Prep phenom Marie (Mel) Lawrence was one of the nation's most highly recruited HS runners going into college (she was 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, and 5th in Foot Locker Nationals over her HS career). After a stellar first 18 months at the University of Washington (helping her team win XC NCAA's, running 9:40 in the steeple), Mel ran into an injury cycle that took her 6 years to escape. Mel, now 28, is still improving after PR'ing in 3 distances last year (5K, steeple, and 1500m) and capturing 5th place in a loaded steeple at USA's. Mel carries a quiet confidence and low-key demeanor, which paired with her unique bond with animals makes her an unlikely running ninja. Don't doubt it: Mel gets fierce in races! Mel's story is unique, in that she somehow found a way to hold on to her love of running through the years. We are excited to feature Mel in a new blog series: The Road to Fast with Mel Lawrence
This weekend was a big weekend for trail running! It marked the end of the season for many athletes before the holidays and a period of downtime and recovery from racing. On the east coast and the west coast, two of the nation’s most competitive and prestigious ultras were run: The JFK 50 Mile and The North Face Endurance Challenge (50 mile championships, 50k, 26.2, and Marathon-Relay). Devon Yanko and Sarah Bard were in attendance at The North Face 50. Crewing, cheering, tweeting, and soaking up the run-community love on a gorgeous Marin day.