The Life of an Adirondack Mountain Athlete
Born and raised in the flatlands of northern Indiana, my life has now brought me to the Adirondack Mountains of far upstate New York, where the air is crisp and the winters are long. This is the North Country.
Specifically, one can find me within the walls of Old Mountain Coffee Company, located in downtown Keene Valley, where I work, live, and train. My passion for trail running (among other endurance sports) coupled with my slightly less passion for coffee-related small business dominates my life today.
I’ve been training year-round as a runner, mostly, since the 8th grade (2008). From an early age, running was something I became monomaniacally dedicated to. I was committed to doing things alone and became a “Lone Wolf” in training. My passion led me to the University of Southern Indiana (August 2013 – December 2014) and Valparaiso University (January – May 2015) where things, unfortunately, did not work out for me as an athlete, a student, and, more importantly, a person.
From mid-2015 to mid-2018, I settled back in my hometown of New Carlisle, Indiana to reassess my life. I ditched the classroom and simply focused on pursuing my passion, which was training for trail races and working in the coffee industry. Infusco Coffee Roasters in Sawyer, Michigan was where it all happened. Working, training, and hanging around southwest Michigan (a mere 25 minutes from my hometown in Indiana) was the consistent “rock” I needed.
Intermixed throughout this cycle of “train, eat, work, train, eat, sleep”, I became obsessed with solo exploration of far northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, specifically to train on the most rugged and beautiful trails in the Midwest and embrace the culture of the North. In the winter of 2016, I purchased a red Ford Ranger and outfitted it to be my mobile home for these trips.
However, to achieve or surpass my potential as a trail runner, I needed (and wanted) big mountains and vast wilderness. I was ready to uproot my life in Michiana. After spending countless late nights restless in my bed, plotting and planning the details, my conclusion led me to “near Lake Placid”, “somewhere in the Adirondack Mountains”, a land I’ve been in love with ever since I first visited in 2012.
In September 2018, two months before my move, I met the love of my life, Hannah Grall, at the St. Joseph Farmer’s Market. She was selling organic vegetables for Granor Farm as I was selling coffee for Infusco. Over the ensuing 60 days and, without much thought, we spent many nights at Greenbush Brewery’s bar, met each other’s families, went camping, raced the North Face 50K in Wisconsin (she crewed for me), trained for and raced the Indianapolis Half and Marathon, and, finally, moved across the country together. Her willingness to join me in this new mountain life was simply a leap of faith. Some things in life are simply inexplicable. I’m forever grateful and lucky to have such a supportive partner. We make a great team.
All in all, my competitive fire and dedication to mountain, ultra, and trail running/racing burns a fire in my soul. Day and night, it’s what I dream and scheme about. However, certain years, I will continue to commit large chunks of training time specifically towards the road half-marathon and marathon distances, among others.
Cheers to many summits and tasty beverages aplenty,
hours minutes seconds
|1600M||4:21.45||2013||IHSAA REGIONALS||VALPARAISO, IN|
|3200M||9:32.48||2013||HOOSIER STATE RELAYS QUALIFIER||ANGOLA, IN|
|5K||15:51.6||2012||IHSAA REGIONALS||NEW CARLISLE, IN|
|10K||33:31||2015||NILES THANKSGIVING DAY RUN||NILES, MI|
|HALF-MARATHON||1:13:56 (SPLIT)||2018||INDIANAPOLIS MONUMENTAL MARATHON||INDIANAPOLIS, IN|
|MARATHON||2:31:47||2018||INDIANAPOLIS MONUMENTAL MARATHON||INDIANAPOLIS, IN|
|50K||3:16:16 (SPLIT)||2018||KAL-HAVEN TRAIL RUN||KALAMAZOO, MI|
|50 MILE||7:57:41||2019||NORTH FACE ENDURANCE CHALLENGE||SAN FRANCISCO, CA|