A Trotter in Name Only
Jill Maguire Trotter has hopped for east coast to west and back east again, getting a little bit faster with each successive leap. Growing up in the Worcester suburb of Millbury, MA, Trotter played youth soccer, softball, and most notably field hockey. She intended to play the latter sport in college (Babson) just like she did in high school (Notre Dame Academy), but those plans never came to fruition. After a brief stint as a sedentary person, Trotter became antsy and joined not the field hockey team but the cross country one. Although she “lacked the mental toughness” (her words) to be competitive, she stuck with it up to and through graduation.
After moving to San Francisco in 1995, she joined the Leukemia Society’s Team in Training and starting ramping up for her first marathon on the trails of Mt. Tam. In June of 1996, she ran 3:33 at the Mayor’s Midnight Sun Marathon in Anchorage, Alaska and qualified for Boston. Of course, this led to a return trip to the east coast in both ‘97 and ‘98 where she ran 3:33 and 3:30, respectively.
Finally, in 1998, after all those trips from the City by the Bay to the City of the Beans, she settled for good (so far, at least) in the Merrimack Valley. She married, started a family, and took a break from marathons but not running.
She gave birth to her first son in 2001, then a daughter in 2003. Having missed the 26.2 distance, she started up again and ran a 3:22 at the 2005 Boston Marathon while unknowingly pregnant with her 3rd child, and a mere 9 months after giving birth to #3, she won the 2006 Baystate Marathon in 3:11. Three children under the age of 5 led to the purchase of a treadmill, and like many a dedicated runner/parent she snuck in her runs while the kids napped.
In 2007, with her children almost out of diapers, Trotter got serious. Encouraged by her Baystate performance, she joined the Greater Lowell Road Runners and recruited Nate Jenkins for coaching duties. Her goal: run sub 3:00. About enlisting Jenkins as coach Trotter says, “I credit Nate for teaching me how to train for the marathon; he instilled in me that it is about hard work and I should have confidence in my marathon goal times since they are based on results that I’ve achieved during workouts.” Her hard work paid off. Trotter ran 3:00 at the Vermont City Marathon in 2008 and then 2:58 at Cal International later that year. In addition to Jenkins, she credits Jim Rhoades with a valuable assist as they did most of her long runs together.
Trotter turned 40 in 2012 and has been one of the best master runners in the region. She considers her best event the marathon, and her competition would likely agree as she placed 1st in the masters division at the USATF-NE GPS Manchester City Marathon. Her time: 3:09. She is inspired by Kara Haas, Trish Bourne, Liane Pancoast, Nancy Corsaro, Cathy Pearce, and Barbara McManus and credits them for contributing to her success. She says, “I find that while I like to be competitive with women from other clubs, I also want them to succeed in their own goals; the New England running community is amazingly supportive.” Beyond running, Trotter aspires to be a good influence on her 3 children. Above all, she wants to teach them that if they work hard they can achieve their goals. I’d say that’s on The Level.
5k – 18:42 @ Hollis
10k – 39:55 @ Tufts
15k – 61:37 @ Boston Tune-up
Half – 1:28 @ Hyannis
Full – 2:58 @ Cal International
This article originally appeared in the Jan/Feb 2014 issue of Level Renner. Get your free subscription today (box in upper right portion of screen).