Tailwind: How and when did you discover your sport? And describe your background and progression in the sport.
Kyle: Back in 2010, I was Private training to be a helicopter mechanic in the US Army when my uncle suggested I read 'Born to Run' about these people who are able to run crazy long distances. I was intrigued, and trained for the next two years to run my first trail race, the Ozark 100 miler in 2012. The race was much harder than expected, and I was humbled, but hooked. I raced the same course again the next two years and improved my time from 28 hours to 21 hours (2013), and then set a new course record in 17:44 (2014).
Since that first race almost ten years ago, ultramarathons, mountains, and the trails around them have been a constant in my life. After finishing my Army contract in 2015, I moved out to Durango, Colorado to get my degree in Exercise Science and explore the San Juan mountains. I still live, work, and train here in SW Colorado where I still like to train for long-distance races and bring dogs to mountain tops.
Tailwind: What are some of your favorite races and accomplishments?
The Fun Stuff
- 2015 thru-hike on the Appalachian trail with my recently retired dad (4 months)
- 2016-present yearly Softrock: a more casual loop of the Hardrock 100
- 2017 relay run of the Colorado Trail in 3 days 15 h 54m (and a thru-hike to scout it out)
- 2018 a bike trip from my home in Durango to my cousin's wedding in Seattle (1500 miles, 14 days)
- 2020 an Everest-ing run on our local hill Hogsback (36 miles, 29k+ feet, 19 hours)
- 14 Ultramarathon wins or podiums
- 2014 Course Record at Ozarks 100 (17:44)
- 2018 Course Record at Tahoe 200 in an epic race with Courtney Dauwalter
- 2020 Tahoe Rim Trail unsupported FKT in 41 hours
- 2020 Pitchell FKT (62 miles, 14k ft, 11:47)
- 2021 Western States 9th dude in 18:18
- 2021 Tor Des Geants (230 miles, 85k ft, 86 hours) Top American, 11th OA
Tailwind: How did you first discover Tailwind and how long have you been a Tailwind athlete?
Kyle: In my first 100-miler, my nutrition plan consisted of 40 gels. That's it. I needed way more calories and electrolytes and was saved by the aid stations. Luckily I've learned a little since then. Now in longer races, I get most of my calories from the Tailwind Endurance Fuel in my bottles and supplement with real food at aid stations as needed.
I joined the Tailwind athlete team in 2021, but have used Tailwind in my training and racing for years. I make sure to have a few hundred calories of Endurance Fuel for any longer exercise, caffeinated flavors for the intense workouts, and Recovery Mix after all strength sessions and runs.
This summer during the Western States Endurance Run (100 miles), I drank about 5,000 calories of Cola and Lemon Endurance Fuel during the 18 hour event. In the Tor Des Geants (230 miles) I ate more real food, but still consumed about 10,000 calories of Tailwind over the 86 hour run. In ultrarunning, stomach problems are common, so it's been critical to have a nutrition plan that I can count on and is simple.
Rapid Fire QuestionsHometown: Pickerington, Ohio
Where you live now: Durango, CO
Favorite Tailwind flavor: Colorado Cola
Do you have any nicknames? My trail name while hiking the AT was Bullet
Do you have any pets? Tommy is my pup who followed me home from a run in Clarksville, TN 7 years ago.
Besides running, what else do you like to do in your spare time? I bake some mean blueberry pecan muffins (with Vanilla Rebuild) and also kale chips.
Where is your favorite place to run? La Plata Mountains
If you could create any flavor of Tailwind, what would it be? It’s time to collab with Snickers on a Recovery Mix flavor.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up? Firefighter, then I realized I don't really want to grow up.