Meet Ashley Reinhart - Trail Runner. Plant Eater. Data Nerd. Community Connector. Gap Filler. Whether you know her or not (you need to :), she's probably whipped past you on a trail or two:
1. When and why did you start running? I ran the 3200 in track in middle school and fell in love with it. Unfortunately, the small private high school I attended didn't have organized sports and even though my track coach encouraged me to train cross country with a public school's team as a "free agent", I was too young and ignorant to follow through.
2. What has running done for your life? It sounds really cliche, but it literally saved my life. I ran off and on during college, but I really got into long distance trail running about four years ago when I was going through a really dark, lost time. I was partying too much and struggling with my identity and what I wanted out of life. Life was moving too fast, yet too slow at the same time. I found long hours of running helped me process things and work through the hard stuff mentally so I could move forward and decide who and what I wanted. Since then I've met so many amazing people, had absolutely breathtaking moments atop mountains, really found my grounding and confidence during epic struggles and "sufferfests," and smiled until my face hurt.
3. Favorite running shoes? I have a love/hate relationship with my Altras but I've never found anything better, and I always reach for them.
4. Most memorable race? I have two. Quest for the Crest, the BEST, most fantastical vertical climb (literally) I've ever experienced in a race (and it's only a 10K) and my goal race for this past year - the Dam Yeti 50 miler in Virginia - flat, fast, and stunning.
5. Any other fun fact and/or words of inspiration you would like to tell the world? Find something that lights your face up unexpectedly and never stop doing it. Ridiculous enthusiasm about anything goes a long way in bringing light to the world around you. Happy trails! Xx
If you have a running story you would like to share with the world, please email Charlotte at email@example.com.