Looking for a Few Good WomenFormer Marine uses her toughness to take on ultra challenges
Ashley Moyer and her boyfriend, David Lister, racing to the finish at the North Face 50-miler in Bear Mountain, New York. Photo courtesy of The North Face Endurance Challenge
Just six months after Ashley Moyer, 25, of Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, finished her five-year stint in the Marines, she ran her first 100-miler. To her surprise, she took second place in the 2011 Oil Creek 100-miler in Titusville, Pennsylvania, with a time of 24:15:55. Just a couple years later, Moyer has rocketed to being a rising star in the Northeast trail-racing scene, setting female course records in all seven ultras she has run. In 2012, she returned to Oil Creek, dropping her time to a record 19:29:25.
“Ashley is not close to peaking!” says Pennsylvania’s Megatransect race director Dave Hunter, 56, of Lock Haven, Pennsylvania. “She is one of the best athletes I have ever met. Mid-race, she always looks like she just jumped in and her stride appears effortless. She shows up, wins and disappears off the radar until the next race.” At the 2012 26-mile Megatransect, Moyer took top female honors, setting a course record of 4:53:01.
In June, Moyer smoked Manitou’s Revenge, a rugged 56-miler through the Catskills near Windham, New York (13:32:08) and in May, took down the course record in the North Face 50-miler in Bear Mountain, New York (9:01:53). In October she is running in the Oil Creek 100-miler for the third time, and hopes to break 19 hours.
But it was a convoluted path that Moyer took to competitive trail running. After high school, she joined the Marine Corps with the hopes of gaining life experience and travel opportunities. “I had grown up in a small town and felt sheltered,” says Moyer. “I needed to get out of my shell and explore the world.”
While no one else in her family had military experience, her brother, Kyle, joined the Army a year before she signed on. Though never deployed to any combat zones, Moyer was able to travel to Italy, Ireland, France, Saudia Arabia, Romania, Singapore and throughout the States during her tenure.