How did you get into trail running?

I used to ride bikes a lot and also smoked cigarettes for a long while. Even though I could still push some pedals around, I couldn’t understand how people could run for even longer than a mile and told myself if I ever quit smoking I would learn how to run. So I did and I did. While looking around on youtube for videos on running form and whatnot, I stumbled upon Ginger Runner videos, namely Where Dreams Go To Die, and the rest is history.

What is your favorite trail to run on?

For weekday stuff, the trails on Squak Mountain, specifically the unnamed trail between the Fireplace and Central Peak, because it’s muddy and sorta sketchy. All-time though, probably the Northern Loop/ Wonderland route, because it has all the views, glaciers, lakes, as well as being huge bricks in building me into the runner I am today. Hard as heck too.

What is your favorite trail race?

So far, Tillamook Burn 50. It was the first race I did that felt like a real production and all that single track! I also learned a lot about myself that day. High highs, and some really low lows, but I feel like I finished strong.


“Jump kicks are cool” jokes Bret.


What are your weekly average running miles and ascent?

My average week is around 45-High 60’s. I don’t follow a plan or have a coach or anything so it’s very by the seat of my pants. As for ascent, 8,000-16,000. I’m aiming for 600,000ft for the year, and so far I’m at 476,000.

What is a typical weekday run?

I’ve been taking it pretty easy, and doing more group runs that average around 7 miles or so. Sometimes I do doubles of the same distance. Again, all by the seat of my pants!


Columbia Autumn Park Down Hooded Jacket – Men’s regularly $170.00 on sale $118.73 


What is a typical weekend run?

Hopefully an adventure! I’ve been trying to explore new parts of the state so I try and get out and just see something new. Always trying to get to the top of a new mountain. 10-20 miles, depending on the area. Always up for something new, especially if it involves some car camping!

What shoes do you wear?

My favorites are my Brooks Catamounts, but Hoka Zinals are also up there. I like more precise fitting shoes without so much cushion, but not minimalist. These have done the job. 25 miles into the Tillamook Burn I realized I didn’t think about my feet or shoes the whole day, and that’s what I love about the Catamounts. They’re just there, on my feet. Doing the thing.


On the mountains in a Patagonia Houdini and cow shorts


What is your favorite trail running apparel?

My Patagonia Houdini and of course, my Cow Shorts.

What watch do you wear?

Coros Apex. Love it cause of the battery life, and ease of use. Dislike that it doesn’t load popular trails as some Garmins do.

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

Spring Energy! Also some GU Liquid gel things. The things that have come in clutch though have been kalamata olives and uncrustables.

What do you like most about the trail running community?

Honestly, I think all the best people I’ve met have been trail runners. Always down for an adventure, super easy to talk to, and supportive as all heck. I owe any and all of my “successes” to the people I’ve met along the way. From joining me at 6:30 am on a Wednesday for a trail run, to convincing me to keep going 50k into a 100k, the trail running community always comes through.

Follow Bret on Instagram @bretfromreallife

Bret and his wife Jenny on the way to the summit of South Sister.