January 10, 1987
Where do you live?
Costa Mesa, CA
Your favorite New Balance running shoe
Where are the best places for fans to follow you online
(Twitter account, Facebook profile, blog, website, etc...)
Events run (and personal bests)
Half marathon: 1:18
Major Accomplishments / Honors
Los Angeles Marathon (2:43)
'09 Bulldog 50k (3:59) 1st Place
'11 Angeles Crest 100 Mile (20:21) 1st Place
'10 Badwater Ultramarathon, 135 Miles (31:37)
'09 Southern California Ragnar Relay (Solo)
Santa Barbara to Dana Point 155 Miles (40 Hours)
What is the oddest trophy or prize you have won?
A large ant, tastefully made of coat hangers and rocks
How did you get started running?
My high school cut the swimming/water polo program when the pool we used got shut down. I traded gills for lungs, flippers for legs, and after a few months ran my first marathon at age 14.
What made you gravitate towards trails?
Some of the most amazing cathedrals in the world were built by Mother Nature. Trails are the catwalks through them that challenge, reward, and inspire me. The journeys along them help me become a better person.
Your coach's name
Favorite place to train
The San Gabriel Mountains of Southern California
What is your favorite workout (and why)?
The Mt. Wilson Toll Road - in a 10 mile, 4800ft climb you go through a 3-4 ecosystems. If it's clear, it's an amazing view of the Los Angeles Basin from 5800ft, if it's overcast, you're running on clouds from 3,500ft on up.
What is your least-favorite workout (and why)?
Road repeats; cars speeding by make me feel really slow.
What's the most awesome thing you've encountered in nature during a run?
A pack of Big Horn Sheep on Mt. Baldy. They move up steep shale slopes like smoke from a fire.
That I've already raced: Angeles Crest 100 Mile; yet to race: Hardrock 100 Mile.
Favorite type of race
The Mountain Hundred Mile
What's the most grueling event you've experienced, and why?
Finishing the last 25 miles of my first mountain hundred ('10 Angeles Crest) with a sprained ankle: it's the most technical and steep part of the race, and as much as it hurt to run, if I didn't push as hard as I could, I'd miss the sub-24 buckle and kick myself for it later. Luckily, I crawled through it fast enough to make it in just over 23 hours.
Do you have any superstitions related to competing or training?
None. It is what it is.
What is your pre-race / warm-up routine?
Wake up, eat a gel, jog around the campsite/hotel, go to the bathroom, blast some high energy dub step, act like I know what I'm doing, do some strides and race.
Piece of your kit you would never be without:
My shoes; I'm faster in my flats and a dress than a singlet and some terrible shoes.
What gets you most excited to compete?
Being ready at a big race with great terrain and views.
What is your favorite meal, the night before the race?
Spinach, chicken, risotto.
What is your nutrition strategy during an extremely long race?
Keep up my calorie and water levels with consistent gels and Saltsticks. 2-300 calories and hour, 1-2 Saltsticks an hour, and caffeine only when I need it.
What is your favorite post-race meal?
Anything huge, like a double wrap/double stuffed chipotle burrito, or a couple 4x4's at In-N-Out.. lightly drizzled with Udo's Oil.
What gives you an advantage over your competition?
I swing for the fences every time. When it works, I accomplish meaningful goals; when it doesn't, at least I know I tried my best.
What food / snack is your guiltiest pleasure?
In-N-Out: extra fresh and tasty burgers in California
Which character from a TV program or movie best resembles how you think of yourself?
John Wayne, James Dean, and Alf, all at once.
What is something most people don't know, or would be surprised to learn, about you?
My totem animal is.. the unicorn. It's like the Itallian Stallion, but a little more magical, you know?
What activity, apart from running, most represents 'me time' for you?
Listening to NPR, finding new music.
What person has most shaped your career or life?
My Dad; He's smart, he's tough, he's loving, he handles adversity well (he's had Parkinson's Disease for 15 years), and he's pretty funny.
What is the best piece of advice (not necessarily related to running) you've ever been given - and would be eager to pass along to others?
The Dalai Lama's teaching: "I often joke that if you really want to be selfish, you should be very altruistic! You should take good care of others, be concerned for their welfare, help them, serve them, make more friends, make more smiles. The result? When you yourself need help, you find plenty of helpers!"
Why do you run?
I think running is a vehicle for physical, mental, and emotional growth. When you go out on a run (preferably in the mountains), you get stronger, you figure out problems, and you improve as a human being. I've got an insatiable desire to experience life and grow, so the longer, the better.
What was your darkest moment out on the trail?
Peeing brown in Stovepipe Wells during Badwater (it was really dark).
What was your most embarrassing moment?
All the times I've run into a tree (20 to 30 times).
What is your proudest?
Winning Angeles Crest in 2011
What tips do you have for new runners?
Don't only listen to only one successful runner, but rather a collage of successful ones. When you have a large enough sample, you'll find the real themes are hard work, a positive attitude, creativity, and being a good person. The outliers from these themes are just that.