Category Archives: Race Write-Ups

2015 Nationals XC Championships


Bless me, it has been two years since my last real race.  GREAT!  Let’s go back to Nationals Cross Country at altitude!  Absolutely.

And here’s why.  There is simply no other race that hurts so much, checks your ego so hard, and runs the clock into no man’s land.  It’s an epic battle between your nerves, your ego, and your lungs.  Nothing else matters.  Except the team.


And that’s the best part.  To be truly supported and part of a team.  Injuries have been haunting, but Oiselle lifted me up though the help of Monica & Joe DeVereese at Santa Barbara Running Company.  My leg got put back together with the help of Mike Swan, Ernie Ferrel, and Dave and Deanna Odell.  The team welcomed me back to training for this national event, and that always feels like gold.

The actual race was quite a challenge.  I could not handle high mileage due to my leg and incorporated cross training and cryotherapy into my routine.  My race plan was established with care and I executed it perfectly.  Meaning, go out slow and just hang ON!

The beauty was in the reality.  Welcomed by team Oiselle, I experienced an entirely new cheering quad yelling my name with enthusiastic smiles at each lap.  This included Oiselle founder Sally Bergesen, team leader Kristin Metcalfe, and pro super star athlete Lauren Fleshman.


I literally looped the marshmallow surface course sucking oxygen through a straw up my nose while Lauren cheered “Go Drea, Great job Drea.”  This is a woman who I personally watched complete the NYC Marathon suffering to the bitter end.  I also witnessed her cling way off the back at the Olympic trials 5K in Eugene.  Why did she do that?  She had earned the right to be there, suffered through injury, worked out on an ElliptiGo with literally 12 miles of running a week….BUT STILL SHOWED UP and FINISHED the OT in the 5K at Hayward Field in front of a thousand fans.  I met Lauren the next morning after her OT at breakfast- I sat gushing like a teenager- and she graciously took a photo with me and answered all my questions.


And here I was.  At Nationals again on one leg, from sea level, feeling old, and yet… a part of something great.  To me, this is what running is.  It’s putting yourself out there- wide and raw.  When you rock it you glow and fist pump, when you fail you cry and weep, when you do your best you accept what you did and feel an amazing admiration for those that fly so much beyond your capacity.

I’m proud that I once again put myself out there.  I’m humbled by the race.  I’m thankful by the enormous support.  I’m pleased that I had yet another chance to suffer.

And suffer I did.  However, not stupidly.  Coming from sea level, I ran the smartest and most controlled race I could have done.  I finished 61st ranking very close to my St. Louis performances and finished with a only your mother will be watching sweet kick.  It was a good day.  A blessing.


Thank you to those that got me there.

2014 ElliptiGO World Championships

What is an ElliptiGO?

It’s a bike that you can run on so if you’re a runner you can RUN without impact!

No more limits?!

Well, I wouldn’t say that!  Why don’t you come ride up Mount Palomar for the ElliptiGO World Championship title and then talk to me about limits?

An invitation to compete in the elite women’s field at this year’s event was very exciting to me.  I have not gotten to compete since 2013 California International Marathon and this was a perfect opportunity to train for something challenging and line up against very impressive athletes.

And that’s what I did.  I trained.  I made my little game plan which consisted of either 1). Try and hold on to the leader OR 2). Never look back.  As it turned out, I ended up experiencing both.  Brook’s elite runner Deb Maier took the lead out and just never let up.  We powered side by side for ten miles of climbing and up over 5,000 feet of elevation before my breathing went into spastic fits and she dropped the hammer.

It was such a beautiful hammer throw that I had to use my last breathe to cheer her on, but I also hoped maybe…just maybe…she would you know, suffer and come back to me.  Nope.  Negative.

My second place time of 1:29:19 did break the previous world record set last year by Sara Slattery and I was tired enough to know I could not have gone faster on this given Saturday.

This was a great event and I was very proud to get to participate!

2014-09-30 Oiselle Race and EGO 028

Flyte 747 carries Byrds of Paradise

The local Oiselle team put in a solid showing at this year’s Are You Tough Enough?  Does it get a question mark?  I can’t really remember because locals cut it down to RUTE.  As long as you packed snacks beer, it is almost impossible to get stuck in a RUTE.  This is the DisneyLand of running events.  Happiest place on earth?  Right in Barbara’s back yard.

With every run I do these days, my HHIT aka damnstring aka ass pain aka pain in the ass leaves me only able to do one thing decently…. ascend.  I was honored to be on the team: Monica, Cindy, Jessica, & Desa and hoped I wouldn’t limp let them down.

2014-04-05 Tough Enough 011True to friendship and true to running, with the right flock you never even get the chance to disappoint. The Oiselle Byrds were ready to fly.  (Even if we would pay for it later)

From Toro Canyon onward into Solvang, teams (sometimes just two people) covered the 65 mile course under brilliant skies and a bitching wind.  Performances were impressive.  Even with this year’s course being roughly 3/4 a mile short, records went down *They would have fallen even if the course had been the same.  The over all winning team RUTE BEER (I told you Beer was important!) broke the co-ed record and out sprinted the second place team by merely a minute.  Let’s break that down, the all dude’s team was in front and Annie ran him down without a kiss at the door.  What do we call that?  It has a bird name right?  OH Yes, CHICKED!”  Nicely done.

The Oiselle Byrds landed the women’s win in a too meaningful time to ignore 7:47.  We are certain that Cindy strategically planned that while trouble shooting leg 1.  Brilliant Cindy.  Simply top drawer.

Thanks to Jim Kornell of Are You Tough Enough and all the teams who make it a day to remember.

2014-04-05 Tough Enough 008