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 Jeanette Reynolds 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 Jeanette Reynolds
Hometown: Abingdon, Virginia
Challenge region: South
Years running trails: 10
Average miles per week on trails: 32
Favorite race distance: 10K
Longest trail race completed: 15.5 miles thanks to the Ragnar Trail Texas Race.
[American Trail Running Association] How did you get into trail running?
[Jeanette Reynolds] I grew up on a farm, so running around on natural surfaces and spending time in the woods and mountains has always been an important part of my life. I didn’t start “trail running” more regularly as an adult until about 10 years ago – and for quite a while, it was an important part of helping me process through some challenging phases in my life.
[ATRA] What motivates you to get out and run on trails?
[Reynolds] I just want to be outside surrounded by nature, using my body. Especially here in Southwest Virginia, there is no shortage of gorgeous trails to explore and enjoy.
[ATRA] What has your experience been running on trails versus running on roads?
[Reynolds] I use to find the idea of running “in town” completely romantic as farm girl from rural Virginia, but after more than a decade of living in major cities, I’m happy to have unlimited trail access. Road running was my weekly fitness training so that I could get out of town and enjoy long trail runs on the weekends. I do miss the Downtown Running Club of San Antonio and running through the Monte Vista neighborhood at night (especially around any holiday because they have the best light displays).
[ATRA] What do you like best about being part of the trail running community?
[Reynolds] We’re still getting to know each other! For the most part I’ve been a solo trail runner, but I’m ready to start making friends and putting in more miles.
[ATRA] What advice would you give to someone trying trail running for the first time?
[Reynolds] Just think of it as fast hiking… while the challenge of it is what I find most appealing, you can make it your own! Don’t worry about what you think a trail runner looks like or how you think they perform, just you do you out there on the trails!
[ATRA] How did you first learn about our 25th Anniversary Challenge?
[Reynolds] Kimberly Aubuchon! She is the race coordinator for Government Canyon State Natural Area’s annual Recharge Run and I served on their Board of Directors. I also love the 15K version of the race.
[ATRA] What do you enjoy most about our 25th Anniversary Challenge?
[Jeanette Reynolds] The community and feeling of connection during these isolated times.
[ATRA] Part of our 25th Anniversary Challenge is the weekly trail teaser. What trail teaser would you like to see during the challenge?
[Reynolds] I have 1 million glamour shots of trails on my phone… so just, your favorite trail or favorite trail shot/scene.
[ATRA] Share with us how our 25th Anniversary Challenge has motivated you.
[Reynolds] Totally! Especially as I moved from Texas to Virginia – I am excited for the extra encouragement to get out and move as the days get shorter and cooler. Five years in San Antonio got me quite spoiled for being able to run in shorts every month of the year.
[ATRA] What is your favorite post-run or post-race indulgence?
[Reynolds] My husband’s cooking.
[ATRA] What is your favorite trail running shoe
[Reynolds] I like TOPO’s trail running shoes.
[ATRA] What is your favorite time of day to run trails
[Reynolds] I’m an evening runner through and through. That’s when the world is slowing down and everything is a bit quieter.
Jeanette Reynolds’ pick one quiz results:
- She prefers Single Track to Wide Path
- She prefers Uphill instead of Downhill running
- Prefers Push Ups to Planking
- Likes Foam Rolling instead of Massage
- Prefers Long Runs to Speed Work
If you enjoyed this interview with Amy Machael, there’s more! Our earlier challenge profiles include interviews with Amy Machael, Anastasia Christman, George Rehmet, Long Island’s Tim McNamara, San Antonio, Texas trail runner Kimberly Aubuchon, Sandra Galindo and Brooklyn’s Zobel Belisario.