How did you get into trail running?

I ran track in middle school (in the ’80s!) and pretty much never since. In 2015 I started traveling a lot for work, and running was a good way to stay in shape (I used to ride my bike, but my work schedule cut into that a lot.) Then I attended a group run one evening at my local running store (shout out to Seven Hills) and was hooked on the trails.

What is your favorite trail to run on and why?

This summer, a couple of friends and I did the Northern Loop at Mount Rainier, and it was *chef’s kiss*. I can’t recommend it enough. A close second is the Loowit Trail; the scenery and terrain are unmatched. But really, running on trails, in general, is such a gift. I’m just happy to be out there, whether it’s Mt. Rainier NP or the local trails in the park near my house.


Anson and running buddies Kim Carmel and Scott Sedlik on the Northern Loop at Mt Rainier NP on September 28, 2020.


What is your favorite trail race, and why?

Backcountry Rise 50k was my first ultra-trail race, so it will always hold a special place for me. I’m signed up for Cascade Crest this summer, and even though I haven’t done that one (it will be my first attempt at 100 miles), I have volunteered a couple of times and love the feeling of community, support, and competition. It’s got such great history here in the PNW, too.

What are your weekly average running miles and ascent?

Right now, I’m resting my mind and body in preparation for my next training block for CCC, but on average, I like to be up around 50 miles and 6-8,000’ per week. It varies depending on what life brings to me!


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What is a typical weekday run?

A weekday run for me is almost invariably an early morning one, so I can get out and back before my family really starts to get going. It usually is around 6-9 relatively easy effort miles and maybe a mid-week speed workout with pickups that can total 10 miles. The average ascent is maybe 500-800’ per run.

What is a typical weekend run?

A typical weekend run will be some adventure outside of the city. Sometimes that’s the Issaquah Alps or deeper into the Cascade mountains. But it will be 15-25 miles and 3-6,000’.


Heading towards the crater on the Loowit Trail on July 24, 2020.


What shoes do you wear and why?

I have been an all-in Hoka guy (Mach’s for road and Speedgoats for the trail) but lately have been putting on Brooks more often. I have been enjoying the Hyperion Tempos and the Catamounts.

What is your favorite trail running apparel, and why?

I don’t know that I have a favorite apparel brand; my drawer full of running gear has all the usual suspects. In general, I like a pair of shorts and a tech shirt. I rarely wear tights, even in the winter. I do like my Salomon ADV Skin vest, though.

What watch do you wear, and what do you like/dislike about it?

I have a Garmin Fenix 5x; it’s the only watch I’ve owned, so I don’t know any different. It’s been fine for me; it tracks my activities and seems to upload them to Strava without problems. The battery life leaves something to be desired, though, and it seems to be getting worse after only a few years of use.

What nutrition do you like to use on runs and races and why?

I’m lucky in that my stomach seems to tolerate a pretty wide range of foods. That being said, I have been digging the Spring Energy products lately (Awesome Sauce is perfectly named) and Honey Stinger Waffles. In races, I have found myself craving Coke at every aid station and will nosh on some fruit and maybe some soup and/or a wrap or sandwich. I have to really remind myself to eat, be it a training run or a race.


Sometimes there are surprises if you look down, too. (Taken 8/13/20 on a summit near North Bend.)


What do you like most about the trail running community?

I was running a relay race once and took a wrong turn off the course, and the guy right behind me didn’t say anything. It took me maybe ½ mile before I realized my mistake, which put my team several minutes down because of my error. That would never happen in a trail race. The people are just too nice to let someone make that mistake. They are so friendly and supportive. When you pass someone, they invariably say, “Great work!” That doesn’t happen in other sports.

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Twitter: @AnsonF

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