runner and all around trail-connoisseur in 2017 with his 100 mile finishes at BB100, Dinosaur Valley Endurance Run, Orion 100, Blazing 7s 100, Jackalope Jam, and Rocky Raccoon 100. Victor completed the Texas Independence Relay as a solo runner, and he managed to eat at every Whataburger along the route from Gonzalez to the San Jacinto Monument!
10 Questions with Vic200:
What’s the most useless talent you have? 
I can eat the spiciest food others could not tolerate. 

What is the dumbest way you have been injured?
When I was 13 I drove a moped scooter straight to a fence. Injury kept me out of school for 1 week, so I must say it was a win for me.

Whats the most interesting thing you’ve read or seen this week? 
Oh Lawwd! In spin class someone's tight pants tore up right in front of me.

What is the most distant place you’ve visited? 
610 & Kirby.

Favorite running shoes? 
It would have to be my Altra LonePeaks and my Xero Z-trail sandals.

Favorite time of day to run?
I hate waking up early so evening runs are the best for me.

Favorite song on your playlist?
Hit'em up by Tupac.

What accomplishment are you most proud of? 
The Texas Independence Relay as a solo runner.

Favorite ice cream flavor? 
Blue Bell ice cream without lysteria. 

What trait do you like most about yourself? 
My mental game.It is stronger than a Jedi..(I just can't move things by not touching them,yet)
 

Team TROT Ambassador: Jenn Kirpatrick

Let’s give a big TROT welcome to new ambassador Jenn Kirpatrick! Jenn is a CERTIFIED BADASS as she completed her first IRONMAN 70.3, qualified for Boston, and crushed her first 50k, 50 mile, and 100 mile race in 2017.  Jenn runs with the Renegade Endurance Club, and she will be pacing at Running the Rose  this weekend.

10 Questions with Jenn:

 

What’s the most useless talent you have?

I am an obsessive packer, as far as ultras go.  Now, I feel this is a very useful talent, but my teammates are merciless in making fun of me for all the stuff I bring.

 

What is the dumbest way you have been injured?

Non-running:  I tried to do a flip on rings on a swing set once, and ended up knocking off a piece of bone from the ball of my foot.  It’s still floating around in there, I’ve been told. 

 

Whats the most interesting thing you’ve read or seen this week?

I’ve been reading the book, No Meat Athlete and that is giving me a lot to think about. 

 

What is the most distant place you’ve visited? 

Seattle

 

Favorite running shoes  Road: Adidas Adizero Adios; Trail: Salomon Sense Ride

 

Favorite time of day to run  Middle of the night.  There’s something magical about it.   

 

Favorite song on your playlist Thunderstruck by AC/DC

 

What accomplishment are you most proud of? My 100 mile finish at Brazos Bend, for sure.  But it was the whole package – the race was just the victory lap.  The real transformation happened during training.  Pure awesomeness!!

 

Favorite ice cream flavor   

Isn’t the real question “What is your favorite Blizzard?”  In that case, M&M.

 

What trait do you like most about yourself?   My ability to stay calm and think in stressful situations.  It’s extremely helpful when you are managing unexpected hurdles during a race, but even more so when, let’s say, someone steals your wallet & car keys at a volleyball tournament and you’re 200 miles away from home.   

Julie Dading My First 50k

Julie Dading

"My First 50k"

At the spur of the moment, on a sunny day in December, I decided to take a leap and sign up for my first 50k – the beast known to many as the Horseshoe Trail Run at Jack Brooks park which is held by TROT in January.    This park and I have had our issues with each other during the Night Moves Races in 2016, but I felt it was time to return and face “Mr. Brooks” once again, cause this chick doesn’t like to back down from a challenge.   And she doesn’t like it when someone (or something) tries to break her inner spirit.  So it was on!

Days prior to the race, the Houston area received a significant amount of rain which caused flooding in many areas, which included Jack Brooks Park.   I began to question myself as to whether I should skip the race or drop to a lower distance.  With this being my first 50k, it made the anxiety kick up a notch (ok more like five notches).

A couple of days prior to the race, I received the anticipated email from TROT to update everyone on the trail conditions.    The moment I saw the coveted “100% FUN” mentioned in the email, I began the traditional #FUROB chant cause when “100% FUN” is mentioned, that means you got a fking challenge ahead of you.    But it also means that you can take this situation, grab a hold of it by its balls, and just go have some damn FUN.     So then and there, I decided to stick with the 50k and just have fun.

The morning of the race, I show up, toes to the starting line, ready to kick Mr. Brooks ass.   I was excited, yet nervous like a school kid about to give a speech in front of the class.   I started to question my ability.   Can I do this?  Am I ready?  Was I crazy to sign up for this last minute?   The answer to all those questions was YES.  So let’s get this party started.  It’s finally geaux time.

As I start the race, I feel good and smiling.   Holy shit I am doing this!   Then we turn the corner to hit the inner trails and the 100% FUN begins.    During the first of five loops, I realized I was in for a challenge that was more overwhelming than what I anticipated.   Started to question myself again, as I sloshed through the dense, gripping mud and slid down those devious, slippery hills that wanted to throw me back to the bottom of the pit.  Took a few deep breaths and told myself to keep going.  One step at a time.  And whatever you do, don’t cry.

During my 2nd and 3rd loops (yes I made it this far), I was struggling on many levels.  The demon of Jack Brooks was really trying to break my spirit, my strength, my will to achieve a new goal.   But during the 3rd loop, I came upon a group of runners who were doing the 5k and 10k distances.   Some were sitting at the bottom of a very tough hill, in tears.   This was their first race and they felt defeated that they couldn’t overcome the grimy, muddy obstacle ahead of them.  They wanted to succeed at this race with our all their heart.   So I stopped and talked to them and created a plan to help them overcome this hurdle.   After much team work, all the runners scaled that muddy demon and made it to the top!  Every one of them hugged me and thanked me for taking time out of my own race to help them achieve their own goals.   They showed the same blood, sweat, and tears that many of us experience – whether it’s a 5K or a 50K.  It all means the same.  You are putting forth so much of your inner strength to do something you thought you could never, ever do.    But if you have the right foundation in place, anything can be achieved.  

With about 2 miles left in the 3rd loop, the doubt started to hit like Miley Cyrus on wrecking ball.  I started to stumble and fall, over and over.  I cut my hand at some point, not sure where, but looked down and noticed the blood covering my hand.  Remember earlier when I told myself not to cry?    Well the tears started to flow down my dirty cheeks, trying to persuade me this can’t be done.  Just quit Julie, it’s over.   A few minutes later I told myself I would regret giving up.  I’ve fought many demons in the past, so why can’t I put this demon to rest?   Took some deep inner breaths, wiped the dirty tears from my face, and moved forward.  That’s all you can do.  

I come across the start line to finish my third loop.   I see my boyfriend on the side, cheering me on.  That always warms my heart, knowing he is there for me.  Gives me strength I never had before.  I turn the corner to the aid station and my good friend Victor is there to greet me.   He can see the tears in my eyes, but doesn’t acknowledge it.  Instead he reminded me there was so much support there to help me finish this, so don’t quit.   He also took the time to clean up my bloody hand and wrapped it up with much care.    Everyone is telling me I can do this, I have the strength, both mental and physical.   So off I go for loop 4.  

During loops 4 and 5, the struggle was becoming harder.   The depths of hell were trying to drag my tired body to the ground.    I realized I was one of the last runners still attempting to finish this bitch.   Although it was sad to know I was close to last place, I also know I hadn’t given up.   I kept remembering what Victor told me.     I can hear the TROT award celebrations going on, hearing Rob on the speaker reminded me I was close to “home”.   One step at a time, Julie.  You got this.   Then, I finally exit the trails and find the road that will lead me back “home”.    Crap I hope they didn’t forget I was out there….and there better still be some damn beer left!

As I start my way down the road, I start to see human life once again.   It’s my good friend Jeremy, who’s waving me come in.   My legs are feeling weak, my arms just want to curl up.   If I crash during this last section, I’ll never forgive myself.   Then I hear RD Rob saying something on the speakers.   I hear him calling my name.  “Cmon Julie, we are here waiting for you!!”.     Cheers from spectators were lifting up my tired body, encouraging me to give it all I got.   It was amazing!   My legs suddenly felt like they belonged to a wild stallion!   I gave it all I got to cross the finish line.   I felt so empowered.  And to see all my wonderful friends who helped me get where I am today.     My heart just swelled.   I splash over the finish line, and  RD Rob gave me his infamous hug, although I really wanted to just collapse right there.   Remember earlier when I told myself not to cry?   I did, again.   But these were tears created by a foundation which I call my family.   Tears that showed I have strength beyond what many people in my past said I didn’t have.   So as I take my well-earned medal, I fall into the arms of my best friend…..and smiled.   

Last but Not Least.. Meet Team TROT Ambassador Santiago Morales

Santiago Morales

What is your goal for 2016?  I plan on running the Seoul Marathon, Korea 50K and exploring the South Korean urban lifestyle as well as thetrails and running community. I recently deployed to South Korea to help support the ROK Army.


How long have you been running? I have been running for sport since 2008. What started off as 5ks on the weekend would eventually evolve to thinking about my first marathon (Austin Marathon 2013 with my wife Nichole who ran the half-marathon).  My first race was a memorial run for a good buddy of mine who lost one of his best friend's in an automobile accident.  Proceeds went to an organization called "teens in the driver's seat."  This was a 5k event and became my pursuit to become a better runner afterwards and always a goal to run for a cause.


 What is favorite running achievement?  I recently ran the Snowdrop 55 Race and Relay. 100 Miles ran for pediatric cancer research and scholarships for survivors.  I PR’ed the run by 8 hours. I ran the 100 miles last year in 37 hours, this year I would go on to run it in 29 hours.  I was very proud of family and friends who helped me raise over $1,200 for the Snowdrop Foundation.  Also, my wife and I just had our first child. She is only 2 weeks old right now.  Look for baby Eliana running the trails here soon!


What else do you do to train other than run?I frequently go on Assault Pack Runs and ruck marches in order to train up for selection for Civil Affairs housed under Army Special Operations Forces.


 What do you do for a living? I'm currently an Executive Officer in an Infantry Company in the United States Army. I am in charge of the maintenance of all our vehicles, logistical operations for all training and deployments, and resourcing ranges, food and ammo to ensure my Soldiers get the best training possible. I video chat with my Wife and baby girl as much as I can in order to keep up with those cherished life moments. I also enjoy tuning into TROT's periscope from across the globe so I can support my TROT family.

Meet TROT Ambassador: James Villanueva

James Villanueva

 

1) What is your goals in 2016? My goal is to do my first 100k and 100 miler.. I would also want to do the TROT two step!!!

2) How long have you been running? I have been running off and on since 2010.

Two knee surgeries and maybe ankle surgery soon...:( I was 225 and entered a biggest loser contest at work. I won the grand prize which was about 1200$. I also lost 76 lbs in the process...! Running allows me to unwind for the day to day operations of life..

3) What is your most proud accomplishment? Franklin Mts. I walked 99.9 of the 50k with  a torn ankle tendon just to have that awesome metal!!!

4) What other outdoor pursuits do you have? Since I can't run I took up Disc golf!!! I love the outdoors!!!!! I love to lift weights as well!!!

5) What do you do when your not running? I'm an administrative driver... For PSI in Temple... I like to think I'm a jack of all trades there.

TROT Ambassador: Rachel Adamson

Rachel Adamson

 

What are you goals for 2016?

1)  In 2016 I hope to get stronger and faster. I've seen I can go the distance, but I want to do it faster and more efficiently.

               How long have you been running and how did you get                    into the sport? 

2)     I started running in 2010. I was 272 pounds and watched a movie about Badwater. I thought why not me? I haven't looked back since.

                Most recent race/achievement that you are proud of?

        3) I'm proud of every single run, but Rocky Raccoon 100 2015 still takes the          cake for me. It was my first attempt at 100, and I was successful. Many                  great people saw me along for that race and the training involved.

      What other outdoor pursuits or cross training                         endeavors do you participate in? 

       4) I am learning to love time on my road bike. I started riding in 2014, but             was never serious about it until a few months ago. A quad injury after                   pacing at badwater 135 this past summer helped to rekindle my interest. I           also really love lifting weights.

      Other than running and being an amazing human being,       whats your day job or what keeps you busy during the         day to day?

       5) I'm a former high school English teacher. I now homeschool my two                 children. There's nothing better than being there to witness their                             educational growth, and with our frequent travels(recreational and                       racing), it is especially sweet to just load up the camper and do lessons on           the road. 

TROT Ambassador: Brian Corbett

Brian Corbett

1.) What goals do you have, (personal or running related), going into 2016?

My running goals this year are to run a 6 minute mile, run at least 1 mile everyday (under 12:00 pace), and complete the Texas two step (BB50 & BB100).

2.) How long have you been running and how did you get into the sport?

I started running in January 2013 as a way to lose weight after getting up to 250 lbs and being unhappy with myself.

3.) Most recent race/achievement that you are proud of?

My most recent finish was Franklin Mountains 50k.

4.) What other outdoor pursuits or cross training endeavors do you participate in?

I like to camp with my family at Cub Scout outings.

5.) Other than running and being an amazing human being, whats your day job or what keeps you busy during the day to day?

I work as a process operator at the Citgo refinery in Sulphur, Louisiana.

 

Team TROT Ambassador Crystal Torres

Crystal Torres

1.) What goals do you have, (personal or running related), going into 2016? In 2016, I am hoping to place in my age group for the Texas Trail Championship ultra series. I am also hoping to place in my age group for the TROT Cup. I'm also hoping to kick some serious butt at Franklin Mountains and PR at the Cactus Rose 50

2.) How long have you been running and how did you get into the sport? I have been running since 2011 and in 2012 I did my first race which was an obstacle course race with my mom. I started running simply to lose weight. I started at 244 and have lost a total of 90lbs since then. I first started running/ walking around a local park, eventually I was able to run a mile without stopping. Once I was able to do that I worked my way up to a 5k, 10k and eventually a half marathon in 2014. Last year 2015 is when it got really fun for me! In 2014 Brazos Bend Half Marathon was my first big trail race away from home and i fell in love with the sport of trail running. I took my trail running all over the state in 2015. I loved seeing the world through new eyes and exploring the beauty of nature.

3.) Most recent race/achievement that you are proud of? I placed 2nd in the female 20-29 Texas Trail Championship series. It was my first year competing and I was so very excited and also a little taken by surprise. This year I'll be competing in the Texas Trail Championship (ultra division) as well as the TROT Cup.

4.) What other outdoor pursuits or cross training endeavors do you participate in? I love weight lifting and hula hooping. Weight lifting keeps my whole body strong but helps me strengthen on certain muscle groups that may be weak. Hula hooping is great cardio and an amazing core workout. It's actually how I first got active. I love the carefree feeling of hoop dancing under the sun. I just love being challenged, I've also participated in various OCRs and also done a goruck event.

5.) Other than running and being an amazing human being, whats your day job or what keeps you busy during the day to day?
I'm a graphic designer for a flexible packaging company. My day is mostly spent on the computer setting up graphics for print production, color matching items, photographing objects, copy editing, and figuring out the best way via print to create the customers desired look.

Meet Team TROT Runner Carmen Martinez

Carmen Martinez

1. What are you goals for 2016? I have 2 goals for 2016: Running the Franklin Mountains 50k (amazing race with KILLER scenery) and earning a buckle at SnowDrop at the end of the year. I was so disappointed to miss Franklin last year, so this has become my goal race for the year!

2.How long have you been running?  I've only been running for a little over 5 years. I started after a friend convinced me to run the Houston Half Marathon, and I haven't stopped since that first race. Looking back, I can't remember what I did with all my free time (and money) before I started!

3. What is your most recent success in running? I came in 3rd place at the TROT Blazing 7s 50k race!! I remember being extremely surprised when Rob announced that I had placed for my division at this tough race. It may be the only time I earn a respectable finish for a race, but it will stick with me as one of my proudest accomplishments.

4. What other activities do you do other than trail running? In addition to running stairs and weight training, I recently incorporated yoga into my regular cross training workouts. The yoga definitely helps maintain my flexibility while reducing my stress during the week.

5. What keeps you busy on a day to day life?  My workweek is comprised of being an all-around financial/operational guru for my department at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Outside of work, I spend my time raising my two boys AND adopting rescue dogs :)

Team Trot Ambassador Josue Quilliou

Josue Quilliou

1.) What goals do you have, (personal or running related), going into 2016?

As my A-race for 2016 is now over (Bandera 100K), I feel free to jump on new projects and keep having fun! That includes running the awesome TROT races (especially the new ones and the now famous Franklin Mountain Race !) and do 1 or 2 more 100k race. Ideally, I'd like to race on qualifying races for Leadville 100 and Hardrock 100, so I'll work on it in the next few weeks and finalize my calendar. Oh, and I'll probably sign up for a full Ironman distance!

2.) How long have you been running and how did you get into the sport?

I started in 2011 when I moved to Norway. The wild and mountains were just at my door and I just embraced it! Even though I miss the mountains (yeah, Texas is a bit flat...), the friendships that got built with the trail running family in Houston, especially TROT, is so strong and motivational that I keep pushing my limits!

3.) Most recent race/achievement that you are proud of?

Well, my two 100k races are the most awesome experiences that I'm proud of. Habanero 100, where I managed to stay awake, even after 19h of race, and Bandera 100 where I hit the wall and managed to overcome it. Both events were life changing experiences!

4.) What other outdoor pursuits or cross training endeavors do you participate in?

I love triathlon, especially for the cross training aspect of it. A full Ironman distance is a side project for this year.

5.) Other than running and being an amazing human being, whats your day job or what keeps you busy during the day to day?

I'm a safety engineer in the Oil & Gas industry. I'm sitting behind my desk most of the day, that's why I grab any opportunity to get out and run with my friends! 

Meet Stephen Moore Team TROT Ambassador

Stephen Moore

1- Going into 2016 is to get healthy 1st after a injury late in 2015 and focus on getting as prepared as I can for Leadville Trail 100.  I'll run as many TROT races as I can ending 2016 back at Brazos Bend for hopefully another 100 mile finish. 

 

2- I've been running seriously for 2 years. I tried it for a few months in 2013 but it didn't stick.  I started running because I wanted to change my life.  Someone told me once to get a hobby so after running some in the Air Force years ago I thought why not? Once I got on trails and shortly after discovering Ultra's I was hooked and now sink most of my life around this great sport. 

 

3- My most recent finish that I'm proud of was Pumpkin Hollar 100. I had pacers but went without a crew and other than turning a ankle bad 70 miles in, I had a really cool day. 

 

4- I recently got back into the gym pretty heavy.  Like 6 days a week.  I tried it some in 2015 and it helped but when I stopped is when I eventually wound up getting hurt. Core & Strength training is so under rated and I'm fortunate enough to have a coach that pushes me hard to go get that extra work in daily. 

 

5- To pay for my running I'm a product support rep for a heavy equipment company. Basically I try to solve issues with customers and/or my employer.  It's a cool gig n allows me some freedom to stick to a training plan with my run    My other passion outside of running is live music. I love the independent bands where guys just scrape by playing songs that they've written. 

Trot Ambassador Dawn Burris

 

 

TROT_Dawn 2016.jpg

Dawn Burris

1.) What goals do you have, (personal or running related), going into 2016?

I want to continue to encourage other runners to challenge themselves with trail running and longer distances.  For me personally, continue eating healthy, staying fit and challenging myself with more Ultra races and different terrains.

2.) How long have you been running and how did you get into the sport?

I was never a runner but once a friend signed me up for Gusher 5K in May, 2010, I became hooked. I will be eternally grateful to her for getting me started and on the road to many great adventures and meeting so many runners, who I now consider some of my best friends.

3.) Most recent race/achievement that you are proud of?

In November, took a road trip to El Paso for Franklin Mountains 50K with some of my favorite running buddies.  This was my first mountain race and the most challenging to date – was super excited to finish and looking forward to tackling it again in Sep 2016.

4.) What other outdoor pursuits or cross training endeavors do you participate in?

Main focus has been running over the last 5+ years, minimal cross training, planks and squats, at home on non-run days. 

5.) Other than running and being an amazing human being, whats your day job or what keeps you busy during the day to day?

I’m a Project Coordinator for Wells Fargo and sit behind a desk and work on my laptop for 8 hours a day.  I look forward to the end of day when I can get out in the fresh air for a run or take a long runcation weekend

Meet Michelle Gochis our Team TROT Ambassador

Michelle Gochis

Michelle Gochis

 

1.)   What goals do you have, (personal or running related), going into 2016?  I want to run as many 100 milers as possible, each faster and stronger. I plan to run the Stagecoach 100 Ultra in September, from Flagstaff to the Grand Canyon. I plan to train hard for that, and each race between now and then will be a training run for it. 

2.)   How long have you been running and how did you get into the sport? I ran track in 5th grade and never stopped running. My mom ran a lot when I was a kid, and she would take me with her on my bike, and then running alongside her when I was old enough to keep up. I started training for my first marathon about 6 years ago, when my kids were old enough for me to take the time to train. I ran 2 marathons, two weeks apart, then started running ultras.

3.) Most recent race/achievement that you are proud of? My biggest race achievement would be the 100 miles I just completed at Snowdrop 2015.

4.) What other outdoor pursuits or cross training endeavors do you participate in? I love going to Crossfit. It helps a lot with running.

5.) Other than running and being an amazing human being, whats your day job or what keeps you busy during the day to day? I work at the high school my kids attend.  I love being able to see my kids all day. It helps keep us connected with life as busy as ours is. I run for the love of running, races are just fun. I will always be a runner, and I hope to inspire others to get out and love it too. 

Meet Team TROT Ambassador Mark Gehringer

 Marc "The Real Deal" Gehringer

Mark Gehringer

 

1)     What goals do you have, (personal or running related), going into 2016? Be a stronger runner by focusing on: daily nutrition, weekly speed work, gym/core work 2x/week.  Measurement of this goal will be reflected in how I am physically feeling a the end of long ultras later in the year.

 

2) How long have you been running and how did you get into the sport? I have been running my entire life.  It has always been a part of me and an identity for me.  In 3rd grade I ran and won my first spring and became the class "fast kid". In the 4th grade I won my first trophy (21st place overall) for the cross country season.  Ran in jeans and Stadia brand shoes back then.

 

3) Most recent race/achievement that you are proud of? I am most proud of my 2nd 100 mile race finish in 2015 at Brazos Bend 100.  It was special because I DNFed the same race in 2014.

 

4) What other outdoor pursuits or cross training endeavors do you participate in? I love camping.  I do more RV camping now with the family, but I have always loved tenting and cooking over an open flame all weekend.