As the non-profit American Trail Running Association approaches a quarter century of service, we are interviewing trail runners from around the United States like Amy Machael who are participating in our 25th Anniversary Challenge. Through these profiles we’ll introduce you to lesser known every day athletes who are walking, hiking, or trail running their way to distance milestones and sharing their experiences with the community on social media.
We hope these interviews will inspire you to get out on the trails while getting to know trail runners from different parts of the country. If you haven’t already joined our 25th Anniversary Challenge, you can learn more about it and sign-up on our website.
Let’s get to know Amy Machael
Hometown: Erie, Colorado
Challenge Region: West
Years running trails: 7 years
Favorite race distance: 50 km
Longest race completed: 50 miles
[American Trail Running Association] How did you get into trail running?
[Amy Machael] My friend Katie was always challenging me as a runner. She loved running trail and I loved spending time with her.
[ATRA] What motivates you to get out and run on trails?
[Machael] I love the solitude and scenery. I love that it’s not easy and I feel better after each trail run.
[ATRA] What has your experience been running on trails versus running on roads?
[Machael] I started running when I was 12 years old with my mom. Until I started running trails with Katie, I would never have considered running anything longer than a 10k. Since discovering trail running, I’ve challenged myself to run trail races as long as 50 miles. It was rail running that inspired me to run a road marathon.
[ATRA] What do you like best about being part of the trail running community?
[Machael] I LOVE the camaraderie. You know that saying, “Misery loves company?” There’s a kinship in suffering 50 miles or 12 hours on the trail together. And I love that you can eat real food. 🙂
[ATRA] What advice would you give to someone trying trail running for the first time?
[Machael] Pace yourself – so many people expect to be able to run the same pace on trail as they do on road.
[ATRA] How did you learn about our 25th Anniversary Challenge?
[Machael] I saw an ad for it on Facebook and then my trail running posse posted a link to the challenge.
[ATRA] What do you enjoy most about our 25th Anniversary Challenge?
[Machael] I love that I can set my own mileage and goals! And since the group I run with is also in the Challenge, it’s great knowing that the miles we spend together count toward this Challenge.
[ATRA] Part of our 25th Anniversary Challenge is a weekly trail teaser. What trail teaser would you like to see during the challenge?
[Machael] I would love to see a Flora/Fauna teaser. I would love to see the variety in the different regions across the country. And maybe a #seenonmyrun of weird stuff you see on the trail or find on your run.
[ATRA] How has how our 25th Anniversary Challenge has motivated you?
[Machael] Because of this challenge of the goal I have set for myself, I have been active almost every single day of September. I have walked 4 miles almost every day with my husband and thoroughly enjoyed our time together.
[ATRA] What is your favorite post-run or post-race indulgence?
[Machael] A whole chocolate cake for a week.
[ATRA] What is your favorite trail running shoe?
[Machael] I like the Hoka One One Torrent.
[ATRA] What is your favorite time of day to run trails?
[Machael] I love to run on the trails when the air is cool just before the sun comes up. It always smells so clean and fresh.
Amy Machael’s pick one quiz results:
- Prefers Wide Path over single-track running
- Prefers Downhill over uphill running
- Will do Planking before Push Ups
- She prefers Massage to foam rolling
- She will take a Long Run over Speed Work
If you enjoyed this interview with Amy Machael, there’s more! Our earlier challenge profiles include interviews with Anastasia Christman, George Rehmet, Long Island’s Tim McNamara, San Antonio, Texas trail runner Kimberly Aubuchon, Sandra Galindo and Brooklyn’s Zobel Belisario.