Long time Lizard Julie Thomas, best known as simply Julz, has become an ultra and trail running machine over the past few years, culminating in a very impressive 2011-2012 season. In addition to consistently placing near the top in a variety of races around the state, she was recently presented with two major annual awards.
Julz won 50K Masters Woman of the Year (and placed 3rd overall among women) in the Oregon Trail Series, with solid finishes in several races. The Oregon Trail Series was founded in 1999, and consists of classic off-road events around the state, including the Mt. Hood Pacific Crest Trail 50k, Siskiyou Outback (SOB) 50k, McKenzie River 50k, McDonald Forest 50k, Hagg Lake 50k, and Flagline 50k. Julz ran Hagg Lake, McDonald Forest, McKenzie River, and Flagline, and threw in the SOB 15k, the Mt. Ashland Hillclimb 13 miler, and the Peterson Ridge Rumble 40-miler just for kicks.
Not only that, but she was also awarded National Trail Masters Woman Of The Year by USATF, earning a gold medal in the women’s 40-49 division (and finishing 9th overall) at the 2011 USA Trail Marathon Championships at the Lithia Loop Trail Marathon on November 5th in Ashland, and taking silver in the women’s 45-49 age group (8th overall) at the 2012 USA 50k Trail Championships at the Flagline Trail Fest at Mt. Bachelor on September 22nd.
“I had a pretty good year that I will be savoring since it will be a while before I race again,” says Julz, who is resting up and favoring an injury. “Winning (those awards) sure made up for not qualifying for the Olympic Marathon Trials years ago due to a pulled hammie.” Though Julz is still no slouch on the pavement, switching from Trials to trails seems to have really paid off for her!