Meet Pierre Max Labelle!
1) What makes you a “Trail Gangsta?”
Because the outdoors and nature are my hood!
2) How/when did you get into trail running?
I was rucking by a park very close to my home an the thought of running in the beautiful trail setting came to mind. Rucking involves wearing a heavy backpack (usually 40lbs) and going hiking in the woods at a fast pace. I am a big fan of the physicality of special forces soldiers and what they go through so that’s why I challenged myself to a ruck. Now this place has become my training grounds for trail running.
3) Do you consider running to be your therapy? If so, what aspect is most therapeutic?
Running is therapeutic, it allows me to tune my mind and body to be in harmony. The apex is when you reach the moment in your run when all what matters is what you are doing presently and your happiness levels are off the charts.
4) Describe one of your most badass personal accomplishments on the trails. What was going through your mind during it?
In my first 100k trail race (the J&J Trail Run in Rock Springs, TX), I placed third male overall. Night fell with 20 miles and the temperatures were dropping; I was hit by fatigue and and my mind was racing. I just kept telling myself, “Run your race, stay calm, stay focused, stay in the moment. One foot at the time. Enjoy yourself!”
5) When you’re having trouble getting out the door to run, what motivates you?
I am a rocket test technician so I work very long physical and mental hours. I have translated my hard working machine state of mind to my personal life now and find the hours to spend on the trails enjoying nature instead of wasting them on the couch. I like to remind myself that tomorrow is never guaranteed. So go out and do what you love because many others can't!
6) What specific training regimens (besides running) have helped you become a stronger runner?
I practice meditation, cold ice water baths and breathing techniques called the Wim Hof Method. I do an everyday range of motion stretching session as well as plyometrics, lap swimming, good rest and maintaining a good attitude.
7) What’s the weirdest thing you have heard or seen on a run?
When I was racing at night in Colorado Bend State Park, there were monkeys swinging through the trees, following me for miles. Pretty cool experience!
8) Favorite post-run meal or treat?
After a long run one of my favorite meals is Wingstop habanero spicy wings with regular fries and a Dr. Pepper.
9) What’s your next big race/adventure?
On March 2nd, I finished 8th in my age group at the Tinajas 100k put on my Tejas Trails.. Next up, is the Hell’s Hills 50 miler in April!