Congrats to Rhonda Trail for being named the Ultimate Fit Walker of the Month for July! She is Mom to Christopher and Chelsea, favorite mother in law to Sarah, grandma to Reagan and mom to my adopted dog, Lucy. She works in HR at the Ford Center. She is from Posey County, but now resides in Vanderburgh. As many of you know, she has been the photographer for countless races in the Tri-State area!
Here is the nomination email we received: "Rhonda has competitively walked many 5K's in the past and won awards in her age group. She is always encouraging runners and walkers on the course. But as you (and most of the Evansville area running/walking community) know, Rhonda is an extraordinary race photographer. Her photographs of runners and walkers are of the highest quality, and almost magically, capture the essence of the sport: the joy and relief of crossing the finish line; the camaraderie before, during, and after the race; the remarkable grace of the human body in motion.
Her poignant images of runners and walkers in action are vividly framed by the beautiful, isolated, or busy settings of the Midwest: the Ohio River, a city street lined by store fronts, a trail in Angel Mounds, thriving corn fields.
Rhonda is an artist with a camera. She not only sees Nature and people with remarkable clarity. She captures and preserves the spirit of the moment and the place. Her photographs tell us so much about who we really are. Her pictures are something special. And so is Rhonda."
**What motivates you to run/walk?
My health, inspiration to my family to get involved in health and fitness and the challenge of being faster than yesterday
**How many races have you participated in?
A bunch. 125-150
**What age did you start running/walking for fun & competitively?
I started walking at 30. Watched all the runners go by and thought if I run, I could get to the finish line sooner, so shortly after beginning, I started running. I don’t think I ever walked just for the fun of it only. I’m competitive and like to win, although I know I’m not fast and there are better walkers out there. Born with club foot and lucky that I can run in the first place, my running days are now over, due to a metal plate being surgically placed in my right foot 2 years ago. I can walk almost as fast as I sometimes ran, but don’t tell my doctor that!
**Favorite place to run/walk?
Burdette to USI
**Favorite local race?
The Mesker Park Zoo race. I started that one in 2009 and it’s still going!
**Favorite race outside of the Tri-State?
The Peachtree 10K Road Race in Atlanta. Over 50K participants!
**Farthest you have traveled to do a race?
**Favorite race distance?
**Favorite race memory?
The Bear. It’s a 5 miler up Grandfather Mountain in NC. Crossing the finish line was the best!
**Funniest race memory?
Probably when Chelsea and I were race walking at the Laufenfest. We had always walked competitively against each other. During one race, I was ahead of her and had a good lead until I turn around and she is kind of limping. I slowed to ask what was wrong. Apparently nothing much because she passed me and I wasn’t able to catch her. She beat me! It was funny between us and I am still waiting for a redo so I can prove to her that I am faster!
**Craziest thing you saw at or during a race?
A naked woman in an alley
**Favorite pre & post-race meal/drink?
I drink water before, but don’t eat. After is a banana and then a good salad with chicken is a favorite
**What is your favorite brand of running shoe?
Brooks at Ultimate Fit
**How many miles do you run/walk a week?
Right now I am around 15 a week
**What are your future goals for running/walking?
To complete what I started when I could run, which is 50 runs (now walks) in 50 states. I am hoping to finish SC this fall which will be 23 total.
**Favorite time of day to run?
**Favorite weather to run in?
Hot. Although it’s harder, I feel accomplished when I’ve lost a gallon of sweat after a hard walk.
**Music or no music?
None. I am deaf in one ear so I am constantly watching around me. There is not way I would attempt to use music. When I could hear, I did use music and I was always faster!
Brandon L. Barrett