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Nina Rettenwander Wednesday, 29 May 2013 11:01 TWEET COMMENTS 0

Across the Nation, Runners Set Their Sights High - Page 2



In the small town of Hughesville, Pennsylvania, Bryce Gavitt, 16, has been building his promising talent from the ground up, running multiple races close to home. Last year at the age of 15, he competed in the 11-mile Dam Scramble and finished in 8th place, a significant feat for a runner of his age. Bryce is looking forward to the opportunities that may arise for him, as he keeps collecting more rewarding trail-running experiences.

How long have you been trail running, and how did you get into it?

I have been running for close to a year now and I first got into it with encouragement from my parents.

What are the struggles and benefits of being a younger racer?
Being this age and trail running helps because I have youth on my side and I can go through a little more wear and tear on the trail. As that might help a lot, it also has its cons: not having as much experience on the trail like all of the other trail runners.

What's your favorite thing about trail running?
My favorite thing about trail running is that it is really challenging and in every step there is a small obstacle yet running trails is also fun and rewarding.

Do you have plans to run other Trophy Series races this year?

Yes, I hope to complete the entire Central PA Trophy Series this year, which consists of five races.

Where are you hoping trail running will take you in the future?
As a sophomore going into the 11th grade I have started to consider my post high school options such as college and I hope to get a scholarship for cross-country or track. Also as trail running has become very popular, runners have been getting sponsored and a goal of mine is to also be a sponsored runner as well someday.


The epitome of determination, Melanie Peters, 29, of White Lake, Michigan, has been giving it her all—and then some—since she began setting school track records at the University of Miami from 2002 to 2006. While she grew up in St. Petersburg, Florida, Melanie was an avid road runner, but the tables turned as she took her speed to the trails in White Lake, Michigan. Now, as a diligent nursing student, you’d think Melanie would take a break, but she’s already looking forward to the Kettle Moraine 100K this Saturday. Good luck, Melanie!

How did you discover trail running? Or maybe, how did it discover you?
In 2011 I moved from Florida to Michigan so my running naturally changed from road marathons - which I had done for years—to trail running. In 2012, I did my first trail ultra (a 60K in Kentucky) and from there on out I was hooked on the beauty and variety of courses that trail running offered.

Wow, you've placed 1st in the women's category for eight races in the past two years! What's specific to your training that helps you compete at such a high level?
I've just never been able to shake the competitiveness that road running instills in you. I think we're seeing it a lot lately as fast, young road racers cross over into trail running. They just don't know how to go slow and take in the view.

What are some of the biggest highlights in your racing career?
1. Setting track records in college. College is always fun; it's even better when you can spend your days racing competitively.
2. Going to the Olympic Trials in the marathon in 2008. It's nice to be in the company of so many great runners.
3. Qualifying for WS [Western States] last year (even though I eventually DNF'd due to hypothermia) and then qualifying again this year to go back and finish it up. Western is just a special race.

Do you have plans to run other Trophy Series races this year?

Kettle Moraine 100K this Saturday, perhaps Waugoshance Trail Marathon or The Legend, Dances with Dirt Hell 50M, and the Heritage Trail Marathon, but it's kind of up in the air with the busy nursing school schedule I have. As well as a few triathlons scattered here and there, and my longest races are not in the trail series, unfortunately.

What do you enjoy most about trail running?
Hands down, the company that I run with. I get to spend hours on end, running trails with the best friends anyone could ask for. It's not hard to get a group of people to agree to road trip across the country to do a trail run and, for me, that's as good as it gets.

Any words of wisdom you’d like to share with fellow racers out there?

I suppose don't ever think that anything is 'unattainable'. By chipping away steadily at it you are certain to surprise yourself. Trail running teaches you just how much you can do by being persistent and never giving up. Before you know it you've covered 30...50...100 miles!



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