Dylan Bowman Interview

“The Dhamma can stand the test of those who are anxious to do so.
They can know for themselves what the benefits are.” – Sayagyi U Ba Khin

 

First of all congratulations on Ray Miller 50! How was the experience? I guess having defeated amazing runners like Tim Olson and Hal Koerner was really hard! isn´t it?

Thanks so much! Yes, Ray Miller was a fantastic experience and a good race for me. Hal and Tim are amazing runners and really nice guys so I’m happy to have won. But I also recognize that it’s early in the season and they’ll be much harder to beat at Western States.

You moved to Aspen in 2008, from where, and Why Aspen? Which part on running on the mountains did you enjoy mostly?

I moved to Aspen after graduating from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado.  I had spent my summers here while in school and just always felt comfortable. It felt like home, so I moved here full time in 2008 and have been here since.  I didn’t run a lot when I first moved here but in 2009 I heard about the sport of ultra trail running and was instantly intrigued. I decided to to try a race in Leadville and fell in love with the sport, the community, and the spirit of the mountains.  I’ve pretty much devoted my life to it ever since.

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↑↑Ray Miler 50 with Tim Olson on the back ©Jack Rosenfeld↑↑

Wow, seems like love at first sight! Miwok may, Western States June, White river 50 july, UTMB August!seems like will be a busy summer, right?
How do you prepare mentally and physically for such a huge calendar?

Well, for me, the mental preparation is the easy part. I’ve wanted to do all these races for a long time so excitement alone is enough to stave off the intimidation of the challenge.  Western States and UTMB are obviously the highlights of the season and everything I do this spring will be in preparation for those two events. 100 miles is just such a daunting distance so mentally preparing for the difficulties inherent in such races is very important.  Luckily I’ve done it a few times so can draw on past experiences to wrap my head around the challenge. It’s all just so exciting and inspiring!

Cool! Your opinion about the great moment of the trail running in Eu, USA?

Trail running is in a really exciting time. There are so many good athletes coming into the sport and visibility is growing worldwide. As a result, we are seeing some amazing, unprecedented performances in nearly every big race. Timothy’s run at Western States was incredible to witness and everybody is inspired by what Kilian has been able to accomplish.  Being a part of this sport during this era of growth and expansion is tremendously exciting. The future of trail running is very bright.

50kms, 80km, 100kms or 168 kms? Which one do you feel more confident?

I’m not sure I really have a best distance, but if I had to say, I’d probably go with 80k. My favorite distance is 168k simply because  completing one is a life changing experience. The challenges are so unique and the distance is so vast that it changes you as a human, beyond the trail. I’m still relatively young and new to the sport so I’m not sure my body is fully developed to the abuse of 168k, so i’d say 80k is the distance I feel most confident.

Let´s talk about sponsors. UltrAspire, Pearl Izumi… How does their product and support impact on your ability to race at the highest level in endurance running?

I’m very fortunate to have the sponsorship support I do from Pearl Izumi and Ultraspire.  This will be my second year associated with both brands and they provide me with unbelievable support. Pearl Izumi is a Colorado based company that really has a grassroots feel.  They are small relative to companies like Salomon and The North Face but they are highly committed to producing high performance products that can be used in the toughest of competitions.  The new E:Motion line of shoes due out in the next couple of months are the best I’ve ever worn and the apparel is all top notch as well.  Ultraspire makes some very innovative hydration systems that are becoming very popular.  I like the MBS waistpack line a lot.  I’m also lucky to have support from Smith Optics and First Endurance.

Best piece of advice or wisdom he has been given or read in a book?

I just read an article in iRunFar yesterday by Devon Yanko where she said “comfortable is not a race pace.” I love that.  Racing long distance is becoming faster.  Training faster, and avoiding comfort in training, is the only way to get faster!

Hahaha nice.. out of your comfort zone!. The Little Nell. The place where you work. How they feel about to have a trail running star among their team?

Ha! I’m not sure star is the appropriate term, but thanks!  The Little Nell is a great place to work and they are amazingly supportive of my racing career. My coworkers are all very proud of me and recognize how hard I work to fulfill my work obligations and also train to race at a high level.  I couldn’t ask for a better work situation. They recognize the importance of work life balance which is very important to me

Luis Arribas a.k.a _spanjaard question: Dylan, walkable-steep-roocky-paths or more runnable trails?

I definitely enjoy both. I live in a place that offers both extremely technical, high altitude peaks and tame mountain trails.  When it comes to racing, I think I’m probably better on the more runnable courses for whatever reason.  I’d really like to get better on more mountainous terrain and have been focusing on this in training more than I ever have in the past.  I’ve found that, because I’m tall and have long legs, I’m pretty good at  going downhill, but not as strong on climbs.  Right now, I’m really focusing on improving on my climbing ability to be prepared for UTMB this summer, and to get better on more mountainous courses.

dylan2

↑↑Leona Divide 50 ©Gabriella Salsbury↑↑

Talking on UTMB, What are your thoughts about the UTMB?  Who do you see battling it out for the win there, other than yourself?

Well, it will be my first trip to Europe so I’m not as familiar with some of the international runners.  Of the American contingent, I’m sure Timothy Olson, Anton Krupicka, Mike Foote, and others will be competitive.  I hope I can be factor in the race too, but I’m just really excited to experience the Alps and the energy of the European racing scene.

Robbie a.k.a Runtramp question: I´m sure you will experience the european racing scene! What has been your lowest-low and highest- high during a race or run?

My lowest-low was definitely the last 15 or 20 miles at Western States last year.  I completely fell apart and my body just stopped functioning.  I lost three positions in the last 10 miles and really didn’t feel normal again for the remainder of the summer. I’m still happy with my result, all things considered, but I’m really looking forward to running a smarter, more strategic race this year.  My highest high was probably finishing my first 100 miler at Leadville 2010, after only running seriously for about a year.  It is truly an amazing feeling to accomplish an important personal goal after sacrificing so much and working so hard.  I managed to finish third which made my family and friends really happy.  Sharing the experience with them was just so special.

Last but not least:Trail running heros? Non running heroes?

There are so many people I admire in the trail running world!  I’m a firm believer that Kilian is the greatest athlete in the world, and am absolutely awestruck by what he’s capable of.  I’ve never met him, but he seems like a really nice guy too. I’m also inspired a lot by guys like Tim Olson, Tony Krupicka, Joe Grant, and Dakota Jones to name a few.  This a really exciting time for mountain sport and these guys are really redefining what is humanly possible. Also older guys like Karl Meltzer and Andy Jones-Wilkins are heros of mine and should be applauded for how far they’ve pushed our sport.  I’m lucky to call a few of these guys friends also, which is really cool. Definitely my hero in life, outside of running is my older brother Jason. He’s truly an amazing guy with incredible talents.  Actually tomorrow he will embark on a ten day, completely silent, Vipassana meditation retreat.  This will be his fourth such adventure.  I cannot even begin to imagine the endurance necessary to complete something like this! I look up to him a lot.

Dylan, thanks so much! All the best to you in Europe and the rest of the world.

Thanks Abel!!  I appreciate you having me.

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