Bill Wright

Age: 48, Years running: 25, Hometown: Superior, Colorado, Favorite product: Crosslite


What are some of your lifetime running goals?

I've done most of my running goals, at least speed-wise (sub 40 minutes at the Bolder Boulder, sub 5 hours at the Pikes Peak Marathon) and distance-wise (Leadville 100 in my first and only try). I guess I'd still like to break 12 hours at the San Juan Summer Solstice 50-miler, finish in the age-group awards at the Pikes Peak Marathon, and use my running fitness for speedy climbing ascents, like the Grand Traverse in the Tetons.

Do you have a claim to fame?

My claim to fame is being the first person to ski the 1911 Gully on the Third Flatiron above Boulder, Colorado, co-author of the book Speed Climbing, race director of the Rattlesnake Ramble and the Tour de Flatirons scrambling series, and I'm the keeper of the local speed records, on the trails, road, and rock.

Do you have any vices?

I have many vices but my worst is probably that I'm easily distracted and am interested in so many things that I bounce around and lose my focus. I also watch too much TV and eat too many carbs

What makes you tick as a runner and in the real world?

I like to challenge myself and I like to measure my performance. I am a fastidious record keeper. I like adventure and competition and go back and forth between doing races and doing big mountain or desert adventures that involve technical climbing.

What drives you to run?

Eating! Seriously, a significant factor in exercising is to enjoy eating more. But the major factor is just that it feels great to work hard, to sweat, to breathe hard, and to go to beautiful places and be alone in the wilderness.

What is your favorite movie?

My favorite movies are The Man From Snowy River, Braveheart, Dances With Wolves, and A Few Good Men

Do you have any nicknames? Explain:

My main nickname is Plan Man because I like to plan out my year and sometimes plan years in advance. I think if you don't plan to get great things done, then you reduce your chances of getting great things done. Each year I write down a set of goals for the year and plan my climbing/running/adventure trips for the entire year.

What’s the longest you’ve gone without sleep? Why?

I've gone about 43 hours without sleep during the Leadville 100 and a couple of 34-hour adventure races. I've also pulled "all nighters" studying at school and working at my job.

If you had to be named after one of the 50 states, which would it be?

It would have to Colorado for its great mountains, trail running, kayaking, mountain biking and it's accessibility to communities where technology jobs exist.

What did you have for lunch yesterday?

A banana, yogurt, granola bar, a couple of cookies, and a hard-boiled egg, but that's healthier than I usually eat. Today I had pizza.

If you could hook up a thought monitor to your head, would you see pictures, hear words or would music be playing?

You'd see and hear all three. I frequently run with an iPod where I either listen to an audiobook or inspirational music. When listening to a good on a calorie-burning run, I feel I'm doubling my productivity. I'm getting exercise and I'm learning something from my book.

What really scares you about trail running?

What scares me most about running is injuries, especially twisting or breaking an ankle by running too fast in highly technical terrain. For this reason I try to limit the number of times I really push the pace on a rocky descent. I frequently go up hard, but take it easy on the way down.

If your life was made into a movie, what would it be called?

The movie would be called "Just Do It...All!" I have a wide variety of interests and I'm working my through all of them.

Where would you live if it could be anywhere in the world?

'd live the summer in Chamonix, France or Cortina, Italy and then fall in Sedona, Arizona and winter in Maui, to keep the wife happy.

What’s your worst encounter on the trail?

I haven't had a significantly bad encounter on the trail if you don't count impacting the trail when I fall. I do occasionally pass people that seem to get annoyed that I'm running where they are hiking, but these people are rare. Where when I was younger I might react angrily, now I try to kill them with kindness and humility. I've also nearly run into the back end of a bull moose before, but it turned out to be a great encounter. Also, I've been charged by a couple of wild bison, but once I took flight they gave up the chase.