38; Academic Fieldwork Coordinator at the UT Health Science Center; Volunteer at aid stations for local trail races 

I LOVE TRAIL RUNNING: Running is how I decompress, and I love being outside on the beautiful trails! Memphis has an amazing running community, and I’ve met some of my closest friends through running. 

BUCKET LIST: I’d love to run another 100-miler and finish in less than 24 hours. 

UP NEXT: The Ouachita 50K race in April. It’s my birthday weekend, and I’d love to celebrate by climbing up Pinnacle Mtn. 

FAVE FITNESS ACCOMPLISHMENT: Finishing my first 100-mile race! I trained for six months throughout the summer, and it was the most grueling and rewarding experience! 

SPEED BUMPS: I was diagnosed with breast cancer in July 2021. It was a shock because of my age. I had no family history, but I was fortunate to catch it early. I told my doctor I still wanted to do the Walking Tall 50K in October, and she supported me and my crazy goals! Being focused on running was a great distraction from the diagnosis. I had surgery in August and didn’t need chemotherapy since it was caught early. Most women don’t start mammograms until they turn 40, so I encourage women to do regular self-checks! My outcome would’ve been very different if it had been detected later. I recovered well from the surgery thanks to being in probably the best shape of my life. I was able to run the Walking Tall 50K six weeks after the surgery! I felt such a sense of accomplishment when I crossed the finish line. I was proud cancer couldn’t take that away from me. 

MY GROUP: I’m a member of the North Mississippi Endurance team, and I participate in group runs hosted by the Desoto Runners Club. 

FAVORITE JAMS: “Long Road to Ruin” by the Foo Fighters 

RECENT RACES: Shawnee Hills 100K (3rd OA Female), Arkansas Traveller 100 miler, and Walking Tall 50K. 

MOST MEMORABLE FITNESS EVENT: Every Walking Tall 25K/50K race. My husband and a close friend are the race directors, and they put so much work into pulling off a great event. The proceeds go to Big Hill Pond State Park, and it’s impressive how much the race helped the park grow. 

BEST EATS: Naru. They have the best hibachi rice and steak. It’s my go-to pre-race meal! 

GO-TO GEAR: Trucker hat, Garmin Fenix, Altra trail shoes, and Oofos recovery flip flops. 

DREAM DINNER COMPANY: My grandmother. She passed 11 years ago and was the toughest person I’ve ever known. She grew up in rural China and worked hard. She lived with our family and helped raise my two siblings and me. She instilled a strong work ethic in us and showed us how to be resilient. I’d love to thank her for shaping me into the person I am today. 

INSPIRATION TO BE FIT: As an occupational therapist, I work with people recovering from injuries or diagnoses that prevent them from functioning in normal day-to-day activities. They work so hard to do simple tasks that we often take for granted. It is incredibly humbling and inspiring, and I know how fortunate I am. 

PET PEEVE: When people litter on the trails. 

FAV INDULGENCE: Snickerdoodle ice cream from Area 51. 

QUOTE: “You either get bitter or you get better” – Josh Shipp 

Photo by Daniel Scruggs