Trails of Glory

Welcome to Trails of Glory brought to you by The Trail Aficionado. This is the best place to get insight, learn trail running secrets, and discover new and unusual trails around the country. Follow the rest of my page with links to interesting running events locally and nationally. Read race reports, trail reviews and stories. Find informative posts on training methods, injuries, and running gear.

Please send me comments and suggestions to help make this a better page at:

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Tonja Chagaris: Loving the Family Life

I recently sat down with Tonja and talked with her about being a new mom and what her future holds as far as motherhood and trail running. I found Tonja to be completely enamored with her new life as a mother and also discovered that she is focused on attaining some challening goals. What follows is her profile and then her interview.


A. Name, age, city and state, how long lived there?

Tonja Marie Chagaris

39 years old

Tucson, AZ 21 years

B. Place of birth, where did you grow up, high school, college, military, other?

PHX AZ, grew up in Bagdad, AZ and Grants New Mexico. I went to high school in Grants New Mexico. I then went to Cosmetology school in Tucson to become a hair stylist

C. Other than running – hobbies, interests, pets, kids, current employment?

Gabriel my seven month old son, health and the human body, we have two dogs (Cade and Layla). I currently own a hair salon.

D. Favorite distance to run or race on trail and on the road?

On the trail I like 50 Milers and on the road I like the half marathon distance.

E. Favorite race course or event?

Avalon 50 miler on Catalina Island

F. Favorite Tucson area trail to train, run, hike?

Sabino Canyon trails to run and Mt Wrightson to Train

G. Favorite vacation destination?

Anywhere there is mountains and water.

H. Favorite post-race/run food, drink and activity, ie. hot tub, ice cold river soak, etc?

Sleep and then eat cold food.

I. Pet Peeves?

Not having my chapstick or gum while running

J. Current book you are reading or favorite author?

Favorite Author at the moment is James Patterson and I'm reading one of those books that you’re not supposed to tell anyone… EL James.

K. Favorite quote or saying to live by?

Always looking forward to the next adventure

L. Person you look up to, emulate, hero?

My husband for his patience and his ability to think things through. Julie for her relentless drive and stamina and my mother.

M. What has been your worst running injury?

A bulged disc in my back

N. If you could no longer run or lost the use of your legs what sport or activity would you pursue?

Arm cycling


TA:  Well, we both have the day off from work so it’s nice to come over in the middle of the afternoon to talk about your trail experience.

Tonja:  Yes, thanks, it should be fun.

TA:  Let’s get started. How did you first get involved in trail running?

Tonja:  Actually, through Alli and Trish, your wife. I met them through the Hash House Harriers. I did a few half-marathons and marathons and then Crown King 50K. I hadn’t really run that much on the trail before I went out and did Crown King.

TA:  So that was also your first ultra as well? Were you athletic as a child and into your early twenties?

Tonja:  Yeah, I kind of just jumped into Crown King and fell in love with the sport. I never did sports as a kid. I just ran. I was grounded a lot so I was only allowed to run. I picked up running from my mother. She made me run because I was chubby.