You Made it Weird: Jackson Brill

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.

Jackson Brill needs no introduction. He made it weird. But in case you don’t know about him, he was undefeated from 2019 to 2021 taking the W at Devil on the Divide 50-kilometer, Pueblo Half Marathon, Stanhope 60-kilometer, Blue Sky Trail Marathon, and Quad Rock 50-mile. Recently he took 2nd at the Breakneck Point marathon, breaking the old CR and then followed it up in what might be the most stacked race in the country, taking 8th at the Broken Arrow Skyrace VK. Don’t sleep on Jackson Brill folks, that is all.

Find Jackson on Instagram, Strava, and Ultrasignup

Jackson Brill takes on the VK at the Broken Arrow Skyrace

Who are you and what do you do?

Wow, existential right off the tip. I am Jackson. Sometimes I wish I was “Jaxon”, but I’m not edgy enough to pull that off without being a douche. I do lots of things. But to earn money, I coach adults (through Trails and Tarmac), substitute teach, coach cross-country and track at Summit High in Bend, OR, and work at the Steens Mountain Running Camp and Max King Trail Running Camp in the summer. I plan to be a real teacher when I grow up, but I like the flexibility of what I’m doing for the time being.

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?

You need to have a social life and friends to have group chats. I’m sure that if I had a social life and friends, the names of my group chats would be elite.

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

It would be cool if social media wasn’t causing western society to crumble by destroying our mental health. Otherwise, I would love if Strava had dm’s; I would probably have a lot more sex if that was the case. (Jackson obviously predicted the future here) 

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

I’m illiterate.

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

“Mork n Mindy” by Sleaford Mods. Certifiable banger.

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

The ultra / trail running community started placing an increased value on worthy trail / mountain objectives that aren’t traditional races, and it seems like that has continued since. FKT interest exploded, there was the Virtual Backyard ultra, Everest-ing, etc. Two highlights from Summer 2020 that I did were Everest-ing and a big run-bike linkup in Owyhee Mountains.

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

Denying election results

What are the last three emojis you used?

🫵🏻 🫖 Ⓜ️ 🐝

What is the last thing you bought online?

A birthday present for my little brother. It was a big canvas print of the Abbey Road album cover.

What is your most controversial food opinion?

When an insect flies into my mouth on a run, I chew and swallow it. Insects have better protein composition than BCAAs, and it discourages future non-suicidal insects from flying into my mouth.

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

Deion Sanders’ most recent postgame interview (SKO BUFFS), A “Sundae Conversation” interview with Danny McBride, and a live performance of “I wanna be your slave” by Måneskin.

Which Allie is your favorite?

*Jackson is too edgy for us, we suggest starting a group chat with him so he has friends.

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

Most of them? The only thing that matters is what Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift are up to.

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

Reminding my mother that going to Catholic School from Kindergarten through 4th Grade traumatized me and turned me into a lifelong atheist when she asks if I want to go to Christmas Eve Mass with her.

Jackson Brill with Team USA at the world trail and mountain running championships.

When I say in-seam you say…?

You know the shorts that have a built-in liner that is longer than the actual shorts themselves? I cannot stress enough how stupid they are.

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

Answering these questions

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

Max King and I did a 29-hour effort on Steens Mountain this summer and part of my fueling strategy was 3 packs (2400 calories) of Nerd Clusters. My teeth legitimately ached for weeks after. Uncrustables and Hostess fruit pies (h/t to Max for that one) are fantastic for long adventure days.

What is your death row meal?

Two boxes of Annie’s white cheddar mac-and-cheese with Dominos Lava Cakes for dessert.

Out and back or looped course? Why?

The only thing that matters in life is creating aesthetically pleasing gps tracks for Strava. Loops or gtfo.

Barkley or 24H track race? Why?

Euchre Bar Massacre, which is the same idea as Barkley. I partook for the first time this year, and the highlight was wading through a nearly impassable thicket of thorn bushes for 2 hours in the night. I would crew a 24-hour track race if there was enough drugs and alcohol around, but that’s the closest I’ll come to that.

When I say PTRA you say?

I had to google what that stood for. Apparently PTRA is the stock ticker symbol for Proterra Inc., an electrical vehicle and powertrain company. The second thing I found was the “Federal Pretrial Risk Assessment”, which is a tool that Courts use to determine if a defendant is at risk of being naughty while awaiting trial, and therefore whether they deserve to be released or detained prior to their trial. I had to google “PTRA running” to get any hits on the “Pro Trail Runners Association”, which I believe is what you are referring to. So they probably should step up their marketing game since they do not currently compete with the more important PTRAs in the world.

When I say UTMB you say?

*Many strong feelings 

What is one thing that absolutely scares you? Why?

(Preface): My answer to this question is fully sincere. Brace for a tone shift. One thing that scares me is making a fatal decision or mistake in the mountains. I obviously try my hardest to minimize the likelihood of that, but it would really suck for everyone who loves and cares about me if something happened. I spend many hours per year on 3rd, 4th, and 5th class terrain, which I very much enjoy, but there is inherent consequence and risk baked into such activities.

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

When I was 15, I once pretended to forget my ski pass so I could get a free ski pass for the day for a friend of mine. I got caught, and my dad was extremely disappointed in me, as he worked on Ski Patrol and thus that reflected poorly upon him. I genuinely felt awful about it for months. I have not talked to my dad since I graduated high school, so I guess that means I haven’t gotten over it yet?*

*I actually have a great relationship with my dad, but the rest of that is true.

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

Floyd Mayweather low-key could have won Western States in his prime if ultrarunning paid tens of millions of dollars per event like boxing and there was a strip club in Auburn.

Keep exploring


Jazmine Lowther is Canadian Nice 


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


Eric LiPuma Loves New Jersey 

Become a Freetrail Pro member

Get exclusive access to premium content, our private trail community, and more. Just $10/month or $96/year.