Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Trail Sisters: Sister Spotlights

I've partnered with Trail Sisters to publish the Sister Spotlight interview series: 

Women interviewed for this series are dedicated runners and hikers who consider trail running and training for competitions to be a part of their lifestyle, whether they’re elite athletes or back-of-the-packers. These women have a passion for competitive trail running or hiking, set and exceed personal goals, and live the mission of Trail Sisters by inspiring, educating, and/or empowering other athletes. 

This is what my trail adventures look like lately. 

  • Sister Spotlight: LeAnn Gotshall Martinez -- LeAnn and I met at an ultrarunning panel event at our local Fleet Feet running store where we bonded over our mutual goal of one day completing the Ironmaster’s Challenge 50K in Michaux State Forest. Later we solidified our friendship when she invited me to stay the night in a cabin in Wellsboro, PA before running the 25K Green Monster Trail Challenge in Tioga State Forest. She is the epitome of a Trail Sister: she shares her trail adventures daily on social media and encourages all the women she knows – and some of the men, too! – to join her on the trails. When we met, neither of us had raced more than a 25K, and running a 50K was a distant dream. But since then, LeAnn has completed multiple 50Ks, 100Ks, a 100-miler, a 72-hour race, and more. Not only did she introduce me to my first rattlesnake, downhill boulder field climb, and hitchhiking experience (those were all in the same day!), she continuously impresses me with her positive attitude and her dedication and love of vertical challenges. Here are some of her stories.
  • Sister Spotlight: Aneta Zeppettella -- Trail Sisters leader in Dayton, OH, Aneta, was born and raised in Poland so she still “speaks English with an accent.” She trains for and competes in ultrarunning races because, she says, “When I’m on the top of the mountain and things go wrong, that is my raw essence, and I want to see what that person really is capable of.” Here are some of her stories about overcoming her loneliness, creating bonds with her trail sisters and trail misters, and finding a sense of belonging. 
  • Sister Spotlight: Aarti -- Aarti found solace in trail running after a mountain biking accident prevented her from continuing to ride. Trail running has been her natural cure for depression and she loves her trail running community. The sport resonated with her so strongly that she made the leap to running her first ultra race – a 100K – after running her first 5K. While writing her memoir, she realized that life is a lot like ultrarunning: “You just have to keep going.” As one of few women of Asian-Indian origin who runs trails, she’s very passionate about being a pioneer and inspiration for other women who are hesitant to try the sport. 

If you know of any women trail runners or hikers who match the criteria for this series, please send them my way!

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