team trot runner

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 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 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 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 Venus Turner

VENUS TURNER

1.) What goals do you have, (personal or running related), going into 2016?
Personal- going back to school
Running- I want to run my first 100k and my first 100 miler. Run more 50 milers and of course improve my times.
Will be running road races such as The Woodlands Marathon, TIR Relay and Mexico City Marathon.

2.) How long have you been running and how did you get into the sport?
I've been running 7 years the first 4 1/2 years I was a recreational runner and never ran a race before. Everything changed once I ran my first 5k. I started running as part of warm up at a boot camp class I took. I didn't know I was going to like running. After I finished the class I'd go a run around the neighborhood. Started by running a mile and increased the distance until I was able to run 6 miles everyday. It's funny because I was embarrassed to run in shorts and tank tops so I'd wear sweat pants and short sleeve shirts.

3.) Most recent race/achievement that you are proud of?
My first 50 mile race made me feel so proud of myself and of that big accomplishment.

4.) What other outdoor pursuits or cross training endeavors do you participate in?
I have been training at the gym with free weights and a personal trainer.

5.) Other than running and being an amazing human being, whats your day job or what keeps you busy during the day to day? Another one of the things I love as much as running is cooking! I love cooking and being able to create dishes and play with the flavors of the food! That keeps me busy.