As a family, the Smiths are committed to modeling healthy exercise and lifestyle behavior for their children. Pam has turned the backyard of their modern home into a lush garden where she keeps chickens and grows the majority of the family’s produce. And despite soccer practice, dance classes, homework and music lessons, family dinners, which mac often cooks, are part of the routine.
“It can be easy to get overwhelmed by the day-to-day things, but going out for a run in the early morning is straightforward and it sets the tone for the day,” says Smith, who often goes to bed at around 8 p.m. with her kids in order to make sure she has the energy to get up to run.
“If pam says she will show up for a training run you can bet she will be there, rain, sun or snow,” said Smith’s long-time running partner, Dan Meiries. “She’s kind of like the post office—she always delivers. That kind of peer pressure gets a runner out of bed on a lot of mornings when it would be easy to bail.”
Smith’s commitment and dedication have helped get her to the finish line of some of the world’s toughest races, including the 100K World championships, but she said she is careful to not let running overwhelm her life.
“Being a runner is a large part of who I am, but it doesn’t compare to being a mother, wife and daughter,” says Smith, adding that her dad was a “prototypical 1970s jogger”— picture terry-cloth sweatbands, short-shorts and a dedication to the nation’s fitness craze—who encouraged her to run and be active. “Running was something we shared, and now being able to share it with my own family is an amazing experience.”
This statement is underlined by Smith’s recollection of her favorite race from the last year. Despite running more than 10 ultra trail races, including Texas’ Bandera 100K and California’s Western States 100-mile endurance run, and placing in the top three in seven of those races, her most rewarding race was a family friendly 5K Turkey Trot that she ran with her kids.
“The race culminated in three hours at a local water park with the whole family,” she says. “It was a great day.”
— 1st place > Desert Solstice 100M (Phoenix, AZ), 2012
— 1st place > Run Rabbit Run 50M (Steamboat Springs, CO), 2012
— 1st place > Orcas Island 50K (Olga, WA), 2012
— Gold Medal > USA 100K World Championship Team (Seregno, Italy), 2012
— 1st place > TransRockies Run Women’s Open Division with partner Jenny Capel (Buena Vista, CO), 2012
— 3rd place > Bandera 100K (Bandera, TX), 2012 and 2010
— 1st place > Miwok 100K (Marin Headlands, CA), 2011
— Silver Medal > USA 100K World Championship Team (Winschoten, Netherlands), 2011
— 2nd place > Mad City 100K (Madison, WI), 2011
— 10th place > Western States 100M (Squaw Valley, CA), 2011 and 2010