About

Liz Derstine, aka “Mercury”, is a distance runner and musician hailing from Portland, Oregon. She co-founded the running team and nonprofit Rose City Track Club and coaches high school and adult runners. She’s a classical pianist, songwriter/composer, and has toured nationally and internationally as a pop keyboardist and singer.

Liz began running at the age of 14, then as an adult became immersed in track and road racing with personal records of 36:44 in the 10K, 1:22:43 in the half marathon, and 2:51:34 in the marathon. In December 2019, she ran her first ultramarathon, placing 4th in the Hellgate 100K. In the summer of 2020 Liz set the women’s supported fastest known time northbound on the 2,193 mile Appalachian Trail, and in the spring of 2021 she became the fastest woman to traverse the Smoky Mountains on the 72 mile route known as SCAR. Most recently, Liz placed 1st in the Hagg Mud 50K and broke the women’s self-supported fastest known time on the 348.6 mile Pinhoti Trail.

Liz is currently writing weekly stories for her newsletter “Mercury on the Run” and a memoir based around her thru-hike of the AT.

As seen in:

Fastest Known Times:

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

2:51:34 – Houston Marathon, 2020

1:22:43 – Holiday Half Marathon, 2019

36:44 – Tenacious 10K, 2018

18:01 – Carlsbad 5000, 2018

2019 Hellgate 100K – 14:18:48, 4th place, ultramarathon debut

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

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

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

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

12-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)

Get in touch using the contact form below, or send snail mail to the following address:

Liz Derstine
422 NW 13th Ave #735
Portland, OR 97209

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