I was born in Boulder, Colorado, where my heart and happiness first became rooted in the mountains and being outside. Growing up, I was always active outside. I played baseball, learned to camp and hike with my Boy Scout troop, rock climbed, worked grounds maintenance at local country clubs, and often biked and ran the well-known routes of Boulder. I went to college at the University of Puget Sound in Washington state, where I truly began to pursue my passions of running, mountains, environmental conservation, and math. I competed for the cross country and track team, was involved in the outdoor programs and environmental groups on campus, and was co-founder and president of the University's Math Club (Nerd alert!).
After I graduated, I relocated back to Boulder with the intention of improving my running, playing in the mountains, and getting my Ph.D. in Environmental Sociology/Demography at the University of Colorado. I worked odd jobs like "professional" house/dog sitter and selling bikes at University Bicycles and tutor and used my teaching and research stipends to scrape together enough money to cover rent and travel expenses to compete in Mountain Running races regionally, nationally, and internationally. It was at the University where I met my wife, when we began dating just weeks before I defended my dissertation.
We eloped the summer after I graduated on the 4th of July, near Fish Creek Falls in Steamboat Springs. About six months later, we were expecting a newborn son and then, just four months into her pregnancy, we moved to Salt Lake City (her home town). With a new job, new mountain terrain to explore, and a then growing family in Utah, I fell in love with the Wasatch Front -- the active lifestyle, the quick access to steep technical terrain, and the culture that promotes getting outside. My wife, son, dog, and I call Salt Lake City home.
As a mountain runner who now lives, works, and trains in the Salt Lake City area, I have a penchant to ascend mountains as fast as possible and I was the first person to ever run up the west side of Salt Lake City's Grandeur Peak in under 40 minutes. As a competitive runner, I train daily (sometimes twice) by running up steep mountains near my home, running on the roads (sometimes with a baby jogger), or running in snowshoes. I am also a full-time Marketing Decision Scientist, and a father and husband, so many of my non-running pursuits involve math and doing fun family oriented activities outside like hiking, biking, going to the park, and playing or working in the yard.
In 2015, at the young(ish) age of 33, I had skin cancer removed from my face. It was then I realized my earlier-life outside pursuits, unprotected from the sun in high altitude and in high UV index regions, had cumulatively affected my skin in a bad way. That's why I am really excited and privileged to have the great support from NAAWK so I can keep my skin protected while pursuing my passion outside, atop mountains, and keep my family's skin protected whether we are out on the trail, at the Farmer's Market, or planting flowers and trees in our garden. We absolute love NAAWK because it is made with simple and natural ingredients, while still effectively protecting us against the sun's harsh rays.
Here are some other things you might want to know about me:
TRAIL RUNNING CAREER HIGHLIGHTS & LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENTS
2x Runner-up at Park City Red Bull 400 (2015 and 2016), 2014 US Skyrunner Vertical Kilometer Series Champion; 7th 2012 WRMA Grand Prix, Grand Ballon, France; 1st 2012 America’s Uphill, Aspen, CO; 2x 3rd place (2010 and 2011) at USA Trail Marathon National Championships, Ashland, OR; 1st 2010 Imogene Pass Run, Ouray, CO; 12th 2010 Thyon-Dixence, Thyon, Switzerland; 4th 2009 XTERRA World Trail Running Championships, Honolulu, HI; 6th 2007 Pikes Peak Ascent; 7th 2007 USATF Trail 10K Championships, Steamboat, CO; first sub-40 minute ascent of Grandeur Peak, Salt Lake City, Utah (39:41)
OTHER INTERESTING FACTS
I eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich every day
I love mowing the lawn and shoveling snow
I once slept on the Zurich Airport floor because I was too cheap to get a hotel room
I have my Ph.D. in Environmental Sociology (with certificate in Demography) from the University of Colorado at Boulder
My favorite number is 9
I am a National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) Graduate
I earned my Eagle Scout rank in Boy Scouts of America (BSA)