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You Made it Weird: Lotti Brinks

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. 


Lotti Brinks is the woman you don’t want to show up at the last minute. She’s the lady who will put you in your place fast, and do it with a smile. Lotti has notable wins at the Javelina Jundred 100k, Tillamook Burn 50-mile and Rocky Raccoon 100-kilometer. She has also taken second at Gorge Waterfalls 100k and Bandera 50k. This past September, Lotti had the day she was due, winning the Grindstone 100k in its inaugural Golden Ticket Race selection year. See you at States Lotti!

Lotti runs for Salomon, the FEED and Drymax Socks.

Find Lotti on Instagram, Ultrasignup & Strava

Lotti Brinks during the Tilliamook Burn 50-mile race by Daybreak Racing in 2023.
Lotti Brinks during the Tilliamook Burn 50-mile race by Daybreak Racing in 2023.

Who are you and what do you do?

The profound answer: I am the culmination of the complex tapestry woven from all my decisions and subsequent experiences that have unfolded in 27 years of life. 

The concise answer: I’m an adventure loving, fun having, ambitious and dedicated human who loves her people and strives to live life to its fullest. I balance diverse pursuits – I am an athlete, a creative, work a day job in DesignOps and run an early stage creative studio with my husband Aaron.

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?

We have a Whatsapp group chat called Spectator Club: It’s a group of people who like to follow and chat about my races while they are unfolding. Usually my husband Aaron shares updates for them there. It’s always fun to read the chats after the race.

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

Can we just make the web and mobile experience of Strava consistent?! It drives me crazy that they are so different. 

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

I’m not a huge reader but really enjoyed reading the “His Dark Materials” trilogy a couple years ago. Currently, I’m reading a German historical fiction book that I honestly don’t really enjoy for its content but more so for the act of reading. The book lives in my truck camper to read while I’m hanging out at a creek, sitting in a hammock or snuggling with the doggies. And I really, really enjoy that!

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

I’ve been loving a band called AnnenMayKantereit. Vielleicht Vielleicht, Katharina and Jenny Jenny have been stuck in my head for a while now. 

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

I feel like I was ahead of the trend but as a runner I’m naturally a bread fan. I’ve been baking sourdoughs, pretzels and all other kinds of doughy goodness for a while now and I’m glad the world finally caught the baking bug in 2020. Fermentation of all kinds is just so cool. Combined with carbs, even better. 

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

Dancing on social media. I’m so bad at it and you will never catch me voluntarily doing a choreographed dance on social media. I have no rhythm whatsoever. 

What are the last three emojis you used?

🙃✨🫠

What is the last thing you bought online?

A rapid multi tire air system to inflate truck tires after letting some air out to go over rough terrain. 

What is your most controversial food opinion?

Butter can be spread as thick as cream cheese and cream cheese can be spread thicker than you think. Why are people skimping on the deliciousness?!

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

PinkBike – The Rainbow Ends in Showshoe | Story of the Race with Ben Cathro

Beau Miles – I picked up 10,000 bottles and cans because of Seinfeld 

Cornelius Quiring- How to Draft and Sew a Collar … to Perfection

Which Allie is your favorite?

I only have a favorite Ellie!

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

I feel like recently with the professionalization of the sport, media outlets keep discussing whether or not someone has to be “ALL-IN” to be successful. While I understand that stress is stress and that theoretically the more time you can dedicate to your craft the better you get, I still think it’s highly individual.

If I were to dedicate my entire life to the sport, I might get super duper fit but I would also lose the joy in it which is my main driving force. It’s not necessarily worthless to discuss but I think we just can’t put all athletes in the same bucket.

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

I don’t ever puzzle normally but during the holidays, my MIL, SIL and I always bust out the puzzles and take over the ping pong table. I get really, really competitive with it.

For food, we love making Vanillekipferl, a German Christmas cookie (we call them Plaetzchen) that’s made with almond flour and is coated in yummy vanilla-y sugar. 

When I say in-seam you say…? 

A millimeter of inseam per kilometer of running! (This only works for 100km and up haha)

Loose shorts – 4 inches / ~100mm

Tight shorts – 6.5 inches/ ~160mm

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

This wasn’t necessarily driven by ego but more so ignorance of danger and thinking nothing bad could possibly happen. When I was a teenager, I went out in a storm to get pizza from a food truck against mom’s orders and got hit by lightning. Wouldn’t recommend getting hit by lightning but it’s a great fun fact, definitely wild, probably not worth it (although who knows, maybe it gave me superpowers?) 

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

I’m pretty boring in this department. I tried a few different things but the best running fuel for me is all liquid calories. I started that this season and haven’t had any fueling problems since!

If we are talking pre-run, the worst is instant oatmeal at hotels, not because it gives me problems but because it just doesn’t spark joy. Unless it’s dressed up it’s just mushy MEH. Best is an everything bagel with cream cheese and cucumbers. YUM. 

Lotti Brinks during Broken Arrow in 2023

What is your death row meal?

Dumplings! In ALL shapes and forms.

Out and back or looped course? Why?

How about a lollipop course? Best of both worlds! Or even better, a point to point! 

Barkley or 24H track race? Why?

Barkley! I used to run 10ks on a track and thought 35min in circles was insane. There is no way I would ever want to do that for 24 hours. But then also, never say never I guess. Barkley sounds fun in the weirdest (cruelest?) way possible. 

When I say PTRA you say? 

How do I join?!

When I say UTMB you say? 

When you say UTMB, I say “Up The Mountain, Bro!” Because in the world of trail running, we’re all about the camaraderie and encouraging our fellow runners to conquer those peaks with style. It’s all uphill from here, and we’re doing it with a smile! 🙃

What is one thing that absolutely scares you? Why?

I can’t think of one particular thing that scares me, so in conclusion the answer would be that I’m fearless. Upon further reflection, that’s not necessarily true though. I am a steadfast optimist who only sees the best in people and trusts easily. So why would I be scared? I think I don’t feel scared often primarily because I live an admittedly privileged and protected life with a great support system. That doesn’t mean I don’t worry though. I constantly worry about what people think of me, the state of the world and many other things. But the optimist in me always trusts that everything will work out fine.

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

I had a pretty tough year racing in 2022. There were some highs, but lots of lows due to funky, unlucky incidents. I partially dislocated my kneecap in one race, got Covid before the next and got Rhabdo during the following race. Although most of these things were out of my control, I felt pretty deflated, especially since I had a great rookie season in 2021. That’s when self doubt and the imposter syndrome start creeping in. What helped me get out of that funk was starting to race for myself and myself only. I started being more self-sufficient at races, lining up without overthinking things, started coaching myself and stopped taking everything so seriously. The pressure lifted off my shoulders and it led to my best season yet. 

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

Rachel Lemcke!

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