Trails Collective

Introducing: Running Back To Basics

My name is Kuwanna Dyer-Pietras and I am a trail and ultrarunner. I was born in Germany, and
I’ve been running ever since I can remember. As a kid, I lived for being outside, and each day
I’d rush to finish my homework so I could disappear into the outdoors for several hours before
the sun went down and I had to return home.
I grew up in southern Nevada, and first honed my skills as a competitive distance runner in the
Mojave Desert in Henderson and Las Vegas. I started competing during my sophomore year in
high school when I joined the Varsity cross country team and trained to race 5Ks during the
cross-country season, which for us meant running through triple digit temperatures. I lettered
during the two years that I was on the team but missed the final slot to attend State my senior
year by one place. Years later I’d learn it was shin splints that I had been suffering from. During
my senior year I also competed in several track events, including the 200 m, 400 m, and the
pole vault. During college I continued to run regularly but stayed with the lower distances. In
fact, I didn’t run a half marathon until I was 30 years old. As a geology student, however, I
began to spend more time on trails and in the back country, which was amazing for me.

I’ve lived and run in Nevada, Wisconsin, Texas, Canada, and New York. On my travels, I have
also run in Massachusetts, California, Florida, and Colorado. This includes deserts, mountains,
forests, suburban asphalt, and running in all seasons. It’s great to explore new places on foot.
In recent years, I have completed several marathons and ultras, most of which were solo and
self-supported. This includes a 100K, a 95K (with a good story), a 50-miler, and four 50Ks. The
95K was originally intended to be a 100K, and ultimately led me to register for the Pine Creek
Challenge 100K, in which I not only finished, but I was also the third woman to cross the finish
line. On the schedule for 2022 is another 50-miler and 100K, my first mountain race, and my
first 100-miler.

Here at the Trails Collective, I’ll have a monthly column where I share my perspectives on topics
related to trail and ultra-running. Some of the topics I plan to explore include coming back
from an injury, both mentally and physically, balancing running with family responsibilities,
finding joy simply in moving through wild spaces, brand ambassadorships, and conquering
imposter syndrome, for those who may be new to the trails or ultradistances. I ran throughout
my second pregnancy, craving running like I craved milk during my first pregnancy, and it could
be fun to touch on that as well.

Previously, I’ve also created content for the Patagonia Trail Running Instagram account and
helped manage the Dirtbag Runners Instagram page. I am an occasional contributor to the Trail
Sisters blog.

I look forward to becoming a regular content contributor for the Trails Collective and getting to
know the local community even better.

Reach out if you have any questions! You can find me at dyerpietras.TC@gmail.com

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