Are you originally from Missoula? If not, where are you from?
Vicky: I am originally from Minnesota, but I have been in the Missoula area since I was ten. So pretty much a native.
Ashley: I was born and raised in Missoula, MT!
When did you start running?
Vicky: I ran track in high school and then periodically throughout my 20’s and 30’s. In my mid-forties a friend convinced me to train for a half marathon and it literally led to a life change.
Ashley: I started running my freshman year, I ran track and cross country at Hellgate for Anders Brooker!
Do you run together? If so, when did you start running together?
Vicky: We run together though over the years what that looks like is a bit different. Ashley was in high school and new to running and I was more focused than my teenager, so I could keep up with her. Now she is looking back over her shoulders or waiting for me, but always with a smile.
Ashley: We run together a few times a week, sometimes more. I honestly don’t really remember a time when we didn’t run together. We might have started around 2010?
And, why did you start running together?
Vicky: The same friend who convinced me to start running, also got Ashley interested in joining her in the Missoula Marathon Relay, way back when. I was training for the full that year, so we did a few runs together and didn’t end up hating each other.
Ashley: We decided to run our first half marathon, we trained and ran with my godmother from Seattle.
Who is more competitive? Is there any friendly (or not so friendly) mother-daughter competition between the two of you?
Vicky: We are a bit competitive, but it is all friendly. I love that Ashley is finding her own confidence and strength in this sport. The competition began with her trying to keep up with me and now I am just trying to keep her in site.
Ashley: Things are all friendly….as long as I win!
Trails, roads, or both?
Vicky: We do both. In the years when it was hard to get Ashley to talk to me as a parent, going out for a walk or a run always ended up with her opening up and sharing. Being outside and exercising together still works. Our best talks still happen on a run or hike.
You both are heavily involved in the running community in Missoula. Do you have any advice for people looking to become more involved?
Vicky: For me it all started and continued with people. Having a friend or family member to share a goal, train with and keep you accountable is so important! Join a Run Wild Missoula training class. I have lost count of how many of those have kept me going and have led to some of the best friendships and job that I’ve had.
Ashley: My advice would be just to sign up for something small, once you meet all the great people and experience your first race day, you won’t be able to help yourself, you will do it again!
Talk about your running and how it’s helping you deal with this pandemic. Do you have any pandemic or post-pandemic goals?
Vicky: I am not going to lie, keeping myself motivated during this time is a struggle for me. Ashley is my main motivator and cheerleader on the days when I have been less inclined to want to leave my house! I am planning on running the Missoula Marathon this year.
Ashley: Being able to still get outside and run has helped me keep my sanity during the pandemic for sure. Been trying to keep the mileage up, we are both planning on running the Missoula Marathon… Fingers crossed!
Do you have any advice you could offer to runners and walkers during this time?
Vicky: Set a goal, find a friend, partner and train together. You can do it together and apart at the same time. That friend that got both Ashley and I motivated, lives in Seattle. We have never trained together, but we kept each other going to the finish line.
Ashley: When the sun is out, get outside! Sunshine and a little exercise can literally fix almost anything.
What is your most memorable running moment together?
Vicky: The training and finishing of the Rut 28K was a big year for us! We had amazing runs with friends in amazing places that we wouldn’t have chosen at other times. We ran trails that neither of us would have ventured to on our own. That sense of facing fears and moving out of my comfort zone was awesome. Sharing that with Ashley made it that much sweeter. We are definitely braver together than alone. During the 28K we both got to see each other at our best and worst. Luckily we didn’t hit our lows at the same time!
Ashley: Running The Rut 28k together for my Birthday! Momma Mix is a legit mountain goat!
What is your favorite thing about the Missoula running and walking community?
Vicky: The running community in this town is family. I can’t put it any other way without taking up pages and pages.
Ashley: The Missoula running/walking community is really just one giant family, everyone is so welcoming and supportive. It is hard not to get sucked in!