The 24-year-old recently joined the Mammoth Track Club.
Bria Wetsch, 24, is one of the newest members of the Mammoth Track Club — an elite running group in California that some call the most successful post-collegiate running group in the U.S. today.
She moved out in January after quitting her job at an accounting firm in Portland, Ore. and deciding she wanted to focus on marathoning full-time.
The decision was likely a wise one — she ran a 2:44:45 at her debut marathon, Twin Cities, in October while she was still working part time, so there’s no telling what she’ll do now that she’s fully committed herself to the sport.
“I wasn’t happy working and running,” says the former University of Oregon runner. “I felt like I wasn’t giving all that I could to running.”
She was also excited to be a part of the group’s new beginnings, as its longtime head coach, Terrence Mahon, announced in late October that he would be passing over the coaching reins to Andrew Kastor, husband to Olympic bronze medalist and American record holder Deena Kastor.
When Wetsch first visited Mammoth last year, she felt like the group, and Mammoth, was the perfect fit.
“I knew right away that I wanted to be here,” Wetsch says.
Besides the sunshine — the city can see upwards of 300 sunny days per year — Wetsch fell in love with the mountain town’s outdoorsy culture. And she jumped at the opportunity to train with a structured group, at altitude, under the guidance of the Kastors.
“The Kastors are amazing,” Wetsch says. “I felt very connected [when I first visited] and felt like we got along very well and had similar ideas and philosophies.”
One of the tricks she’s already learned from Deena? Sleeping — a lot. Wetsch tries to sleep at least nine hours a night and get in a nap every day, even if she doesn’t feel like she needs it.
Although Wetsch fell in love with Mammoth immediately, she did have to take time to get used to its altitude, as the town sits at 8,000 feet and many of the running trails rise even higher. When Wetsch took her first visit out to Mammoth, she went on a run with Deena and had to ask her to stop after running only three miles.
“I couldn’t quite breathe,” Wetsch says.
But she says she’s adjusted well, taking the first four weeks to just put in miles without any hard workouts, and then she slowly added the miles and hard workouts, which the Mammoth Track Club is famous for doing at lower elevations of about 4,000 to 5,000 feet.
Look for Wetsch this fall, when she hopes to make her second attempt at 26.2.
Here Are A Few Of Her Favorite Things
Favorite place to run in Mammoth: The dirt roads and trails that surround Doe Ridge.
If I’m up for a climb, it’s nice to take one of the trails up to the top of Doe Ridge and explore.
Favorite thing about Mammoth: The sun and the seasons.
I like the snow and that it’s not always one temperature.
Favorite spot to hang out: Stellar Brew, 3280 Main St., Mammoth Lakes, Calif.
Favorite form of cross-training: Swimming
Favorite training shoe: ASICS Nimbus and ASICS hyper-speeds
In terms of the day to day I like the ASICS Nimbus, but then for something faster I like the hyper-speeds.
Favorite pre-race meal: Chicken and rice
Something simple, like chicken and rice or stir fry.
Favorite post-race meal: Burger and beer
After a race I’d have to say a burger and good beer are necessary!