Pat Casterline

Age: 25, Years running: 9, Hometown: New York, New York, Favorite product: HELIOS SR


What are some of your lifetime running goals?

As a runner, I like to believe that I'm in a constant state of exploration and improvement. I'm currently focusing on improving my speed in shorter distances before moving back up into ultra-distances. I'm looking forward to re-discovering my goals in the process.

Do you have a claim to fame?

I'm currently a NYC-based Mountainrunner. Far from claiming fame, but at least unique.

Do you have any vices?

Even worse, I've got demons. To paraphrase John L. Parker, when I run I can, “by God let my demons loose.” For me, running is a combination of expression and self-medication. Running allows me to let my demons loose, and return to the real word grounded and ready for the next challenge.

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

Running has assured me that I have no limitations (mostly to my own demise). In other words, I live with the intensity I possess in running. I'm always up for any and every task, challenge, and new adventure. Although I live in NYC, running gives me the daily opportunity to escape to nature.

What drives you to run?

A desire to have an infinite experience in a finite setting. To me, running has proved the existence of the inherent connection between body and soul, the physical and non-physical. Running gives me the assurance that I have no limitations, as I annihilate my own personal and external limitations through running.

What is your favorite movie?

The Big Lebowski

Do you have any nicknames? Explain:

Chops. During my freshman year of college, I was waiting on my facial hair to fully blossom. In the mean time I was rocking some big ol' Chops, and thus my nickname was born. I'm still Chops to many of my college friends, no matter the status of my facial hair.

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

In the past year, the longest that I've gone without sleep is probably just about 24 hours. I was up early that day for graduation, then stayed up late to run the Midnight Half (and the celebration afterwards). The Midnight Half is a checkpoint race in NYC that starts at 11pm on a Saturday night.

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

New Jersey because I'm underrated, I love pork roll, I don't pump my own gas, I have more race horses than Kentucky, I have the most diners in the world, and I'm a peninsula.

What did you have for lunch yesterday?

Eggs over easy, potato pancakes, and pumpkin pierogies at Veselka (Ukrainian Diner in the East Village). Alright fine, that was 2 days ago, but much more significant than yesterday's lunch.

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

There'd be some music playing, something subtle yet significant.

What really scares you about trail running?

In my first trail race, I found myself trying to keep up with fellow La Sportiva Mountainrunner, Jason Bryant on a technical downhill, and I sprained an ankle so bad I couldn't run for a month. I still cringe thinking about it. Luckily, besides minor twists and tweaks, I haven’t sprained an ankle on the trail since, thanks to my Sportivas.

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

A Rebel Who Forgot His Cause

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

I'm still trying to figure that out. Right now, all I need is space to run and trails nearby. I haven't found myself particularly attached to anywhere that I've lived so far, and I'm certainly open to finding that place.

What’s your worst encounter on the trail?

On my first solo backpacking trip, I had an up-close and personal encounter with a bear (or a Sasquatch) on the Appalachian Trail in Pennsylvania. I woke up in the middle of the night to the sounds of big footsteps coming towards my tent. I grabbed my key-chain light to face my death, and saw the outline of the bear-squatch. I fell back on my Eagle Scout instincts by yelling and making noise with my trekking poles. Surprisingly, it worked. The bear-squatch left, and I woke up alive the next morning. Photo Credit to Alex Muccilli (black and white portrait) and Devid August Trimble (city scene).