Name: Maggie Gesue
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Q. Where did you grow up and how did you get into running?
A. I definitely spent a lot of time moving around, so there is no one place I would say I grew up. I always ran to supplement other sports and just to get out and explore. I didn’t really get into running just for running until after college. I decided it was time for a change in lifestyle and running seemed to be the easiest way to get started!
Q. Did you run in high school and/or college?
A. I ran as part of other sports in high school, and in college just to keep up with some sort of exercise or have a break from the study routine, but never anything in the form of serious training or racing.
Q. What are your personal bests (PBs) at various distances?
A. Last year was the first year I really went out and took racing more seriously. I ran my first 50 miler, and attempted my first 100. I got a little overzealous with the number of races and time between them; it’s all a learning experience. My PB for the 50k is 5:40:41, a third female finish at the Groundhog fall 50k. My 50 mile PB is 10:52 at the inaugural Cayuga Trail 50. I also had a first female finish at the Wildcat Ridge 50.
Q. What do you do for a living and how do you manage to balance it with your running?
A. I work for an outdoor company called Eastern Mountain Sports, and am currently pursuing a nutrition degree. Finding a balance between job, life, running, and now school is certainly not easy. I find two-a-day runs are often the best way for me to get the miles in that I need. On weekends, or long run days, I make sure to get them in early so I have the day to spend with people in my life. Generally my weekday runs are at 5 am so I know it’s out of the way before work.
Q. How did you get into trail running and how long have you been doing it?
A. I started trail running after getting my job. I had been road running and had run my first road marathon, and I saw my first issue of Trail Runner, and I was hooked. I’ve always been interested in the endurance side of sport and took to the ultra community immediately.
Q. What person in running inspires you?
A. I don’t know if I can narrow it down so easily, but the person that I caught the ultra bug from was my old swim coach, Halle Reid. She became the first woman to swim across Lake Erie in 1993. I remember standing on the shore watching her climb out of the water, and I think the idea of pushing boundaries and bodies never left my mind. In general runners that are able to truly balance, family, work and running, and do it out of the sheer joy and love for the sport are all an inspiration. There is no better reason to do something than for the love of it.
Q. What was/is your favorite race and why?
A. I would have to say that the Blues Cruise 50k, put on by the Pagoda Pacers, is probably my favorite race. It’s a single loop around the reservoir and I can’t imagine better aid stations, or more fun volunteers. It has the best race vibe of any of the races I have run so far.
Q. What is a typical week of training right now?
A. Right now, I’m building into my longer runs. I am racing a bit less this year, and focusing on two longer fall races. Weekdays, my running partner and I meet at 5am for anywhere from 6-10 miles. On days where sleep is more important than getting up at 5am I’ll ride my bike to work and run home, then reverse it the next day. Whichever weekend day, or week day off I have turns into my long run day, but it’s more about getting out and enjoying the trails, so if it happens to be a few more or a few less, I’m okay with that too.
Q. At what distance do you take water/hydration with you on a run?
A. If I am heading into the trails alone, I will take a bottle just in case anything happens, but normally I won’t bring water for anything but long days, 12 or more.
Q. What was your reaction to the Simple Hydration Bottle after using it?
A. I really liked it. I remember the first time I used it, I headed out for a short 5 miler just to test it out. It was the perfect amount of water for a shorter run, comfortable and easy to carry.
Q. How do you use the bottle in your training/races?
A. It is my go to bottle for shorter days, when I don’t need any extra bells and whistles. I prefer to wear a vest for long runs and racing, currently the Ultimate Direction Anton vest, and the Simple Hydration Bottle is the most perfect size and shape for the front pockets.
Q. What races do you have planned for 2014 and do you have a focus race?
A. For 2014 I will be racing less, but traveling more. I have a 50k coming up that is all about getting some miles under my feet. My focus races are the Oil Creek 100, I need to go back for redemption…it will be the perfect birthday present to finish that race (It is Oct. 11-12). I am also planning on the Hampshire 100k in August. I am also doing a bit of traveling this summer, and will have the opportunity to run in Colorado and Utah and a few other great places, so this year is all about the enjoyment of being out on the trails and exploring!
You can follow Maggie’s running on her blog.