Q&A with Alabama Runner Jeff Wilson

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New Balance and RootsRated have teamed up to profile runners making a difference in their communities. We asked each of our runners a series of questions to learn a little more about what running means to them, where they like to run and what are some of their running goals.

Jeff Wilson originally started running to shed weight. Once he met that goal, he just kept on going. Moving to Huntsville, AL for a new job, Wilson found a vibrant, active running community that introduced him to trail running.

Favorite trails?
Monte Sano State Park has miles and miles of trails to explore. I’ll head to the McKay Hollow Trail if I want a challenging but still fun trail. When I started running trails is when I really fell in love with the sense of adventure that running can bring, and I found myself running trails more and more.

Run solo or with a group?
After a crappy day at work or when I need a moment to myself I go for a run. There are times that all I want to do is go for a run by myself. But I also really enjoy the social aspects of running. There’s a very active running community here. Running is a social event with group runs. I can get out and meet people and see friends.

Morning runner or after work?
I’m more of an after work runner.

Treadmill. Yes or No?
No, I feel bored. I hate treadmills. When I run I want to go somewhere.

Favorite pieces of gear?
For me socks matter and I really like my Balega socks. I just don’t run without them.

What's your routine? Describe. Coffee first? Out the door fast or slow transition?
Pre-race, I’m a little slower getting out the door. I need enough time to wake myself up before I’m ready for a race. On the other hand, when I get home from work, I’m out the door as quickly as I can.

Do you listen to music? Favorites?
No. Never have listened to music when I run and don’t think I every will.

In the middle of a hard race with the devil on your shoulder telling you time to quit, how do you keep going?
I don’t know if there’s a secret to it. Since I started running to lose weight, running was something that was always hard to do. When I started, moving at all was a chore. You have to develop the mental fortitude to finish a race. I hate quitting. I’m not very good at quitting. When it gets tough, I just find a way to keep going. I always feel better.

Favorite approach to a post run or race recovery?
My favorites are beer and burger or a chili-dog. Beer and pizza works too.

Bucket list races?
Like most runners, I’d like to do the Boston Marathon someday. The Monte Sano Misty Mountain 50k is also on my list.

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