As Jen Edwards’s feet pounded the trail weaving through the meadows and mountains that make up the Fat Dog 120-mile trail run in British Columbia, her mind wasn’t on the tendonitis that had plagued her the entire time. Nor did she focus on the fact that the trail was the equivalent of running from sea level to the summit of Mount Everest.
Instead, the sight of snow-capped mountains and crystal clear lakes reminded her of one, indisputable fact.
She loved to run.
When the finish line appeared, Jen crossed with a smile on her face.
Oh—and a second-place finish to boot.
“I just love long distances, I love pushing myself, and I love the challenge. I think I’m a pretty tough chick. I like to prove it!” she said. We agree—the Fat Dog was named by Outside Magazine as one of the world’s toughest trail runs.
Jen, who lives in Olympia, Washington, started running when she joined the track team as a sprinter in the 6th grade. She later wound up joining the cross-country team to get in shape to play basketball. When basketball season rolled around, however, Jen made a realization. “I just wanted to run,” she said with a laugh. She opted for indoor track instead.
Jen continued running through high school and college, with the help of a host of supportive coaches. Later on, she began doing marathons and ultraruns.
“I’m always challenging myself,” she said. “I have two little boys, and I like to show them that even though you think you have limitations, you can beat them.” Jen is also quick to point out that she takes care of her body—eating well, sleeping well, stretching and seeing a physical therapist.
Jen, a self-described “gear hound,” quickly grew frustrated with hydration packs that caused chafing. “When you’re running the distances I am, you wind up wet with sweat, and that can make chafing worse. And it’s painful!” she said. She also wanted to be hands-free and liked bottles, but hated the plastic-y taste of most.
Enter Orange Mud’s hydration packs. Jen loves the fact that they sit high enough that they don’t cause chafing, they’re lightweight, and don’t bounce. She’s run with the HydraQuiver, HydraQuiver Double Barrel, and the HydraQuiver vest pack (her current fave). All of Orange Mud’s products keep this runner happy and energized. “They do everything you want and need them to do. I just can’t say enough good things about this company,” she said.
We’re looking forward to following Jen and seeing where her goals next take her. One thing we’re sure of? She’ll approach her future races as she’s done in the past—with a great attitude. “People say, ‘I can’t believe you’re smiling, after running 120 miles,’” Jen said of her latest feat. “But to me, that’s what running is all about!”