Arkansas runner, James Reeves, is next up in our Meet the Tribe series. James can been seen pinning a bib on at races up to the 50 mile distance. James most recently ran the 25 km at the War Eagle Trail Run in northern Arkansas, where he was fifth across the line.
Enjoy the Q&A with the running farmer!
What is your running background? When did you start trail running and what led you to explore the sport?
My dad was an avid runner when I was a kid. He was a member of the Cooper Aerobics Center and ran both the Dallas Whiterock and Houston marathons several times. I can remember running with him at times when I was in grade school finishing an 11 miler when I was maybe 12 years old or so. In high school I sorta ran a little XC but my focus was soccer. Once out of high school my interests, like many college kids, changed. I did take up cycling my Junior year at the University of Arkansas, both MTB and Road. I raced in a local MTB series and competed at the Hotter than Hell 100 in 1992. For the next several years running was sporadic for me. I would run for a short while and then stop for a longer while.
Once my family moved back to Northwest Arkansas in 2010 my running took root. The running community here is fantastic. The best I have experienced anywhere. At the heart of it is Rush Running and the NWA Goats. My first proper trail run was courtesy of my brother in law, Martin Philip. I was up to running 7-8 miles at a time. He suggested we go to Devils Den SP and run the Butterfield Trail. I knew it from my biking days. Did I mention this was in July? And all I had were road shoes? Well, 17 miles and five hours later I was done. I had to walk backwards down stairs for two days and was grateful we had a counter top next to the toilet. I was hooked. The adventure, scenery, challenge and the people are what keep my interest in trail running.
Current or last book you read and/or movie you watched?
The last book I read was Eat & Run. Excellent story.
Last movie was The Hobbit with my son and his buddy.
Favorite trail race distance?
Hmmm…. The one that has the biggest carrot for me. Currently that would be the 50 mile distance. I have a particular time goal in mind that has alluded me so far. The 50 is long enough that it requires patience and discipline for me.
Craziest/funniest thing you have seen/heard during a trail run or trail race?
Craziest thing I have seen was at the Rocky Raccoon 50. It was the second loop in a section with runners going both directions on the trail. It was a slight incline. I looked up the trail and saw a lady with her, umm, well… her boob was out. And she was operating a breast pump. All while moving on the trail, in a race. She had a little baby at Dogwood and was just doing her motherly duty. Jon Wilson with IRC in Missouri is my witness. He offered to stop and give her a hand.
Funniest thing I have heard happened during a pretty intense training run with my buddy Hugo Mendez of Inca Runners. Things had gone silent for a while as we were pushing hard and suddenly, from behind me, I hear Hugo spittin’ Beastie Boys rhymes in his Peruvian accent.
Favorite local trail?
Favorite local trail has to be Hobbs SP, home of the War Eagle Trail Running Festival. Specifically Pigeon Roost, love that loop.
If ipod user, do you have specific go-to tunes in the early miles, when in a groove, when in a funk, and when close to the finish?
Except for my watch I prefer to go electronic free on my runs. And sometimes I even leave that at home. But if I did, no telling what might be playing. Anything from Mumford & Sons or Old Crow Medicine Show to Foo Fighters or Macklemore.
What two tips or insights on trail running have you learned that may be useful for someone just entering the sport?
Two tips for a newbie? Easy. Consistency and volume. And in that order which requires patience.
Which animal best describes your approach or style of running?
Goat. I can eventually cover all types of terrain and I’ll eat damn near anything.
A special thanks to James for sharing with the tribe.
James also shares a variety of mostly run musings on his blog, running farmer.
Posted on 07 Jun 2013