This page is a special request with the hope that you’ll support a long-standing dream of mine.
As long as I can remember, running has been a part of my life. When I was a little girl, I remember driving in to Ashland, MA and watching the Boston Marathon. I would cheer on every athlete out there, because they were amazing to just be out there--running Boston! Running that far seemed so incredible, and it didn't matter to me where they finished...they were inspirational to be doing it. It inspired me to be a runner, and started the dream of someday achieving something as incredible as the marathon.
I've run for most of my life, and while I've enjoyed races of all distances and all terrains, I found my true passion with trail running and ultrarunning. The longer the better...the tougher the better...I crave adventure and challenge. I've won the highly competitive Seven Sisters Trail Race, I've completed four 100 mile races (with two more coming this summer), I've twice raced a 6-day 120 mile stage race over the Colorado Rockies, I’ve won numerous 50k and 50 mile trail races throughout New England including holding a few course records. I enjoy pushing my limits and continuing to learn about myself through distance running. I feel at home in the community that trail and ultrarunning provides.
Running has given me so much - it has given me an outlet for my energy and passion, it has given me a community of training buddies and Western Mass Distance Project teammates that inspire and motivate me, several years ago it even introduced me to my husband and gave us common ground to share. It has given me confidence in myself that I lacked for so long. And now an even more amazing dream is coming true as my husband Brian and I have the opportunity to represent our country and race on an international platform at the IAU World Trail Championships. Wearing USA across my chest fulfills the dream of my youth to run for my country and represent our freedoms. Even better, I’ll get to share this opportunity with my husband, Brian Rusiecki, who has also been selected for the US Team.
The USA Team selection is the result of many successful years of ultrarunning competition for both of us. Brian has been a dominant racer in New England over the past 4 years, and in 2012 he won more ultra races than anyone else in the country (an honor I obtained in 2010). He dominated races up and down the east coast, ranging in distances from 50 mile to 100 mile, and was voted #6 on the ‘UltraRunner of the Year’ by UltraRunning Magazine. I had my best 100 mile finish (finishing just 2 minutes shy of the female winner), won the storied Vermont 50 mile race, and finished 2nd in the 6-day, 120 mile TransRockies Run stage race. Coming off that success, Brian and I are both honored to have been selected for the US Trail Running Team. It is the first national team selection for either of us, and this is the first time any western Massachusetts runner has been named to the team.
The World Trail Championships, taking place in Wales, is a 75k technical trail race in early July. The 10-person team includes the Western, Mass contingent of Brian and myself. Unfortunately, while the USATF sanctions this team to compete, it does not offer any funding for athletes to travel abroad for the competition. Brian and I are working hard to raise some funds to allow us participate in this incredible opportunity and this is where we need your support.
"There are some exclusive clubs that are difficult to gain access to, but once you get in, life is easier. You can relax. Take Ivy League institutions, for example. A U.S. National Team is not like that. Earning the American singlet is difficult, and once you do that, more is demanded of you because running is no longer a singular pursuit. You represent your country—your coaches, your family, and your freedoms. It was weighty, so I was feeling anxious." - Sabrina Little, US 24 Hour Record Holder, on her first US Team selection.