Abby Hall is a trail and ultrarunner for adidas TERREX. She lives with her husband Cordis in Flagstaff, Arizona. She started running when she was in 5th grade and ran cross-country and track through college. Around 2016 when she first heard about ultras, they quickly captured her heart and guided her move to Boulder, Colorado where she dove headfirst into the sport. Abby is fueled by the journey's ups and downs she’s experienced while pursuing her goals. In 2021, she and Cordis moved to Flagstaff and she made the leap to focusing on running full-time. Abby is also a graphic designer, passionate vegan and DIY enthusiast.
After all that you accomplished, what drives you to continue running?
To me, the sport at its core revolves around this curiosity to go farther and faster, and I’m completely in love with the process of trying. I’m a big “process” person. Because I’ve built a process that isn’t really structured around accomplishments, nothing ever feels like an endpoint. I’ll try not to get too philosophical, but to me, the process is the thing itself.
How do you motivate yourself on days when you don't feel like running?
I think about the kind of person I want to be on race day. From a psychological level, I view a lot of my training as an audition for race day. If there’s cracks in my armor in training, those same cracks can appear on race day. Of course, there’s a lot of body and heart listening involved too. It’s not just brute force-ing the motivation to be in the right place, but taking the time to really assess where you’re at and figure out what things might be blocking me from doing what I love more effectively.
What are your goals for the rest of 2022?
To run a risky race at CCC (Courmayeur-Champex-Chamonix) and support my teammates at their races.
What's your favorite ultra distance?
I love a mountainous 100K! To me, it’s short enough that it requires some fast running, while still being long enough to allow for plenty of opportunities for the wheels to come off. That’s where things get fun.
What has been your most memorable race to date?
2021 CCC was unforgettable. My friends and teammates were all over the course screaming their guts out, my coach was crewing me and Cordis was waiting for me at the finish line. It was a day full of love. The finish line in Chamonix is always so full of energy and emotion and that’s the kind of stuff that keeps me going the rest of the year.
What does your weight training consist of and which exercise do you feel helps your running the most?
I work with Chris Lee at Kinesis Integrated for my strength work. Chris is amazing and has helped me work through a lot of weaknesses in my body. A lot of what we do is basically getting my heels to drive power through my glutes, and keep that whole chain in-line and cooperating. We do a lot of unilateral stability, too. I would say deadlifts are one of the exercises that helps me the most. It doesn’t correlate to running fitness, of course, but it does contribute to being a resilient athlete which counts for a lot. I’ve found the greatest benefit through my work with Chris as a whole has been how intact my form is in the closing miles of an ultra. I don’t feel like I’m falling apart at the end, and I think that counts for some real minutes…or even hours!
What's the weirdest or funniest thing that ever happened to you while running?
A three hour UFO encounter on Donohue Pass on the JMT. That same night I also put out a wildfire I came across on the trail. It was a weird night.
What's it like to be a part of the Adidas Terrex team?
It’s the absolute best. I think our team has really hit its stride in the last couple of years. We’re a group of trail-loving athletes from all corners of the globe. Each person brings their own unique spirit, and that helps create this safe space where everyone can be themselves. We spend a lot of time together training and racing and traveling, and it’s led to what I know will be lifelong friendships. There’s real support and love across the board and that’s not just something that happens when you put the same logo on a group of people. That’s something that happens with the right group of people. It feels like a rare thing to come across in life and I’m so grateful I get to be a part of it!
Who would you say is the funniest teammate?
Cordis. This may have contributed to the reasons I married him!
In your free time when you’re not running, what hobby’s do you enjoy?
I love doing projects on our house, being out in the van, baking, playing piano and being addicted to working on my French on Duolingo. I’m also really obsessed with mid-century interiors, as well as furniture and lighting design.
When it comes to running, what would you say is your biggest strength and weakness?
My biggest strength is my ability to not be annoyed at things. My biggest weakness, at the risk of sounding like Michael Scott, “is that I care too much.” But seriously, I get really emotionally attached to my races and sometimes I can love them to death.
Who is one of your favorite athletes to train with?
I do a lot of my training solo, to be honest. But one that comes to mind right now is Ruth Croft. She’s about to come stay with us in Flagstaff during the month of May and I can’t wait to train together!
What's next for you?
We’re heading to Innsbruck to run Innsbruck Alpine! Can’t wait to get back to the Alps.
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