My introduction into running began right after my freshman year of high school. I committed myself to running a half marathon at the end of the summer. On the first day of summer I was supposed to go on a run with my dad and a friend that was running the race. Being a typical teenager I decided to sleep and start tomorrow. That trend continued for pretty much the rest of the summer. But in my defense, I did get out there a few times. By the race day, my dad and friend were confident that I was going to regret the fact that I ran about a total of 13 miles over the entire summer. Well, it turned out that I had a knack for this running thing, and I ended up beating both of them. But the next day they did have their vengeance as I could hardly walk. So maybe my dad and friend had the last laugh.
After that head first plunge into the world of distance running, I wouldn’t say that I was hooked, but intrigued. So with the urging of my dad I joined the cross-country team at my high school. I soon found myself at the front of the team and improving every race. By the end of the year I had qualified for the state meet. Encouraged by my success I decided to continue to run. In the middle of my junior year I found a few other guys in my district to run with on the off-season and I then began to see rapid improvements. Who would have thought that in order to become a better runner, you have to run? I ended my high school career with modest PBs of 4:25 and 9:49, but more importantly I found the desire to keep improving.
My drive to improve led me to Western State College of Colorado (Now Western State Colorado University), located at the heart of the Rockies in Gunnison. Western, under the tutelage of Duane Vandenbusche, was known to take kids that are “branded as no good” and “be molded into champions.” I knew that under such a program I could continue to improve. Through out college I had many ups and down, but continued to get faster. By graduation I had earned 11 All-Americans and one individual and team national championships. Along with these accolades I had run PBs of 13:51 and 28:23, which placed me 6th and 2nd all time, respectively in the Western record books.
As my college running career finished, and I had hopes that I would be able to run professionally. Fortunately, I was able to join ZAP Fitness/Reebok, so I packed my bags and traded the Rockies for the Appalachians. My first year with ZAP was very successful. I placed top 10 at three different USATF National Championships, culminating in a 7th place finish at the USATF 10km National Road Championships on July 4th. I also lower my 5k PR to 13:45 and my mile to 4:01 (so close!). I am now well into my second year, and I feel that I have progressed even more in my running. I continued this forward progression at USA Championships with a 3rd place showing at the .US 12km Championships in November 2013. Recently I professionally debuted at the half marathon, where I was 4th while running 1:01:44. Just over 35 minutes faster than that first race 12 years ago.
Mile – 3:58.99, 2015 Festival of Miles
5000m – 13:32.06, 2015 Portland Track Festival
10000m – 28:22.90, 2015 Payton Jordan Invitational
Half Marathon – 1:01:44, 2014 Houston Half Marathon
Marathon – 2:13:32, 2014 Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon