Andy Averill, Waukesha, WI - PATH projects KREW
I started out as a "reluctant" runner only because my buddy wanted to do Tough Mudders. After a few years of struggling and not enjoying running at all, I decided to become a student of the sport. I read, watched and listened to whatever I could find and over time running became much more natural, easier and enjoyable. Experimenting, tweaking, learning, failing, succeeding was all part of the fun that led to my love of running. When my love of the outdoors and the wilderness eventually collided with my new love of running, I discovered the trails. During a weekend camping trip I randomly decided to hit the trails for the first time and ended up running half marathon, the furthest I’d ever run. Though I couldn’t walk right the next several days, I was hooked. I quickly took on a marathon and eventually ultras. I’ve been running around the woods of Wisconsin ever since.
I’m also very grateful for the trail community and the friendships I’ve made. Whether I’m on the giving or receiving end of support and encouragement, I’ve benefited from so many great people I’ve met through this sport.
Running accomplishment(s) you are proud of
Most recently, I'm proud of how I used a year like 2020 to accomplish some goals I probably wouldn't have otherwise. I set my first FKT running from Lake Superior to Lake Michigan, I created and ran my first 100 mile route and I ran every single street in my hometown. I'd say I'm most proud of running every single street because it took an entire year of consistency, planning, problem solving but mostly just chipping away at it. Those are the hardest goals for me to accomplish, the big projects that progress slowly and take patience. Very grateful I grinded it out and finished.
Any races or adventures on your horizon and / or bucket list?
My first official 100 mile race is coming up soon and after that I hope to tackle some long trails in Wisconsin/Minnesota. The idea of multi-day efforts is something I want to explore. High up on my bucket list is running Rim to Rim to Rim in the Grand Canyon.
Your favorite PATH projects gear?
The Graves PX 5” shorts are my favorite gear and also the best shorts I’ve ever run in. The fit, look and material are great as well as the functionality of the pockets. I really like that the side pockets zip so I don’t worry about losing anything and the back pocket holds my cell phone securely with no bounce. I’ve worn running belts/waist bands for years mostly to carry my cell phone with no bounce, but with PATH projects shorts, I no longer have to wear running belts on every run.
What do you enjoy about running?
I enjoy the solitude the long run provides, the life lessons running teaches me and the structure and discipline that training adds to my life. Most importantly, I do most of my best thinking and dreaming while out on a run, letting my mind wander and sort out what it needs to.
Advice for runners looking to improve?
Learn to listen to the signals your body is sending you. Sometimes you can push yourself and fight through the discomfort and other times you might be burnt out and need to back off or take a break. Rarely does reality align with your training plan, so allow yourself some grace. If you need to take a break, it doesn’t mean you’re weak, it means your training did it’s job and it’s time to rest, recover and come back stronger. For me this was a tough lesson to learn, but now I believe running more intuitively will allow someone to run more often and maintain consistency, which is where gains are made over time.
Any running or adventure videos, or have been featured in?
Social channels you are most active on?
Anything else you’d like to share to the PATH projects community?
A community and organization that I’m fortunate to be a part of is Bigger Than The Trail, where I'm Director of the Ambassador Program. Bigger Than The Trail is a non-profit organization that uses trail running to advocate for mental health and provides financial support for individuals to receive counseling. You can learn more about Bigger Than The Trail at https://www.bttt.run/
Learn about all other KREW members HERE.