If you’ve spent any time in the medical tent at the Tunnel Creek aid station of the Tahoe Rim Trail Endurance Runs OR at the Peachstone/Cal 2 Aid Station at Western States, you may have been on the receiving end of the superstar medical treatment of Dr. JoAnn Ellero or her husband Dr. Andy Pasternak. There’s a good chance you’ve also received encouragement from her ultrarunning mom Marisa Ellero, who frequently volunteers at events. JoAnn and Andy can also be seen running ultras together across Northern California and Michigan, and most recently completed their first Castle Peak 100k – check out JoAnn’s hilarious recap here.
Dr. JoAnn has saved several of our members’ races from imminent disaster and we are happy to feature her as the October Member Highlight!
Where are you from and where do you live now?
Originally from Michigan but have lived in Reno since 1998.
When did you begin running and/or long-distance running? Why?
I started running races in college for fun and fitness, I ran my first marathon in 1997 during residency. After working hard to qualify for Boston, which I ran in 2005, I was tired of training to get just a little faster. I went for a trail run and really found what I loved.
Does racing motivate you? If not racing, what motivates you?
Yes, I race and yes it motivates me but I’d go out on the trails even without a race. I love being outside and a combination of running and hiking all day is my idea of perfection.
Do you have any dream races (either hoping to qualify for or get selected for)?
Not really in terms of races but I really want to run/hike Alta Via 1 and 2 someday, or hike the JMT
Do you have a favorite on-trail food or nutrition strategy? Favorite post-run meal or beverage?
I’m terrible!! I like candy and potato chips! Post-run I love a Slurpee!!
What was your favorite running experience this past year?
Felt great running Silver State 50 mile for the first time.
What was your most challenging/character-building experience this past year?
OMG, Castle Peak 100K was so hard, I thought we missed the cutoff and I was ready to drop, only to have to rally at mile 50. Toughest race I’ve ever finished.
What are your upcoming racing/adventure plans?
Javelina 100K this year then hopefully get into Lake Sonoma 50 miler and get revenge for my only DNF!
What do you do for a living? Is it hard to fit in time for training?
I’m an anesthesiologist. My strategy is quality training as opposed to quantity. I only do long workouts on the weekend.
What led you to join the DPMR?
All my friends were in it!
What has been your favorite DPMR experience so far?
I love the picnics and all the friends I’ve made.
Favorite local trail?
All the Tahoe Donner trails
What other outdoor or indoor interests do you have?
I like yoga! I also XC ski and snowshoe in winter.
Any interesting facts about yourself you would like to share?
I speak Italian and play the piano.