1 What would you say are your defining characteristics as a runner?
I enjoy all types of running, but I particularly like longer days moving eff iciently through the mountains. This has led me to become relatively comfortable on more technical running terrain and has given me a good base in aerobic fitness.
2 What do you admire most in another runner?
I admire runners who are intrinsically motivated and pursuing goals that inspire them, regardless what those goals happen to be. I also admire runners who t ake running seriously without taking themselves too seriously.
3 What is your idea of happiness?
If I could only figure that out, I’d likely be well on my way to achieving it. Thankfully, when I’m out in the mountains I’m largely distracted from worrying too much about such things.
4 Who are your athletic heroes?
I grew up reading books about mountaineering. Many of the climbers’ values in those books, such as adventure, exploration, self-sufficiency and personal growth still inform what I’m doing today.
5Where would you like to live, other than where you live now?
Anywhere with world-class running, skiing and climbing, and a relatively fair and progressive society.
6What is your greatest running-related regret?
I actually ran a bit in high school and at university and I sometimes regret not taking it more seriously back then. At the time, I thought that I didn’t have much talent for running but in retrospect, I realize how fast you are at a young age with minimal training isn’t a very good indication of your ultimate potential. I also realize now that most of what’s rewarding about running isn’t particularly tied to how fast you happen to be.
7 What is your greatest fear?
I do some relatively dangerous t hings, so I have no shortage of perfectly rational fears. However, in reality I spend more time worrying about awkward social situations or embarrassing myself in public.
8 If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Just one thing? I often wish I was a lit t le less la zy a nd a lit t le more productive. However, being a bit lazy as a runner means that I think a lot about how to t rain smarter rat her than harder and that I’m not afraid back of f from t raining when it ’s necessary to st ay healt hy, so it ’s not entirely a bad t hing.
9 What’s one thing you can’t live without?
I sure enjoy eating pastries.
10 What is your motto?
“It doesn’t always have to be fun to be fun.”— CR
ABOVE Nick Elson at the Skypilot trail race