My introduction to running was racing on the track at school. I went to university here in Colorado, and moved to the town Boulder, in the mountains, and that’s when I became interested in racing ultra-marathon. In 2006 I did the Leadville Trail 100 and was fortunate to win there and that launched my career as a professional ultra-runner.

I've been lucky enough to race all over the world over the past fifteen years. The Leadville Trail, The Western State 100 here in North America, then internationally, I've been to Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc twice, then Lavaredo in Italy, which I won. I've been all over the world doing races – Australia, South America, and South Africa. But I still love racing at home here in Colorado. A race I did in Gran Canaria sticks in the memory, you traverse the entire island and there was a full moon during that race. We spent all night running across the island – it was a magical experience.

I ride my bike more than I run now. Cycling is nice because it doesn’t injure my body and you can cover distances that aren’t possible on foot. I prefer gravel cycling. When you have wide tyres it opens up the options, more trails to explore.

It's good to go on the road to connect trails or segments but in general I like to stay off the road. Obviously the nice thing about running is that it’s simple, there’s no mechanical devices to hold – it's just a pair of shoes, a pair of shorts. But I do enjoy the adventure of cycling, especially bike packing, the multi-day trips.

For me though it’s just being in the outdoors, seeing beautiful landscapes and using your body. I think a love for the outdoors is something that develops as you go through life but for me I think the origins of it, growing up in a farm in Nebraska where I had a lot of land to explore, I certainly gained an intuition for being in nature.

At the moment, I'm riding four or five days a week. Sometimes I run and ride in the same day but generally I run three or four days a week and ride my bike five days a week. Climbing is another activity I like. Right now it’s winter in Colorado but generally I climb a couple of times a week. It's just another way of being outside – you highly engage with your surroundings.

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