Tales



My name is Allisen. I never understood why runners would wake up before the sun rises or run miles and miles forever, but now I know why. Here's my story.

3 1/2 years ago, the thought of running sounded boring and dreadful. I love the beach so decided, why not attempt to run "outdoors" and instantly fell in love. A few months passed, decided to register for my first 5k, Corona Del Mar 5k 2009 & was hooked to races!! I felt awesome, accomplished a goal, & wanted a new challenge.

 I heard about Disneyland's races, thought it would be perfect as my first 13.1 miles because I love the happiest place on earth!! A few half marathons later, I trained by myself for my first 26.2 race to check off my bucket list for my big 30th birthday. LA Marathon 2012, before I turned 30, priceless experience & proud to say I did it!

 During my race trainings throughout the years, a friend was running with OC Trail Tales. I was intimidated by the "hills" was afraid to get left behind but agreed after my full marathon my next challenge would run the trails.

 I stepped out of my comfort zone, joined OC Trail Tales Fall 2012, Coach Pete & Corrinne, the group made me feel welcomed & comfortable like I was part of a family & was NEVER left behind. OC Trail Tales make running fun especially on the hills! The positive energy, laughters, team environment made me look forward to running everyday.

The coaches take the time to get to know you, learn your goals & help you reach them. They genuinely care about your progress to succeed. They believe, push, remind me that I am strong, & trained for my first 15k Xterra Crystal Cove 2012, I did it! I have fallen in love with the trails!!!

Thank you OC Trail Tales, coaches, new friends for always inspiring & motivating me!

Next challenge, Leona 50k April 2013 with the OC Trail Tales....to be continued.


Hi there! My name is Tiana.
My friend, Bonnie (also a trail runner) and I started with OC Trail Tales in January 2012 on their Monday Night Social Runs as a way to run after work safely in the dark winter evenings. I talked with Pete for the first part of the run and was blown away by him. I had only read about Ultra Marathon runners in magazines and had always wondered who are these people? And I had one of these amazing, crazy athletes running beside me! Talk about inspiration! Corrinne was a brilliant bundle of energy! So welcoming with her awesome smile and infectious laugh! We started to have so much more fun running especially since we found this friendly, fun group to check in with once a week. Soon one day a week turned into more days and eventually we started swimming with them to cross train. 
One month before OC Half, I rolled my ankle while on a long run with Bon. I broke a bone in my ankle, not terribly serious but my doc said I shouldn't run for 6 weeks. I said that's not possible cause I have a race in a month. After much discussion he told me to rest for a few days, then try biking, walking, yoga and swimming to help me pass the time, told me he'd check on my ankle a couple days before the race and give me his opinion at that time. I can't tell you how awesome Pete, Corrinne, Kim and Peggy were at keeping me in check for that month. Made sure not to let me get carried away and do too much. They all really helped get me through my injury, looked after me and helped me stay positive. I really enjoyed seeing the different sides of the group, not just the runners I had always been with. I spent time with the walkers and the run/walkers. They were all wonderful people and with great stories of their successes with their fitness. I behaved myself that month (thanks to some strict coaching) and my doc said I could race after all!
I'm not sure where in that time Bon and I decided to do a marathon but we signed up for The Long Beach International Marathon. I think the training was the hardest part. Pete and Corrinne really helped keep us motivated during the 3 months. Pete gave us long run course ideas; great nutrition advice and Corrinne kept us positive and gave us pep talks! I really feel like they went above and beyond for us sometimes! On one of our 18 miler training runs, Pete rode his bike to find us to check up on us. It may not sound like a big deal to you but trust me, it's nice to have a friendly face and fun conversation to distract you on a long run! Well Bon and I finished our 1st marathon 2 weeks ago and it's something I'll never forget! I'm so grateful for all the support from Pete, Corrinne and OCTT!
Along the way to the marathon, we’ve run some short trails races in Peter's Canyon and a couple of local parks. Did some long training runs on the trails. Trail running is a whole new world that is unlike anything I've ever experienced. I LOVE to hike! I never even knew there was such a thing as trail races! Trail running is just like fast hiking! Fantastic!! Ran my first 25K a couple days ago and it was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had! Love the trails and the trail running community. Pete and Corrinne are well known in this community, they know what they're talking about and have plenty of advice to share. I have to say the biggest thing Pete and Corrinne have shown me, is that anything is possible, it's cliché but that doesn't make it any less true! Back around the time I signed up for the marathon, Pete talked me into doing 30 before 30 (30 miles before I turn 30) as a personal goal. Thought it seemed crazy at the time but now, I've come this far, I’m completely ready to give it a go!!
P.S. Pete and Corrinne also compete and train people for triathlons. After my 50K (maybe a 50 miler), I’m coming for a tri!





No Limits

Hi, my name is Greg.

Thanks to my friend Molly (now a Trail Tale monkey), I started running in early 2011 to
prepare for my first organized running event; the 2011 Ragnar Relay. The event didn’t
sound terribly appealing (6 sweaty people in a van for 36 hours; and running your leg of
the race is your only escape), but I gave it a try. It was a wildly fun event, and I had to
do more. Then came the Pendleton Mud Run; more fun ensued. After trying running
on and off for years without any real traction, I finally started discovering the joy of
running. I then set a goal to run the 2012 OC Half Marathon in 2:13, and solo-trained
my way to a 2:07 finish, exceeding my own expectations. Shortly thereafter, a friend
introduced me to Trail Tales. I am now hooked on trail running.

I joined Trail Tales in April 2012 and I was quickly introduced to a new concept; hills.
Now, I was not in terrible shape coming into this deal (I participate in 100mi road bike
rides, I just finished my first half marathon), but just when I thought I was coming into
my own as a runner, the hills had other ideas. It was humbling, and I realized that I
wasn’t even close to where I wanted to be as a runner. OK, no problem, it was time to
level-set my expectations just a notch and meet this challenge head on.

Within just a few weeks, Coach Pete, Coach Corrinne, and all my new Trail Tale friends
were pushing me to run farther and harder than I thought I was capable of. By June 10,
I found myself running in the Holcomb Valley Half Marathon Trail Race in Big Bear at
7,800ft with a total elevation gain of more than 1,800ft., running the Peter’s Canyon Trail
Race Series, and more. Now it is mid-September 2012, and I am training for the Leona
Trail full marathon later this month, and Whoos In 50k in October.

It’s difficult to finish this narrative because I don’t yet know where this story is going
to go, or where trail running is going to take me. Right now, the possibilities seem
endless. Costa Rica Route of Fire; 6 days 120 miles in 2014? Why not. I have the
right training coaches, and like-minded Trail Tale friends, all of whom are so wonderfully
encouraging and supportive. They all challenge me to push myself beyond what I
thought possible, both physically and mentally.

To be continued...







From the Couch to the Finish Line

I had been a competitive runner and triathlete growing up and through my early 20’s but then I never kept it up and life’s demands took center stage. Over the last several years I would try to get back into running, typically over a vacation when I had some time, but could not keep it going. I would get very discouraged on the shape I was in, lack of any endurance and would end up straining my muscles by pushing too hard and then give up again until the next year’s vacation. Now at 47 and significantly over weight I knew I needed to do something that I would enjoy and had a support structure that would keep me going. 

On the advice of my wife, who had participated in the group, I joined and participated in my first run with OC Trail Tales (OCTT) on March 19, 2012. I started with the beginning group and rapidly progressed into the intermediate group and recently been running with the advanced group. My first run with OCTT I was mentally still wanting to run fast and thinking that a slower pace would mess me up; however, at the pace I felt I needed to run I could not go more than 100-200 yards before I had to walk and catch my breath. My first Saturday run with the group, Pete Vara (one of the OCTT coaches) ran with me and he said “if you can’t talk to me while you’re running you are going too fast”. I had a great run with Pete that morning and we went 3.5 mi with just a couple short walking breaks, something I had not been able to do for many years.

Corrinne Wallace and Pete Vara are great coaches and they are attuned to every individual in the group (40 plus people) needs and goals They are constantly providing the appropriate training schedule and training tips and one-on-one coaching to achieve distance/time/race goals people have set for themselves. The group is varied from walkers to individual that compete in marathons and ultra-marathons on a regular basis. My goal is to be able to run 5Ks and 10Ks again and be competitive in my age group. I ran my first 5K yesterday (May 28th, Memorial Day) since 1995 and did pretty well with just a little over 2 months of running under my belt. I am excited about running again and looking forward to continuing to improve and participate in many races in the future and reach my goals through the coaching and encouragement from Pete and Corrinne.

Eric Smith
OC Trail Tales Member since March 19, 2012



My name is Diane.

I started running in January 2009.  That's when I met Coach Pete.
Before that I had been thinking about and putting off running for over
10 years; I couldn't find the motivation to run on my own.  But that
first night, Pete made me believe that I could run and that with
patience and consistent training (and hard work), I could see goals
come true.  I went from walking to run/walking to running.  Coach Pete
was there every step of the way with words of encouragemant and
motivation and a "can do" attitude.  He never gave up and always,
always told us we could succeed.  Later, after having talked with
other runners who had other coaches,  I realized just how lucky I was
to have had Pete as my first coach.  Pete made the runs fun and that
made me want to keep running and seeing just what I was capable of
doing.  I was excited to run!

Then, as most runners know, "things" happened and I was "grounded" for
some time.

Again, I worried that I wouldn't be able to get back into running or
even get back to where I was, let alone get better.
But I knew Coach Pete had a trail running class and I knew Coach Pete
would get me "squared away".

I joined OC Trail Tales in January 2012 and it has been one of the
absolute best decisions I have made by far!
That's when I met Coach Corrinne.  Her energy consumed me the very
first run session I attended.  It was like we'd been friends forever.
I knew being a part of OC Trail Tales was going to be an amazing ride;
and it has been.

Who could ask for more; Coach Pete and Coach Corrinne bring an
entirely new meaning to running.  Energy!  Fun! Enthusiasm!
Compassion!  Friendship!  Belief in one's self!  And whenever I hear
Coach Corrinne's laughter, I know it's all good!

At my first run meet-up, I met so many amazing people.  Everyone was
so nice, introducing themselves, running with me, helping to pace me.
I was estatic when I got home that first day; I couldn't believe the
energy in the group.

With each run, I meet new people and get to know others better.  It is
so easy to talk with everyone.  This is a very upbeat, positive,
caring, down right happy bunch of people.  I have gained so much from
everyone I have gotten to know.  Everyone has something to share,
something to give, something to bring to the group.

I know I've gotten strong since I joined OC Trail Tales.  Never
thought I would be running the trails and wanting more.  I even now
own a hydration pack.  I am hooked!  I believe in myself and cannot
wait to see what the future holds.

Anyone wanting to have fun, wanting to meet amazing people and fellow
runners, wanting to truely experience trail running and wanting to be
the best they can be (whatever their individual goals are), couldn't
ask for more.  Coach Corrinne and Coach Pete are the real deal!!!

Thank you!