Intro by Diane Frederic:
There was a time when you wouldn’t want to be caught speeding by Linda [see below for her Highway Patrol background], but now as a Race Director in neighboring Susanville she will likely encourage you if you feel a need for speed. Linda is host to some amazing trail races and gravel bike rides now with the Bizz Running Company, and yet she still finds time to regularly support DPMR as a volunteer. If you’ve been at the Racing Gnome or Pt Mariah (and why wouldn’t you!), that’s Linda that’s usually behind the timing table. Read on to meet Linda Powell- this month’s DPMR member highlight!
Where are you from and where do you live now?
I’m originally from Southwestern Montana and graduated from Montana State University. I now split my time between Susanville, CA and Granite Bay,CA
When did you begin running and/or long-distance running, if that applies? Why?
I began running as a Jr. High kid and ran through High School and college just for recreation and fitness. I continued running in my adulthood. In 2015, I started my own race-timing company and after a third knee surgery in 2020, I tapered off a lot of my running.
Do you race? Does racing motivate you? If not racing, what motivates you?
I used to race. Now I’m just happy to get out on the trails.
Do you have any dream races (either hoping to qualify for or get selected for)?
My dream was to direct a Boston-qualifier. In 2022, I was asked to take over the Bizz Johnson marathon and the other associated distances. I was both humbled and grateful for the opportunity to build this long-standing race and make it my own.
What was the best running advice you’ve received?
It’s ok to walk the hills.
Do you have a favorite on-trail food or nutrition strategy and favorite post-run meal or beverage?
I gag at the act of ingesting most gels, so I prefer to use foods blended to the consistency of baby food.
Do you have a favorite recipe to share?
Beef-Vegetable Ragu over Spaghetti Squash
- 1 medium spaghetti squash
- ⅔ lb lean ground beef (I use ground turkey)
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1 medium zucchini , cubed
- ½ chopped yellow onion
- 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes with liquid
- ½ tsp dried basil
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes
- ¼ tsp salt
- 4 cups fresh baby spinach. ( substitute chopped frozen spinach, approx 2 cups)
Cut squash in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Wrap each half in a wet paper towel and microwave separately for about 6 minutes until tender. Scrape out and keep warm. While squash is cooking, brown the ground beef in a large non-stick skillet. When fully cooked, add garlic, mushrooms, zucchini, onion, tomatoes, basil, red pepper flakes, and salt. Cover and simmer for 10 min. Stir in spinach and cook for 2 in or longer until it wilts but retains a bright green color. Split cook spaghetti squash between two plates and top generously with ragu. (per serving: 406 cal, 12 g fat, 38 total carb, 7 g dietary fiber, 39 g protein)
What was your favorite recent running experience?
I had an incredible experience with the October 7-8, 2023 Bizz Johnson. The weather cooperated, the race numbers grew over last year, the participants came from 16 different states, and for the most part, everything ran very smoothly. I had more than enough volunteers. I had such positive feedback from runners and volunteers alike. Even the small glitches worked themselves out. I had the most fun I ever had with being out on the course the 3 weeks before the races finding GPS points for mile markers, putting out signs and ribbons, and just enjoying the beauty. I was able to enjoy the changing of the leaves, the river, the rocks and every part of the course. I felt like it was truly my “happy place.” For something that could have been really stressful for an RD, I felt relaxed and at peace.
What was your most challenging/ character-building running experience?
As an RD, I’ve learned a lot over the years and I’ve made plenty of mistakes. I’ve really tried to learn from those mistakes and oversights and make each race better than the last. I’m thankful I learned the lesson of course marking very early on!
What are your upcoming racing/adventure plans?
I just started a new Gravel Bike event, Lassen Gravel Adventure Ride, in Susanville which was really successful for its first year. It is scheduled for September 7, 2024.
I’ve got another great trail race on the near horizon with a combination of the Bizz Johnson and the incredible Southside singletrack. It will have 3 great distances and will be a ton of fun. Don’t worry, I’ll announce it soon.
May 11, 2024 will be my 9th year with the Paiute Meadows Trail Run
What do you do for a living? Is it hard to fit in time for training?
I’m retired from the State of California and as a retired person, I’m busier than ever. I try to work on race stuff every day – medal design, website updating, race wrap-ups, award making, race marketing, etc, etc.. I try to fit in hikes, runs, and workouts every day as well. I also substitute teach for grades 4-8 in the local school district at least 1-2 days per week.
What led you to join DPMR?
I found DPMR years ago when I still lived full-time in Susanville. I liked the idea of being part of a club.
What has been your favorite DPMR experience so far?
I have loved volunteering for whatever DPMR events I can. My personal fave is the Gnome snowshoe races. I’ve run them a few times and helped time them a couple of times.This year I had the joy of helping time the Pt. Mariah races.
Favorite local trail?
I gotta give a big shoutout to the great Susanville Trails. The flowy and stunningly beautiful Southside Trail on the other side of the Susan River from the Bizz Johnson is my personal favorite.
Do you listen to audio while you run and if so, what have you been enjoying lately?
I do listen to Audible when I run or hike. I’ve been listening to running-related books. In the last 5 months I’ve listened to “The Longest Race” by Kara Goucher, “Running While Black” by Alison Desir, ”Good for a Girl” by Lauren Fleshman, “Let Your Mind Run” by Deena Kastor, and “Choose Strong” by Sally McRae…. Do you see a theme?
Recovery technique(s) that you swear by?
Stretchlab has definitely helped me with continuing to move more pain-free. I’ve been so much more diligent with my stretching routine.
Do you have a favorite piece of running gear (hydration system, shoe, clothing layer, sock, etc.)?
My latest favorite shoe is the New Balance More AT trail shoes. I absolutely love them.
What other outdoor or indoor interests do you have?
I’ve really enjoyed hiking a lot more. Indoors, I enjoy designing, engraving, and cutting race awards.
Any interesting facts about yourself you would like to share?
I’m a brand ambassador for Athletic Brewing Company, a brewer of exclusively non-alcoholic craft beer. You will find Athletic brews at my finish lines.
I was in the California Highway Patrol for 21.5 years and retired in 2019 at the rank of Sergeant. I worked all over the State, from Los Angeles to Sacramento to Susanville.
I spent 11 years in Paraguay, South America as a kid. We lived in the middle of the jungle with an indigenous tribal group.
I love cats