Ultra Trail Runner


Favorite Beer:
[I’m going to go ahead and assume “Beer” is plural here…]
Wisconsin — Central Waters Mudpuppy Porter, New Glarus Spotted Cow
Colorado — New Belgium La Folie Sour Brown Ale (Lips of Faith Series), Avery Brewing Karma Belgian Ale

Best thing about VFuel: 
Aside from it being extremely digestible physiologically, the taste and texture is like no other of its kind; it’s not too thick, not too watery, the flavors go down nicely when the stomach is being picky…. After trying just about every gel out there, it’s the one training/race gel I’ve found that actually “does it all.”

The very first day of middle school cross country, I remember asking our coach, “You mean we actually get to run through the woods?!” Since then, running has been perhaps the most important constant throughout my life [aside from my wonderful family, of course].

I competed in cross country and track through high school and college with some relatively good success. After I graduated, I found myself drawn more to endurance activities, so I threw myself into the triathlon arena. After picking up a few sponsors, I eventually moved to Boulder, Colorado for some higher-altitude Ironman training. It didn’t take me long, however, to realize I was far more attracted to the trails and rugged mountain terrain. I quickly switched gears the following year to Xterra (off-road) Triathlon and ended up qualifying and competing in the Xterra Triathlon World Championships my first season.

Despite the early accomplishments, something still didn’t feel quite right. I had just started to pay more attention to the obscure sport of “Ultrarunning” when my high school friend Tim Olson started making headlines. Although I had no idea what he was actually doing (“He’s running how many miles??”), I decided at the last minute to sign up for a 50k (the Ultimate Direction Dirty 30) being held right down the road from where I was living. It was the best impulse decision I’ve ever made.

After that first race, I knew ultrarunning was exactly what I had been seeking since I had graduated from college. I made more real and down-to-earth friends during the actual race than I had made in my multiple seasons of triathlon combined. These weird runners seemed to “get me,” and I understood them. We spoke the same nutty language, and afterwards, we shared a few beers.

Although my long-term goals remain ambitious, I am taking a smart, healthy, and gradual approach to the sport. I’ve been learning lessons through experience, learning the importance of cross-training and rest, and learning that sustainable activities take time. If I continue to get a little better each year, I will eventually reach my goal. Patience is not typically my strong suit, but I have found myself respecting the process. Learn, try, fail, try again, succeed, listen, learn more, try harder. Build friendships, laugh, support others, inspire, be humbled and be humble. I really can not wait to see what 2015 will bring!


Amherst, Wisconsin [Population: 973]


Guilty Pleasure:
[See: Favorite Beer], and ridiculously cheesy pop-R&B love ballads

Other Hobbies:
Non-human primates, reading, pottery/ceramics (wheel throwing), museums, trees, languages, cheese

Favorite Recovery Meal:  Dairy Queen Ice Cream Cake [That’s a meal, right?]

Favorite trail running/running memory:
Watching the sunset — twice — atop two 14,000-foot peaks during my unsupported Nolan’s 14 attempt. The never-ending skies were filled with clear deep blue spots, dark patches of storms, colors of every shade and hue, all different types of clouds, localized sheets of falling rain, and sunbeams shooting diagonally upwards like spotlights on the sky. It felt like witnessing magic.

#1 Running Goal for 2015:  STAY HEALTHY. Healthy body, healthy mind, healthy heart. For the first time since the end of the 2013 season, I am finally running pain-free after a long-and-slow IT band recovery. Fortunately, the ultra/trail running world has made my mind and heart feel stronger and more full than ever over the last two years, so I feel like all of the pieces are coming together. Although I want to perform well and test my limits to the max, I ultimately want ultrarunning and adventuring to be positive, growing, and sustainable experiences in the “long run.” [Run pun]

2015 Race Plans:

* Sean O’Brien 100K (Montrail Ultra Cup) – Malibu, CA (February)

* Caballo Blanco 50 Mile – Copper Canyons, Mexico (March)

* Ultra Fiord 100 Mile – Patagonia, Chile (April)

* FKT Project – South America (May/June)

* 2nd Nolan’s 14 Attempt OR Fat Dog 120 Mile (July/August)

* Run Rabbit Run 50 Mile or 100 Mile (TBD) – Steamboat, CO (September)

* The North Face 50 Mile Championships – San Francisco, CA (December)

Past Race Highlights:








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