This is my 20th interview for my blog. I’ve chatted pretty often with Bre during #runchat and #ultrachat on Twitter. She is a younger accomplished ultraruner and has already done some amazing things, even before she graduates college.
She has a through list of all her races on her blog at: http://run2live.webs.com/accomplishments.htm. She was the third female to finish North County Run Trail Ultra 50 miler in 9:05, but we’ll get into that more on the video. She has done 1 5K since high school (19:50 PR); 1 Half (1:40 PR); 7 Fulls (3:25:17 PR); 1 50 miler (9:05:22 PR).
Also, she has done two different expeditions, one that was 200 miles over five days and the other in Botswana covering 184 km over four days.
She runs in Michigan. Here’s Bre (@Love2Bre);
1. When did you start running?
I started running when I was 11, which was prompted by my family’s move from Pennsylvania to Michigan. We moved for my dad’s job. Despite having moved to accommodate my father’s work, he ended up traveling most of the month. He would jog in the mornings, and to spend more time with him I’d wake up at 5 AM to join him on his run. I also started running because, while we weren’t timed in the mile in gym class in Pennsylvania, we were in Michigan. I was the last to finish the mile as my peers cheered me on. It was one of the most humiliating moments of my young life.
I don’t know how to answer this one because it’s like asking “What do you enjoy about breathing?” Running is so much a part of who I am and my being that there is no distinguishing enjoyment about the motion. I enjoy that I go places to run and make connection with other people who share this common interest. I enjoy that the action makes me strong and clears my mind. About running, though? I think I most enjoy that it gives me life, as does breath.
“Why?” I’m asked why I run marathons and ultras. I usually respond “Why not?” knowing that it is something that most non-runners (and many runners) will never understand. Honestly, I don’t know why. Why do some people dive to the deepest depths of the ocean? Why do some people insist on summiting the highest peaks? Charity and setting a record are all nice reasons, but is that the true motive? No, it’s a much deeper force than that, one that touches the soul and likes of human nature. So, the response I really would like to give the people who question why I run– a question I myself have pondered often and much– is not “Why not?” but “Does there really need to be a reason?”
Trails for sure! When I first started running as an 11 year old, I would pretend that I was a wolf, a horse, or an eagle. Being in the woods gives me that feeling again. I love the woods, the smell of pines, the slippery climbs, birdwatching, and the lack of cars.
5. What shoes do you run in?
I rotate through 3 pairs, depending on what I’m running. New Balance 110s for trails, Saucony Kinvara 2 for roads, and Vibram Five Fingers Jaya model. I started running the the VFF classic model in high school (2009), having gotten my hands on The Barefoot Running Book (http://www.tbfrb.com). Vibrams were my favorite for a long time, until I started getting more serious about racing. I run slower in VFF because I’m more cautious about where I’m stepping. I still wear them for the runs where I’m focusing on nothing but form and enjoyment. Currently, I love the NB 110s. They feature the same 4mm heel to toe drop as the Kinvaras, a thin base, and a hard plate, which can save your midfoot on the trails. The wide toe box keeps my piggies happy.
6. Thoughts about the minimal/barefoot running movement?
I love going minimal/barefoot, but it isn’t for everyone. I sincerely believe that it is a tool to teach good running form, but wearing a barefoot shoe all the time isn’t necessary. I disagree with how people approach minimal running– it’s become a cult where you’re either right or you’re wrong, and people are injuring themselves because of it. I believe that there needs to be more emphasis on educating runners about minimalism before they decide to change their running shoe or style.
I think I would be really happy with any sponsor who would pay my race entry/travel fees. I’ll wear whatever they like, post awesome reviews about them, sell my soul, etc… (I kid) but I’m a university student and races are expensive!
I think that they are wonderful programs– I myself do crossfit and rowing– but during the off season. I use crossfit and rowing as a way to stay in shape and build endurance when I am recovering from racing season. I phase them out, though, when it’s time to build up the mileage again. They’re great tools to build strength, stay fit and injury-free throughout the year.
9. Favorite race or event you’ve been apart of? And why?
My favorite event by far was this past Oct/November when I ran as a Youth Ambassador for impossible2Possible (i2P) in Botswana (www.i2PBotswana.com). i2P is a program that selects youth aged 17-21 to run while carrying out a project. I was selected as one of 8 youth ambassadors to run across the Kalahari Desert in Botswana and educate about clean drinking water, biodiversity, water supply and more. It’s my favorite because it wasn’t just running– it was connecting with students in the classroom, creating video content, and acting as a team. I took away a lot more from this experience than just learning how to run through a desert– it taught me a lot of life lessons that I hope to apply.
10. If you could run with someone famous, it would be?
Honestly, I enjoy whomever happens to be my running partner. I’ve had the marvelous opportunities to run with Ray Zahab, Sam Gash, Ferg Hawke, Scott Jurek, and Jason Robillard.
If I had to pick, though, it’d probably be Robert Downy Jr. Because he’s an awesome actor.