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.
Mother to two kids, ages 4 and 6, and working full-time to protect Jackson Hole’s ecosystem from invasive species, Wyoming native Erika Edmiston uses running as her much-needed “me” time.
Did you grow up running?
I hated running as a kid. My family was active—we’d go camping, backpacking, fishing all the time—but I played team sports where running was always doled out as punishment. When we messed up or did something bad, we’d have to run laps. My dad was a runner though.
What finally got you running?
I finished college and wanted to stay active. I liked being outside. Running fit the bill.
Jackson Hole is a beautiful place to be a runner. How’d you end up in Jackson?
I took a summer job working for Teton County Weed & Pest, controlling invasive species. I met my husband that first summer and never left.
Is your husband a runner?
I wish. I think he gets it and understands why I run, but he also thinks I’m a bit crazy. He’s active though. He played football in high school and he’s a horseman and likes the backcountry.
What’s one of your best running experiences?
Anytime I’m running with my dad. He tried to get me to run in high school and I wouldn’t. Now, we’ve run a few races together. He thinks it’s hilarious I’m a runner now.
He’s faster in a 5k. But I did beat him at Old Bill’s (the biggest running race of the year in Jackson Hole, with over 5,000 runners and walkers) recently.
You’ve raced in Colorado and around Wyoming. What are some of your favorite Jackson races?
I’ve run the JH Half in June for a couple of years now. I also love Shirley’s 10k. That’s in June too. There’s the JH Marathon in the early fall, which is also really fun.
The running season in Jackson is kind of short, isn’t it?
I run year-round, although I did get a stress fracture in my cuboid bone last winter that the doctor said most likely came from making the transition from running on dry ground to running on snow and ice too quickly.
Are you planning on running again this winter?
Of course! But I’ll spend time transitioning from running on dry trails to running on snow and ice. Also, the doctor recommended I run with YakTrax.
What’s the coldest temperature you’ve run in?
Probably ten or twenty degrees below zero.
And how did that run go?
I wasn’t planning on a big run. It was more just to get outside and stretch my legs a bit. I did a mile or two and it was fine. I was glad to get back inside but also glad that I had gotten out and moved around.