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You Made it Weird: Brian Whitfield

Share the trail love:
Ellie Pell

By: Ellie Pell

Ellie is an equal opportunity DMer with no shame in a cold call. She ran fast once and will remind you that it was before supershoes. Recently she set the FKT from her kitchen table to the fridge. Record pending drug test results.

Brian knows that the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell. And that’s not just because he is a science educator based in Colorado with a hankering for fast mountainous races. Though he wins or places very near the top in every race he enters, he is really just making sure his mitochondria are in tip top shape. Catch Brian at Gorge Waterfalls 50km this April and see just how fast you can get on a teacher’s salary in the mountain state.

Find Brian on Instagram, Strava, and UltraSignUp.

The speedy 6th grade science teacher, Brian Whitfield

Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Brian Whitfield. I’m a 6th grade science teacher in Colorado Springs. I spend my free time outdoors exploring the local trails. When I’m not running, I enjoy visiting local breweries and cuddling my two cats. I was born and raised in Colorado and spent most of my life on the front range. I find it hard for me to be away from the Rocky Mountains for too long, there’s just something special here.

Do any of your group chats have names? If so, what are you willing to share?

Most of my group chats are unnamed. Too many friends with droids. 

If you could change one thing about your favorite social media platform, what would it be?

My favorite social media platform is Instagram and I would love to revert it back to the days of 2012-2015 IG.  And in a perfect world, I’d love to bring back Vine.

What is a book of fiction that you really enjoyed, for no other reason than you liked it?

Moby Dick. Hands down one of the most interesting and immersive stories I’ve ever read. The whaling industry in my eyes was just as exciting as any other great period of exploration in human history. I don’t read a lot of fiction novels, mostly biographies and historical nonfiction. Anything about adventure, alpinism, exploration, health, mindfulness, the ocean, or endurance sports and you have my attention. (Please DM me any and all recommendations).

What is one song you’ve been listening to on repeat recently?

Great question, but I can’t possibly choose just one, so here are my current 3 favorite albums:

“When Will We Land? by Barry Can’t Swim

“1989 Taylor’s Version” by Taylor Swift

“Appaloosa Bones” by Gregory Alan Isakov

What is one trend that started in 2020 that you love?

2020 offered people the space and time to reflect on their place in life and allowed people to make choices that reveal what really matters to them. Life is always moving forward and it allowed people to pause. Some people made the move they always wanted or found a new job that suited them. In my eyes self care is the best trend that took off in 2020.

What is one trend that started in 2020 that you hate?

#vanlife

What are the last three emojis you used?

😁🙌🏼❤️

What is the last thing you bought online?

Running shoes, because I am currently unsponsored…😉

What is your most controversial food opinion?

Ovaltine chocolate milk is the best way to start the day. 

Brian Whitfield finishes the 2023 Pikes Peak Ascent

What three videos are at the top of your YouTube recommended homepage?

All of Angus Morton’s “Thereabouts” films.

The EF Rapha alternative calendar.

Classic BBC Top Gear episodes.

Which Allie is your favorite?

I’m not sure I have one?

What argument in mass media do you not understand or think is a worthless issue?

Why is ESPN televising the corn hole professional league while running events like the NYCM gets such subpar coverage? Let’s bring running to the masses, I think trail running is such a marketable product. Who doesn’t want to watch a test of the human spirit in beautiful landscapes? S/O to Freetrail’s amazing creators, Rabbit Wolf Creative, Jamil Coury’s Team, Billy Yang, SingleTrack Podcast, and so many other amazing videographers and photographers capturing and sharing the incredible sport of trail running!

When you go home for the holidays, what is the food or tradition that it wouldn’t be the holidays without?

My Mom, Dad, older brother, and younger sister all take reindeer food (oatmeal & carrots) out in the yard and spread it around while in our slippers and pajamas. Even now, as we are all in our twenties, you’ll find the Whitfield’s out there every Christmas Eve. Then we each open one small present, sort of like an appetizer for Christmas Day. I’m so lucky to have my family – love you all.

When I say in-seam you say…?

2 inches!!!  Running shorts are my favorite thing to wear around the house or even out to the grocery store. I’ve been doing that since high school.

When has your ego caused you to do something you sort of regret but also would describe as wild and worth it?

Most regrettable thing I’ve done was sell a 2003 Toyota Tacoma for a 2009 Audi A4 Avant. My dad and I have always bonded over our love of cars so I was heavily influenced by his passion. He’s an Auto Broker, who for the past 20 years, makes a living finding people their dream cars. Whatever Jedi mind trick sales wizardry he uses got to me too. All jokes aside I loved my Audi and it truly was the car of my dreams but it was such a short cited impulse decision. One day I hope to be reunited with my Tacoma.

What was your worst running fuel decision? What was the surprising best?

Worst running fuel decision I made was my first marathon. I had a 1000ml mix of pre workout and yellow Gatorade in my bottles. I think it was 2017 and it was the Moab Trail Marathon and I can still taste that nasty concoction. Surprisingly, the best running fuel is running in the winter. The best is hot Skratch on a cold morning of camping out before the race. *Chefs Kiss*

What is your death row meal?

Grilled chicken, quinoa, and a summer salad made by my Grandma Betsy.

Out and back or looped course?

Most of my training runs are out and back because of the predictably. I think racing a point to point course is my favorite because each step is something new.

Barkley or 24H track race?

I think I would do better at the 24hr track race because I like the idea of being able to just lock in and simply run. However, some of my favorite days out in nature are the days I just send it off trail up a mountain. I think the adventurous aspect of Barkley is very appealing. The real gritty ultra racing world is after that sort of challenge I suppose but if I’m going out there for an epic adventure it might as well be beautiful. 

When I say PTRA you say?  

Keep up the good work!

Brian Whitfield poses up high in Colorado

When I say UTMB you say? 

Bringing red wine and baguettes in my pack. 

What is one thing that absolutely scares you? Why?

Running through spider webs because I’m tall.

What is a time you felt you didn’t measure up? How did you get through that?

Black Canyon 2021 – I went in guns blazing and wasn’t mentally prepared for the distance. I came back the following year after working on my mental toughness and finished the race in 12th in my second 100km. Still not satisfied but progress is progress and maybe I’ll return for a 3rd attempt. 

Who is another runner that flies under the radar that we should all get to know?

Kieran Nay – an incredible athlete, friend, and teammate.

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