We’ve always been proud of our NRC Race Team – not only for the times that our team members lay down at races throughout the country, but also for their character and what they do for our community. The same holds for the newest members of our Team, young guns Ryne Anderson, Jess Banasiak, and Hannah Hoots. Read on to learn more about their racing history, goals, and just how awesome they are overall.
NRC: How long have you been running, when did you get started?
Ryne: I grew up playing baseball and football and always enjoyed the conditioning aspect of practice more than my teammates. Coach Holder, cross country/track coach at my high school, talked me into a few cross-country practices in the fall, but it never worked out for me to run in a meet. I was able to participate in a few spring track meets and ran the 100 and 200. I quickly learned that I preferred stealing second base 90 feet away rather than sprinting on a track with 7 other really fast people.
I went to Maryville College to play football but suffered a significant concussion my sophomore year that sidelined me for good. Looking for something to do, I signed up for a half marathon. I had fun doing the endurance thing, despite learning what an IT band was the hard way. I then casually dabbled in triathlons. Thankfully, I found the trails in 2014 before I accumulated too much lycra and lost my life savings in a quest for aerodynamic efficiency.
Jess: I've been running since my sophomore year of high school (so five years ago) when I started running indoor track to get in shape for lacrosse. A senior on my team told me she was sure I'd be running every season the next year, I laughed, but look where I am now...
Hannah: I started running in elementary school, but it always came second to soccer. In high school, I ran cross country and track but never ran in college. My sophomore year in college I randomly decided to run a marathon, and from then on, I have been running ever since!
NRC:. What's your favorite distance to race and/or what's your favorite race?
Ryne: I really dialed in the 50k distance in 2016 and had some results that I was super proud of. So, I’d say the 50k distance is my favorite to race right now.
Picking a favorite is hard, but you never forget your first. Like many people in the southeast, StumpJump was my first ultra in 2014, and I’ve been back every year since. I love the technical trails that Tennessee geology provides, and that course is the perfect primer for technical trails in the east. But what truly makes this my favorite race is the community atmosphere. Friends from all over come to run or spectate at StumpJump. It’s awesome to see your friends cross the finish line, and then spend the rest of the weekend swapping stories and catching up.
Jess: I'm not sure that I have a favorite, at least not yet. In high school, my favorite race was the mile, but lately I've really enjoyed the change of pace (no pun intended) that I've found on the trails and in longer distance races like StumpJump.
Hannah: My favorite distance to run is the marathon.
NRC: What’s your favorite part about running in general?
Ryne: There is nothing I enjoy more than a long run in the woods or mountains with friends. The miles fly by and the conversations are all over the place ranging from philosophy to hilarity. I quickly forget about all the trivial life stressors weighing me down and am refreshed to return to the world outside of the woods.
Jess: My thoughts are most always pulling me in so many directions. But there's something about running that quiets these thoughts and,in so doing, allows me to discern what really matters that day.
Hannah: My favorite part about running is running with friends, achieving goals I never thought I could achieve, and the scenery that running allows me to view.
NRC: What are your goals for 2017?
Ryne: While I dialed in the 50k distance in 2016, every distance over that gave me trouble. The competitiveness to keep pushing myself wanes to the point of extinction the longer I get into the 50 mile and 100k distance. The Bighorn 100 miler in Wyoming this summer will provide the perfect test to battle those mental woes! I’ll pick out a few 50k’s for the fall to build up to an “A” race at the 50 mile or 100k distance around December.
Jess: 2016 was marked by a lot of "firsts" for me - my first trail race, first ultra and first road marathon. In 2017, I'm looking to PR at races and distances that I've seen before, like River Gorge, and to re-learn how to really leave everything that I have left on the course. I don't have any races picked out for the latter part of the year yet, but in general would like to work on my technical skills on the trail.
Hannah: My goals for 2017 are to improve my times in all distances from 5k-marathon, increase mileage, racing, and running more races around Nashville.
NRC: What are you looking forward to about being on NRC race team?
Ryne: I joined the RunWILD training group in the winter of 2015, which provided the springboard to meeting all of the awesome people associated with NRC. Nashville Running Company has built a wonderful community of runners that I am so thankful and proud to be a part of (Lee didn’t make me say that). I’m excited to be even more involved with this community that I love!
Jess: Running and NRC have both been integral to my experience in Nashville thus far. I'm most looking forward to meeting more faces and to interacting with the Nashville running community even further.
Hannah: I'm looking forward to running with a great group of runners, building new friendships, and beating previous PR's.
NRC: Aside from running, what do you do, what are your hobbies, etc.?
Ryne: I love adventuring with my silly and beautiful wife Marcelle. We like to camp, hike, explore new cities, and eat ice-cream on the couch while watching Netflix. We got a puppy, Dany, this past summer and are loving all the joy Dany brings us through her rug chewing and cuddling. Dany is currently in training to become a trail runner and is catching on quickly.
Jess: When I'm not running or at NRC, I study chemical engineering at Vanderbilt. And when I'm not doing that, I enjoy hiking, yoga, cooking (and admittedly grocery shopping) and although I haven't made much time for either lately, film photography and painting.
Hannah: Outside of running, I am an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer and lululemon athletica employee. I love interacting with people, exploring the outdoors, and helping coach Nashville Youth Athletics (NYA) cross country and track.
Thanks, guys! We look forward to seeing what you all do this upcoming year. Follow us on social media to stay up-to-date on their, and all of the NRC Race Team's, adventures and races!