This winter’s featured trail runner is Alicia Jenkins-Browder, a Physical Therapist Assistant at a sports-based orthopedic clinic called Performance Physical Therapy in Bellingham. Alicia is also an online running coach with Team RunRun. When not running on the trails, Alicia recently started learning mountaineering. She also loves to read historical fiction. Plus, she loves backpacking!
How did you get into trail running?
Someone joined my Road Ragnar Relay Northwest Passage team and kept telling me I should join the Bellingham Trail Running Club for group trail runs. I was nervous to go to my first run as I wasn’t sure if I would be able to keep up, but I am so glad I went! This is how I made all my best friends!
What is your favorite trail to run on?
This is a hard one! I really love exploring and looking at maps to try and figure out new routes. I enjoy going places where not many people go. One of my favorite summer routes is running the High Divide Trail near Mt.Baker.
What is your favorite trail race?
Another REALLY hard question. But I would have to say Badger Mountain Challenge Trail Races in Richland, WA. I have done the 55k twice and ran the 100 mile there before. I’m returning this year to run the 50 miler and 55k back to back. The RD, Jason, is a pretty awesome guy, and he has created an amazing event and community. It has that old-school ultra vibe that I like.
What are your weekly average running miles and ascent?
Average ranges from 40-50 miles a week up to 80-90 miles a week during peak training
What is a typical weekday run?
I have a favorite loop from my house that is around 9 miles, where I run from my house down to Bellingham Bay. It’s so pretty and includes multiple parks.
What is a typical weekend run?
In the winter, I run trails in the Chuckanut Mountains since there is snow up higher. In the summer, I take all the chances I get to get out and do runs up in the high alpine. North Cascades have some pretty spectacular runs!
What shoes do you wear?
I wear Salomon Ultra Glides for trail running. They were the first trail brand I ever tried at a Ragnar Trail Rainier, and they’ve always worked great for me, so I’ve never seen a reason to try another shoe.
What is your favorite trail running apparel?
Rabbit! Their clothes are super soft, and they think of all the little details that you would want when trail running. One of my favorite pairs of shorts is their “stash ’em” shorts that include full pockets around the entire belt. Their EZ tee long sleeves are long sleeves I wear year-round in our mild PNW weather. They are light enough to wear in summer, where you don’t get too hot, but also give you enough coverage in the fall/winter to stay warm and perfect to wear under a jacket.
What watch do you wear?
I wear the COROS Vertix. I bought this one because I needed really long battery life for when I do 200-mile races. It works great, and I like that I don’t have to worry about charging it mid-run.
What nutrition do you like to use on runs and races?
I use Spring Gels (Awesome Sauce is my favorite) and Hammer Perpetuem. I like Spring gels because it’s 180 calories and tastes just like apple sauce. The Perpetuem is great because I can mix it and have 900 calories in one soft flask. I’m all about getting in easy calories so I can keep running! In longer events like the 100s and 200s, I use instant mashed potatoes, Jo-Jo fries, chicken strips, and hot dogs dipped in ketchup (no bun – too much chewing involved).
What do you like most about the trail running community?
The camaraderie and love for the outdoors.
Cover photos: Cocodona 250 (Howie Stern); Fragrance Lake Half Marathon (Takao Suzuki)
This post may contain affiliate links, for which Northwest Dirt Churners receives a small commission from any sale when clicked from this site. These commissions will provide entry fees for youth runners in Northwest Dirt Churners trail races.