I strive to connect the parallels between time spent in nature and lived experiences through music and storytelling, and spark curiosity about what we can learn or dream up by simply going for a walk in the woods.

Liz Derstine, trail name “Mercury”, is a distance runner, endurance hiker, writer, and musician residing in Boston, MA. She holds fastest known times, or speed records, on the Appalachian Trail (women’s supported, northbound), Long Trail (women’s self-supported), and Pinhoti Trail (women’s self-supported). Liz is also a classical pianist, songwriter/composer, and has toured internationally as a pop keyboardist and singer. She is currently pursuing a Master of Music at Longy School of Music of Bard College.

Outside of running and music, Liz loves hanging out with her cats Bo and Juno, seeking out delicious bagels and pastries wherever she goes, and nerding out on whatever is the latest in the sci-fi/fantasy pop culture realm.

Liz writes weekly stories for her newsletter “Mercury on the Run”, which you can subscribe to here. You can also find her on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Featured in:

Fastest Known Times (speed records):

Appalachian Trail – Women’s Supported, Northbound (2020)
2,193 miles / 515,000ft elevation gain / 51 days, 16 hours, 30 minutes

Long Trail – Women’s Self-Supported (2022)
272 miles / 66,000ft elevation gain / 6 days, 8 hours, 12 minutes

Pinhoti Trail – Women’s Self-Supported (2022)
348.6 miles / 50,000ft elevation gain / 7 days, 18 hrs, 22 minutes

SCAR (Smokies Challenge Adventure Run) – Women’s Supported (2021)
72 miles / 18,660ft elevation gain / 18:27:07

Forest Park Nasties | Tour de Nasty – Overall Unsupported (2020)
67.5 miles / 13,500ft elevation gain / 13:58:05

Wildwood Trail | Out and Back – Women’s Unsupported (2020)
60.4 miles / 6,600ft elevation gain / 11:53:43

Kings Mt. – Elk Mt. Loop – Women’s Unsupported (2020)
10.8 miles / 3,700ft elevation gain / 2:27:47

Personal Records / Achievements

2022 Hagg Mud 50K – 4:34:11, 1st place

2021 Promise Land 50K – 5:51:56, 6th place, historically competitive field

2021 Hellgate 100K – 13:57:49, 4th place

2019 Hellgate 100K – 14:18:47, 4th place, ultramarathon debut

2020 Houston Marathon – 2:51:34

2019 Holiday Half Marathon – 1:22:43

2018 – Tenacious 10K – 36:44

2018 – Carlsbad 5000 – 18:01

Appletree Half Marathon Course Record (1:24:50, 2019)

13-time Boston Marathon qualifier

3x “Fastest Known Time of the Week” (Appalachian Trail 2020, SCAR 2021, Pinhoti Trail 2022)

2021 “Fastest Known Time of the Year” nominee (Smokies Challenge Adventure Run)

You can get in touch with me by using the contact form below, or by sending snail mail to the following address:

Liz Derstine
955 Massachusetts Ave #419
Cambridge, MA 02139