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You Made it Weird: Becca Windell

Share the trail love:
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 Rest Day Pod, but did you know she has an insatiable need to get to know you, and I mean REALLY get to know you? “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. 


If you didn’t get enough Becca on the Trail Society Podcast, this is your deep dive explainer into the mind of a scientist when she’s not in the office. Seemingly out of nowhere, Becca took the Black Canyon 100km by storm where she surged to the front before ultimately taking second place and snagging a golden ticket to Western States. She is the founder of Home Rand Wildlife Research, a non-profit conducting field training and community science in Washington’s Methow Valley. When she’s not being super smart inside the lab, she’s being smart outside the lab reading books like the Alchemist, Endure, and Bravey (three books I also highly recommend!).

Find Becca on Instagram, Ultrasignup, and if you missed it, on the Trail Society Podcast

Becca Windell on her way up through the field during Black Canyon 100km

Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Becca Windell and I’m a wildlife biologist and trail/ultra running coach living in either Mazama, WA or Fort Collins, CO. On the wildlife side, I co-founded Home Range Wildlife Research and recently decided to go back for my PhD at Colorado State University where I am studying a truly wild disease called Chronic Wasting Disease that affects the deer family. The disease results from weird, misfolded proteins and more or less turns deer into zombies before they inevitably die. It’s fascinating!

On the coaching side, I have the best stable of athletes anyone could ask for. Each of my athletes are doing incredible things in life, dreaming big in running, and inspire me every day! 

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?

Honestly, I can’t stand group chats. I would way rather have an email thread on a topic. 

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

More or less anything by Steinbeck, but Cannery Row will forever and always be my favorite. The characters are magical and his work speaks to the human condition in a way that hits home like nobody else!

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

“Alaska” by Maggie Rogers. I heard it for the first time driving back from WA to CO and listened to it on repeat for about 3 hours! SO GOOD!!!

What are the last three emojis you used?

🤸🏻‍♂️♥️🌵

What is the last thing you bought online?

A 20 pack of Spring Energy Awesome Sauce.

What is your most controversial food opinion?

Cinnamon should only be measured in tablespoons or cups.

Becca Windell with her crew during Black Canyon 100km

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

Day in the Life with Allie Ostrander 

Maggie Rodgers performing “Alaska” on the Tonight Show 

Elle St. Pierre breaks American Record to win Wanamaker mile

Which Allie is your favorite?

I feel like this is a trick question. (*Editor’s note you are also able to choose ELLIE, but don’t feel the need to suck up to her)

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

I don’t understand any of it. There used to be this wonderful podcast called Reply All and they had a segment called “Yes, Yes, No” where they tried to bring a luddite colleague up to speed on Twitter and that was always me. Someone needs to recreate this; I already pitched David Roche.  

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

I love Sunday morning pancakes above all! 

When I say in-seam you say…?

Moderate. Prevent chafing above all. 

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

Every time I say yes to something that sounds like an incredible opportunity but I absolutely don’t have time for it. 

What is your death row meal?

First course: Ramen with veggies and eggs 

Second course: Rainbow maki roll and eel sashimi

Dessert: Mango sticky rice and flan de coco (I’m trading appetizer for two desserts)

Out and back or looped course? Why?

Loops! And especially if they are circumnavigations around mountains. There is nothing cooler than seeing the mountain from all sides! 

Becca Windell with her Golden Ticket to WSER

Barkley or 24H track race? Why?

Barkley FOR sure. Worst case you don’t finish and have a few interesting pages of text to read. 

What is one thing that absolutely scares you? Why?

Falling into a crevasse. Although I’ve been told dying of hypothermia isn’t too bad, my anxiety would be through the roof sitting in a black abyss knowing you are slowly going to die.

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

Sophie Anders!

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