Age: 38, Years running: 26, Hometown: Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Favorite product: Crosslite
What are some of your lifetime running goals?
Complete the Grand Slam (Western States, Vermont, Leadville and Wasatch 100s); run Rim to Rim to Rim (Grand Canyon); Hard Rock 100; run one of the distances at the Uwharrie Mountain Run with each of my daughters (now 2 and 4).
Do you have a claim to fame?
NYC Marathon at 26 weeks pregnant. Last baby born in Marion County, Florida in 1971.
Do you have any vices?
Ice cream, and almost any sort of stout or porter. Staying out too long on the local trails, or lingering too long post-run at the local coffee shop, rather than getting to work.
What makes you tick as a runner and in the real world?
A bit of obsessive-compulsiveness, probably. An unrealistic desire to balance all sorts of things, including running and racing; working as a political science professor at a research university; parenting two young, lovely and very energetic little girls; and trying to be a good spouse and partner to my (very patient) husband.
What drives you to run?
The sense that, until I run, my day isn't complete, and I'm not at ease. The desire to see how far I can push myself, sometimes in terms of distance, other times in terms of just getting out of bed in the cold and dark to get in my long run. And the promise of finding beauty when I run, both on my local trails and in the places I travel to for work and races.
What is your favorite movie?
I'm not sure I have an all time favorite. More recently, maybe Slumdog Millionaire. Before that, the Princess Bride, Fargo. And Bull Durham, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, the Breakfast Club.
Do you have any nicknames? Explain:
Willow - my trail name, bestowed upon me by the Trailheads, my local trailrunning club (and surrogate family, truth be told) in Chapel Hill/Carrboro, NC. I'm just as likely to answer to Willow as I am to my given name.
What’s the longest you’ve gone without sleep? Why?
40 hours, surrounding my first 100 miler, Cascade Crest, in 2009. The race has a leisurely 10am start, so I was up early, did the race, finished early afternoon, and then stayed up for dinner etc.
If you had to be named after one of the 50 states, which would it be?
Wyoming. No idea why, but it would sound cool.
What did you have for lunch yesterday?
I missed lunch yesterday...it was Christmas Day, and I was out for a run at lunchtime!
If you could hook up a thought monitor to your head, would you see pictures, hear words or would music be playing?
A combination of all three.
What really scares you about trail running?
Falling off of a really steep trail in the middle of the night, probably somewhere along the Hard Rock course.
If your life was made into a movie, what would it be called?
Super Trouper (after an ABBA song)
Where would you live if it could be anywhere in the world?
Hard to decide: Cape Town, South Africa; Wellington, New Zealand; London, England; Boulder; Vancouver?
What’s your worst encounter on the trail?
I've been lucky so far -- can't think of anything worse than a copperhead or two on a mid-day summer run.