Please welcome the third of our 2017 American Trail Running Association (ATRA) Trail Ambassadors presented by CamelBak. We’re proud to introduce you to Edie Riedel from Lafayette, LA. After starting her running pursuits on the roads, the 46-year-old mother of two, switched her focus to trail about five years ago. Edie gives back to her trail running community as a runner, coach, and race director. Check back with us each month as we introduce another ATRA Trail Ambassador presented by CamelBak.
Born and raised in Louisiana, Edie Riedel, has worked for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society as a campaign manager since 2007, and is the only staffer in her area. She started trail running in 2008, and ran he first trail ultra in 2009 – The Rocky Raccoon 50 Miler. Since then, she has run 24 ultras including four 100 milers.
“I caught the bug for trail running at Rocky from Joe Prusaitis,” said Riedel. “He’s a great guy, kind of gruff, but laid back. Joe provided me with a great introduction to the sport and has become a friend.”
Riedel, started a trail running group six years ago in her hometown of Lafayette. Mud and Guts has a Facebook group and community where everyone can pitch in and share content. Weekend runs include some shorter distance trails in town, with longer runs typically at Chicot State Park, located about 45 minutes from town. With single-track trail, some bridges through the swamp, and no roads, the park is ideal for out-and-back routes, although most do the 20 mile loop around the lake. The group welcomes all ages and abilities. One of the more popular runs is held on Black Friday with up to 20 people running in lieu of shopping.
Writes nominator Fawn Hernandez, “Edie has grown the group significantly and at least three dozen of us travel out of state to trail events (and sometimes internationally). She has hosted several ‘Trail Running for Beginners’ sessions to expose, educate and assist others with getting into trail running. She is always organizing group trail runs and parties to celebrate our running accomplishments. She has coached me (free of charge) through my first 50K and on my way to my first 100K at Red Dirt (Hernandez finished second).”
In addition to her volunteer role with the trail running group, and coaching people from 10K to 100 miles, Riedel is the founder and sole owner of Paix Running Company. She used the French word for peace in the title to honor the feeling she has on the trails, “You get on the trail, and leave the world behind. It’s a natural experience.”
With a background directing 5K and 8K road events over the past five years, her company’s first major trail race was an ultra held on February 4. The Red Dirt Ultra offered distances of 50K, 100K and 100 miles with 90 registrants and 80 finishers. Her company’s next event is a 100-mile relay on March 25, and she has plans to host even more trail races in the near future.
“I’m most definitely committed to the sport, says Riedel. “I have run five or six road marathons, but haven’t run another marathon on the roads since I discovered trails. It’s just a different type of people who come to the trail events and I want to be part of the community.”
Riedel lives by the Paix Running motto, which is, “Unplug and just BE. BE in nature. BE in your own thoughts. BE present in the moment. Just BE. So, that is my philosophy in a nutshell.”