Can you give us a brief background to your running career, and what led you to where you are now?
I’ve been racing since 9th grade, and actually hated it at first. After having a few successful races, running became more fun and I embraced the abilities I was given. I finished my college career as a 10 x DIII NCAA All-American, and was still hungry to compete. I’ve since competed in 61 trail races, placing first in 23 of them. I’m not quite ready to hang up the racing shoes, but my love for exploring is outweighing my urge to toe the line.
You started Trail Sisters (mission statement – Building a community of women inspiring others to lead healthy lifestyles while adventuring outdoors and protecting Earth’s playgrounds.) What was the spark that made this become a reality, and how long has it been in existence?
I’ve thought about starting a media outlet for women’s trail running for quite some time. At first I wasn’t sure how it work, or what it was going to look like, but then decided an online journal was the best route. I have lots of industry and athlete relationships, so all it took was some pitching and patience. Everyone was stoked on the concept, thus TrailSisters.net went live April 11th, 2016.
What have you learned from creating Trail Sisters, and what is your biggest picture for the organization?
Learned…well, I’ve learned a ton about the women’s trail running market. Hearing their stories, thoughts, needs, and wants has been amazing and enlightening at times. I’m able to take that information and be a better advocate for the women’s trail running segment. Help them get what they need, and provide them the information and empowerment they are looking for.
How important is it to you that women take a lead in protecting Earth’s playgrounds?
Extremely. It is up to everyone (not just women) to respect the mountains/trails/streams/etc., and do their part to protect the Earth. We can’t expect to go play on the trails without also providing maintenance, clean up, and restoration practices. The terrain won’t last if we don’t take care of it, and everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy it…thus, conservation is vital.
What role does REI have in supporting Trail Sisters, and how easy was it to persuade them to provide backing?
REI is amazing. Their “Force of Nature” campaign not only empowers women through education and inspiration, but they are also providing opportunities for women and girls to learn and experience different outdoor activities.
REI noticed what I had created with Trail Sisters, which was definitely a lovely parallel for what they are also creating. REI reached out, we had a great conversation, and it has been amazing to work together in creating a stronger female voice and opportunities for women interested in the outdoors.
You are currently on the road promoting Trail Sisters. How long is your schedule, how many places are you visiting, and what do you love best about sharing the Trail Sisters message?
The Trail Sisters Road Tour Sponsored by Vasque Trail Running will be cruising the states until the end of October. We are currently hanging around Colorado/Montana/Utah for the rest of June through mid-August, but will then venture West to CA, the PNW, and into Canada. I’m aiming to complete 30 events, and if I have time, more!
What I love best about sharing the TS message…well, the best part is being able to provide eager/interested women with the answers they need to help get them out the door. Whether it be breaking down fears of running trails solo, or breaking the stigma of “a woman’s role is in the kitchen”…I’m honored to help create a new opportunity, and potentially a new way of life for them.
Find out more about Trail Sisters – “My hope is to create a community where anyone can visit and find camaraderie, empowerment, and motivation from shared stories and experiences.”
Gina, we wish you every success with Trail Sisters – make sure to connect and catch the TS tour when it comes your way!
Sign up for the newsletter on this page – we look forward to hearing from you!
Terry Chiplin, the visionary behind activacuity, provides positive coaching sessions for clients, working with athletes to enable a positive focus on their status and goals. He can also create personalized guided imagery sessions for clients, delivered as an mp3 audio file that you can listen to on multiple devices.activacuity provides a daily dose of positive guided imagery or visualization sessions. Find out what you can do when you make that mind-body connection – check out our subscription options here.
Our goal is to raise $5000 for the Society over the partnership period.