Joanna Fortier is Darn Tough

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Ellie Pell

By: Ellie Pell

Ellie is an equal opportunity DMer with no shame in a cold call. She ran fast once and will remind you that it was before supershoes. Recently she set the FKT from her kitchen table to the fridge. Record pending drug test results.

A note from Freetrail: You know Ellie Pell from the Freetrail Fam Pod, but did you know she has an insatiable need to get to know you, and I mean REALLY get to know you? Like, what’s your favorite kind of cheese? “You Made it Weird” is Ellie’s brainchild because while she loves that these athletes are mega-talented she also wants to know what ELSE IS THERE?! Look for You Made it Weird every Friday. 

You Made it Weird With Joanna Fortier

Joanna is DARN TOUGH. No but seriously… I cannot put on a pair of toucan blue ankle socks without thinking of her. Everyone knows Darn Tough is the best sock company in the trail running world, but not everyone knows the people behind the Vermont apparel company. Though she lives in the maple syrup capital of the country, you won’t catch her eating waffles past 6PM. Joanna breathes that fresh Northeast hippie free-spirited mountain air and still manages to do the white-girl cliche thing we all love and get some walk-in ink. I won’t tell you where her tattoos are, you’ll have to ask her yourself.

Find Joanna on Instagram, Strava and Ultrasignup.

Joanna Fortier smiles as she climbs towards victory at Infinite Trails in 2023

Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Joanna Fortier. I’m 34 years old and currently living in Vermont but I grew up in New Hampshire. The White Mountains are my favorite place to run! Eric [LiPuma] and I have a tiny dog, Hazel. She likes to do little turbo boosts like me. In my free time, if I’m not running, I’m probably eating or watching Gilmore Girls. Team Jess. 

Do any of your group chats have names? If so, what are you willing to share? How did they get that name? What is a major topic of discussion in them?

I’m not part of many group chats but my favorite one is definitely the “OG WOW GURLS” – OG Women Of the Whites.  A bunch of badass ladies all living in New Hampshire that love to spend their time in the White Mountains! 

If you could change one thing about your favorite social media platform, what would it be?

I sometimes wish that Instagram wouldn’t show me everything I love like little dogs and pretty looking food. I have saved hundreds of food recipes that I will never look at again.

What is a book of fiction that you really enjoyed, for no other reason than you liked it?

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami. I love all his books, but this one is really worth the read. 

What is one song you’ve been listening to on repeat recently? 

Tiny Moves by Bleachers

What is one trend that started in 2020 that you love?

Being able to work remotely. It gives me back so much time in my day.

What is one trend that started in 2020 that you hate?

I hate that I still feel the need to wear masks when I travel. My head is too small, and they always cover part of my eyes.

What are the last three emojis you used? 


What is the last thing you bought online? 

A DNA kit for Hazel. We will have the results in a few weeks!

Joanna Fortier

What is your most controversial food opinion?

I won’t eat any breakfast food for dinner.

What three videos are at the top of your YouTube recommended homepage?

Yoga with Adrienne, Salomon TV, SNL – Ryan Gosling Monologue 

Which Allie is your favorite? 

Ali on the Run

What argument in mass media do you not understand or think is a worthless issue?

I try to not get sucked into silly mass media stuff.

When you go home for the holidays, what is the food or tradition that it wouldn’t be the holidays without? 

My aunts deviled eggs and butterscotch pie

When I say in-seam you say…? 

3 inch

When has your ego caused you to do something you sort of regret but also would describe as wild and worth it?

A few of my walk-in tattoos. 

What was your worst running fuel decision? What was the surprising best?

I have found out the hard way not to eat donuts, pancakes, or drink too much coffee before a race or a long run! I love love love gummies and honestly just some basic gummies with some salt on them are so good. 

What is your death row meal? 

A pizza with onions, a glass of orange wine and chocolate ice cream.

Out and back or looped course? Why?

Out and back. I hate coming back to the start and knowing I must go back out and do it again!

Barkley or 24H track race? Why?

I basically have not run on a track since Middle school and while a 24H track race seems like the worst thing ever, I would be so afraid of the dark at Barkley, that I would have to pick the track.

When I say PTRA you say?

Something I’ve heard Corrine mention before.

Joanna taking the win in the 45km race at Infinite Trails in 2023

What is one thing that absolutely scares you? Why?

I’m afraid of heights. I don’t like going to the edge of a cliff or having to walk over a really high bridge.

What is a time you felt you didn’t measure up? How did you get through that?

My first 50 miler, I led through the 50km mark then I blew up or blew up my knee, but either way I dropped back. I was very disappointed with my finish. I got more caught up in wanting to be in the top 3, that I completely ignored celebrating the fact that I just finished my first 50 Miler. Eric got me a coffee shake and my best friend was there to pump me back up. 

 Who is another runner that flies under the radar that we should all get to know?

My cousin Johnny Herrick. I’ve always been so impressed with how humble and talented he is! He also made me sign up for my first Half Marathon so I should thank him for that.


Keep exploring


Jazmine Lowther is Canadian Nice 


Sam Lewis Was Told She’d Never Run Pain-Free 


Eric LiPuma Loves New Jersey 

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