About Ashley Pickens

1. Name: Ashley Pickens
2. Age: 30
3. City: Brandon, MS
4. Occupation: Medic in the MS Army National Guard
5. When did you start running? Late 2013
6. Why did you start running? In 2013, I was not happy with the way I looked or felt. My best friend, Brandon, had me join Planet Fitness, and was teaching me how to work out in order to lose weight. A few weeks into working out he decided to run a Spartan Sprint, and asked for me to join him. I looked up videos and told him that he had lost his mind thinking I could actually do that. I was a supportive friend, and I went and cheered him on. I did not know that day would change my life. I regretted not signing up and joining him that day, and I decided that the following year I would run a Spartan. Over the next year, I completely changed my life and started racing. Running was a part of how I trained. In late 2014 I completed my first Spartan (3rd OCR), and decided to join the Army. Now almost 7 years late I have ran countless number of races: OCRs, 5ks, 10ks, all the way up to several half marathons.  I race every change I get. My favorite races are when I am able to lend my legs to people who do not have the ability to run, and I am given the pleasure of helping them cross finish lines.
7.  Why did you join Eat & Run MS? I have been following this group since moving to Brandon in May 2019. I have watched what amazing things they have accomplished. This year when I found out they were raising money for First Responders in MS I knew I had to join. Being a national registered EMT this cause is dear to my heart, and I want to make a difference. So why not make it with something I already enjoy doing, which is running.
8. What is your favorite local place to run? Any running route near the Reservoir. Having a beautiful view helps take my mind off running.
9. What is your favorite distance to run? I would have to say a 10k. It takes about a 5k for my body to get into a nice comfortable pace.
10. What is your favorite race to run? My favorite road race is definitely the Battleship 12k in Mobile, AL that takes place every November around Veterans Day. The first mile is all downhill. It a super flat course, minus once bridge, with a beautiful view. This race honors the military, and each year they pick a different branch to honor. Plus, military personnel have their own category and bib. How cool is that? If you do the race consecutive years then you receive a coin. Plus, all the donuts at the finish line. Who can say no to donuts?   
11. What is your next running goal? To focus less on distance, and focus on getting faster at shorter distances (2 miles) with tired legs. With the new Army Combat Fitness test coming soon, I have to run my current time now after completing 5 other events.
12. What is your goal mileage for 2020? At least 500 miles.

To donate for Ashley’s miles, click here and choose her name in the “Donate for” section

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