Guest post written by Colorado youth trail and mountain runner Seth Nolen.
Hi, my name is Seth Nolen. I currently live in Monument, Colorado but I grew up in Kansas City, KS. Not the typical beginning for a mountain runner. I got my start back in Kansas when my dad started running and one day made me come along. I remember that first run being so hard! Despite the difficulty, I went on his next training run. We kept training together and eventually he signed us up for our first trail race. It was only 2.8 miles, but I was hooked. I ran several of these trail races, hosted by a group called Trail Nerds. These races were my beginning and I will always have fond memories of them.
Flash forward 6 years and I had moved to Colorado. Naturally, I followed the trails and they led me to the mountains. Here in Colorado it seems there are no trails that don’t at least have a couple of hills along the way. I soon fell in love with the mountains and the peacefulness they provided. It just made sense for me to become a mountain runner. I’ve never had an issue with solitude, I am happiest when I am out in the mountains with no time constraints and no distractions. I never run with music and I try to avoid bringing my phone. I’m perfectly content with the birdsong and the sound of crunching rocks beneath my shoes.
Here in Colorado I started going bigger, I amped up my race distances from 2.8 to half marathons and everything in between. I prefer to run races that incorporate a majority of trail with the least amount of pavement possible.
Recently, I saw a post on the American Trail Running Association’s Facebook page calling for US Youth Skyrunners to apply for the Youth Skyrunning World Championships in Italy. I had previously heard of the Skyrunning Championships and I was interested. When I checked it out I was hesitant to apply at first. I am a good mountain runner here in Colorado but this was asking for youth from the entire country. Eventually, my curiosity got the best of me and I applied for it.
After being selected I started a GoFundMe page and started raising the money to attend. I am a college student who can’t really afford to spend all my money on fun stuff, although, this trip is quite possibly a once in a lifetime experience. It will give me the chance to race on a whole new level, against kids like me who love the uphill and who love to challenge themselves. It’s also a chance to meet new people who share the same interests and goals. In addition to this, it will be my first time out of the country and I couldn’t be more excited!
Thank you for your time!