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 Sandra Galindo 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 Sandra Galindo
Birthplace: Andalucia, Valle, Colombia
Hometown: Paramus, New Jersey
Challenge region: Northeast
Years running trails: 6
Average miles per week on trails: 25 to 30
Favorite race distance: 25 km
Longest trail race completed: 50 km
[American Trail Running Association] How did you get into trail running?
[Sandra Galindo] In 2014, when I wasn’t happy to run on road through knee pain I switched to trail and started hiking getting a quick recover. Then, one day in August of 2014, I saw a trail runner almost dancing over those rocky trails and the very next next day I returned for my first trail run on the shore trail/giant stairs loop at the Palisades Interstate Park (New Jersey and New York). I completed a loop and my entire body was sore for a week and I learned that trail running requires more stamina, agility and balance than road running. Since that day I have been running trails.
[ATRA] What motivates you to get out and run on trails?
[Galindo] Getting out in the outdoors allow me to leave worries behind and find the connection to balance my mind, body and soul.
[ATRA] What has your experience been running on trails versus running on roads?
[Galingo] Trail running offers a broad range of challenges including steeps hills to climb and technical terrain to negotiate, helping me improving balance and coordination and putting me away from civilization experiencing the beauty of nature. My reward is a softer terrain with less impact to run on, making it easier on the ligaments and joints. Road running is ruled by pace to determine if my run was successful and requires lots of speed workouts on flat and hard surfaces lead in injuries and shoes doesn’t make much difference on the rigidity of concrete or asphalt.
[ATRA] What do you like best about being part of the trail running community?
[Galingo] Trail runners are outdoor lovers and they understand the value of public lands and understand the importance of connecting to our wild roots.
[ATRA] What advice would you give to someone trying trail running for the first time?
[Galingo] You have to be comfortable getting outside in nature. Please do not wear your 5k road shoes and stop looking at your watch every minute because this isn’t road running. Pay attention and stay focused on your step to prevent twisted ankles or serious injuries, as it is almost inevitable that a fall is somewhere in a trail runner’s future. Just roll, recover and begin running again or otherwise you will pay the bill for your rescue.
[ATRA] How did you first learn about our 25th Anniversary Challenge?
[Galindo] I found out about your challenge in September from the American Trail Running Association email newsletter.
[ATRA] What do you enjoy most about our 25th Anniversary Challenge?
[Galindo] I like the weekly video trail teasers and the challenge Facebook group. This friendly group has all participants sharing videos, photos of our off road adventures. There is also athlete Fitrankings, weekly tracking, real time leaderboards and mileage, both individual and by regions.
[ATRA] Part of our 25th Anniversary Challenge is the weekly trail teaser. What trail teaser would you like to see during the challenge?
[Galindo] The most beautiful bridge, fall scenery or historical site during your trail run.
[ATRA] How has how our 25th Anniversary Challenge has motivated you?
[Galindo] I am motivated because the challenge continues this fall and winter and I look forward to sharing with all participants the winter wonderland we have in the Catskill Mountains. Also, I can’t wait to see everyone’s adventures and add them to my bucket list. Thank you American Trail Running Association and Happy 25th Anniversary!!
[ATRA] What is your favorite post-run or post-race indulgence?
[Galindo] I’ll take a cold beer and clementines.
[ATRA] What is your favorite trail running shoe?
[Galindo] I like the Salomon S/lab Ultra 2.
[ATRA] What is your favorite time of day to run trails?
[Galindo] I prefer running in the morning.
Sandra Galindo’s pick one quiz results:
- Prefers Single Track over Wide Path
- Uphill instead of Downhill running
- Planking over Push Ups
- She prefers Massage to Foam Rolling
- She will take a Long Run over Speed Work
But wait, there’s more! If you missed our earlier challenge profiles, check out our interviews with Long Island’s Tim McNamara, San Antonio, Texas trail runner Kimberly Aubuchon and Brooklyn’s Zobel Belisario.