Say hello to Jessica Brazeau, our February DPMR Member Highlight. Jessica finds herself with our Silver State Striders family down in Reno. By way of Orange County, Jessica is Dental Hygienist that knows a little something about nutrition. She finished her first 50 miler this past year at home town race the Tahoe Rim Trail Endurance Runs, and once posted a 4:33 50k!
There is no slowing Jessica down, as she is off to Northern Spain for her next big adventure, after toeing the line at this years Canyons 100k. She’s a former competitive gymnast that won’t turn down a pizza, a pale ale, and her favorite group run of 2017 was Alibi to Alibi. Coincidence?
Read on, and get to know our Member Highlight a bit more.
Where are you from and where do you live now?
I was born in Orange County, California, but I have been living in Nevada/ Reno since I was seven.
When did you begin running and/or long-distance running, if that applies? Why?
I think I began running around 2012-ish, inconsistently. A road marathon & a few half marathons here and there. My interest in distance running started two years ago after finishing my first trail race, the Silver State 50/50 half marathon. I was hooked. The desire to go further across the gorgeous landscapes of the Sierras was alluring.
Do you race? Does racing motivate you? if not racing, what motivates you?
I really enjoy racing! It definitely motivates me. For myself, I find that competition helps me overcome limitations, pushes me in a positive way, and is humbling. It’s fun to go out to race and give it your all. Although I never came from a running background, 10 years of competitive gymnastics sparks that motivation factor and drive.
Do you have any dream races (either hoping to qualify for or get
CCC, the little sister race to the Ultra Trail Mont Blanc. One day, Western States Endurance
Do you have a favorite on-trail food or nutrition strategy? Favorite post-run meal or beverage?
Lately I have been using Spring Energy gels- a natural whole food source of on-trail nutrition. They are pretty dang tasty and don’t upset my stomach like some sugar based gels. Favorite post run/race meal, hands down margarita pizza and a pale ale. Runner up would be anything that goes with guacamole!
What was your favorite running experience this past year?
Finishing my first 50 mile run at the Tahoe Rim Trail Endurance Runs and getting to
volunteer/ crew at various races in the states and overseas.
What was the best race advice you’ve ever received?
Try to compete with yourself and don’t let the pressures of others spoil your experience.
What was your most challenging/ character-building experience this past year?
Overcoming a yearlong stent of running a training block, racing, followed by a few to several weeks of injury and off time. It’s been frustrating, but a great insight to the imbalances I’ve been facing, how to manage my training, and that cross training can be fun!
What race PR are you most proud of?
My 2017 run at Way Too Cool 50k, my first big ultra. I was close to my goal time of 4 hours and 30 minutes finishing in 4:33. The atmosphere, great people, and muddy trails this event brings out made for such a memorable experience.
What are your upcoming racing/adventure plans?
In March I will be traveling to Northern Spain for a race called Carrero Alto Sil. I have a few friends going to race and we are all traveling together, so it should be a pretty great adventure. I will also be doing Canyons 100k and potentially OCC before the craziness of UTMB begins in the alps this summer.
What do you do for a living? Is it hard to fit in time for training?
I am a dental hygienist as my career job, and try to embrace the “work to live, not live to work”. I work full time, which is four 9-10 hour days, but it leaves me with three-day weekends every week. Training during the week can be difficult to find time and motivation, especially in the dark cold winter months. Friends/ training partners and planning weekend ventures help get
me through the week though.
What led you to join the DPMR?
The community is so wonderful!
What has been your favorite DPMR experience so far?
The big brew run that is in the fall from Alibi Ale Works Incline to Alibi Truckee. Nothing but miles and smiles with the best people.
Favorite local trail?
Oh this is difficult; there are some of the best trails in the Sierra in this area. I really like Jones Whites Loop in Galena and the TRT section from Mt. Rose Meadows to Snow Valley Peak. Oh! And the climb to Castle Peak via the PCT.
What other outdoor or indoor interests do you have?
I like to road cycle and mountain bike. Climbing outdoors and indoors. Camping, hiking, snowshoeing, backpacking, and occasionally yoga. Really anything where I can get some fresh air, sunshine, and anadventure!
Any interesting facts about yourself you would like to share?
Despite my earlier comment about my favorite post run/ race food, I have a degree in nutrition. It’s a fun hobby to stay consistent with the food industry and its trends. I also think it is extremely valuable and important as a runner and individual with an active lifestyle to make the most out of healthy eating.