A CONVERSATION WITH HIGH RISER: ALISON WENSTERon
by Rini Sampath
Sometimes, the sights and sounds of your morning run or jog can get repetitive. Your neighbor’s mailbox. The same paved pathway adjacent to a busy road. The whirr of car motors.
But what if you could take all of that out and have the most organic running experience of them all? Thanks to Into the Wild OC Trail Runs founder Alison Wenster, that dream is coming to life.
“The best part about being a race director is coordinating events that bring people together for health and fitness. I want our races to be a fun experience that motivates people to set goals and reach them. If you don’t have fun or it doesn’t bring you happiness or a sense of accomplishment you will not continue doing it,” Wenster said.
Into the Wild OC Trail Runs takes individuals to exciting locations like Blackstar Canyon and Limestone Canyon where they challenge their bodies to traverse steep mountains and thrilling landscapes. What began as one race in March of 2011 at Irvine Regional Park has evolved into seven races at a multitude of places. What makes Into the Wild particularly unique is that they have tapped into land that is nearly untouched — like at the Irvine Ranch Conservancy — so that runners have an adventure unlike any other.
“Trail running starts in civilization and then takes you out into quiet, tranquil and beautiful land that most people will never discover,” ” said Wenster. “I love the scenery, the terrain, the peacefulness, the mud on my feet, the sound of trickling water, the snow, the rain, the relaxation and getting lost in thought. Before you know it the concrete jungle is gone.”
It’s no wonder that Wenster loves organizing Into the Wild’s events — she has always adored the outdoors. She stayed active in her youth through sports such as swimming and her passion for running began early on. Today, she enjoys committing to the Ironman triathalon. From her native state of California to her years spent in Europe, Wenster’s life has always involved trips to new places. Helping others find happiness in exploration has brought satisfaction to her own life.
“The goal for Into the Wild OC Trail Runs was to bring awareness to our local parks, trail running and to give everyday athletes the motivation to sign up for a race, set a goal and achieve it,” said Wenster.
Though she is a busy mother with plenty of other responsibilities, we are thankful Alison Wenster has made time to pioneer this enriching new pastime. Are you interested in participating in one of her runs? Take a moment to check out their website and sign up for a run this fall! http://www.intothewildoctrailrun.com/