Professional runner Gina Lucrezi started her career racing on the track and road before eventually discovering the beauty of running on a mountain trail. That revelation convinced her to start competing in trail events instead, which she has done for the past seven years. In 2012 she shifted focus to ultra-length races, and went on to take first place in the 2013 Laugavegur Ultra Marathon, a 55k event held in Iceland. While she takes great pride in that accomplishment, as well as her other athletic accolades, Gina says that she gets the most satisfaction out of simply spending time high up in the mountains.
Gear Institute: Hi Gina! Thanks for taking some time for us today. Can you tell us what you’ve been up to, and what’s next on your schedule?
Gina Lucrezi: Currently I’m training for the Western States 100 and the Leadville Trail 100. This means spending a lot of time on my feet in the mountains of Colorado. During my focused training periods, I try to travel to as many interesting and exciting places I can, as running in a new area always refreshes my attitude and passion for the sport.
GI: The Western States and Leadville Trail are well known for being extremely tough, so I’m sure the training is greuling. When you travel to these races, what are some things that you always carry with you?
GL: Sunscreen! I don’t actually carry it with me out on the course, but I never leave for my run without putting it on. I spend too much time in the sun to not protect myself. I also always carry a cell phone. It might sound excessive, but you never know when you will be in trouble, or might just want to snap some photos along the trail. I don’t leave home without a brimmed hat either. I’ll either stuff it in my pack or will be wearing. A good hat provides shade for your face and eyes, and protection from the rouge branch that you might run into!
GI: That’s very good advice on some items that we should all carry with us on a run. Take a moment to give a nod to your sponsors. What pieces of gear from them have you found invaluable for racing and training?
GL: I love my New Balance 1210v2. They provide great support and cushioning for long miles and rough terrain. I’m also a huge fan the UV blocking Buffs! They are a small – but vital – piece of my kit that is great for keeping my head warm in bad conditions as well as keeping me cool in warmer weather. Julbo’s Blast sunglasses are by far one of my favorite pairs of shades. They’re perfect for training and racing on super sunny days up at high altitude. Ultimate Direction’s Jenny Vesta is simply the perfect size hydration vest for a long day in the mountains. It has enough space to carry all of my gear, including food, water, and extra articles of clothing. And of course, there is no way I could spend hours running without properly fueling my body. CarboPro provides clean fuel filled with carbs and calories to keep me moving.
GI: Do you have a favorite jacket that you wear while training or competing?
GL: Ultimate Direction’s Ultra Jacket. It is everything an ultra runner could ask for. Lightweight, seam sealed, breathable, and self-packable.
GI: When packing for a trip do you have any special techniques you use?
GL: I always roll my extra shirts instead of folding them when I pack. Doing this provides just a little extra room in bag. And when I’m out on the trail I’ll use a stuff sack to condense the materials in my pack just a bit further. Additionally, I always carry a small roll of duct tape just in case something goes wrong.
GI: What is one outdoor trend that you’re really excited about right now?
GL: Honestly, the growth of trail and mountain running in general is super exciting. There has been a pretty large surge in recent years, and I’m pumped to see where it goes!
We agree Gina! Thanks for taking some time to answer our questions, and good luck at Western States and Leadville this summer.