About

My name is Liz Derstine, trail name “Mercury”. I’m a distance runner, endurance hiker, and musician residing in Boston, MA. I co-founded the Portland-based running team Rose City Track Club and coach high school and individual runners. I am a classical pianist, songwriter/composer, and have toured nationally and internationally as a pop keyboardist and singer. I’m currently pursuing a Master of Music at Longy School of Music of Bard College.

I 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, I ran my first ultramarathon, placing 4th in the Hellgate 100K. In the summer of 2020, I set the women’s supported fastest known time northbound on the 2,193 mile Appalachian Trail. In the spring of 2022 I placed 1st in the Hagg Mud 50K and broke the women’s self-supported fastest known time on the 348.6 mile Pinhoti Trail. This summer I broke the women’s self-supported fastest known time on the oldest long distance trail in the US, the Long Trail!

Outside of running and music, I love hanging out with my cats Bo and Juno, seeking out delicious bagels and pastries wherever I go, and indulging in whatever is the latest in the sci-fi/fantasy pop culture realm.

I write weekly stories on my newsletter “Mercury on the Run”, which you can subscribe to here. You can also find me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

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

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

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