Jay Curwen, Rock/Creek Race Team
Number of years running: Too many!
Location: Asheville, NC
Occupation: Sales rep
Favorite trail race(s):
Mount Mitchell Challenge 40 mile, Shut-In Ridge Run, Rock/Creek StumpJump 50k
Favorite trails to train on:
Favorite trail running shoe(s):
Lifelong running goals:
To run my whole life long
I started my athletic life playing right defense in youth hockey, but as I aged and failed to grow beyond a skinny runt, it became apparent that endurance was needed to keep away from the gorillas trying to kill me on the ice. An athlete was born! Foregoing contact sports for cross-country, swimming and track proved far more fruitful, and I enjoyed competition at a relatively high level through college at UNC-Asheville.
Once graduated, I sought to avoid the real world by taking up triathlons at the “professional” level. I had a blast traveling around from couch to couch and racing for many years, competing for the USA a few times and even venturing to Kona twice for the Ironman World Championships. I eventually also found my love of ultra running and adventure racing…but, I also found that the grocery store only looked at me with a puzzled look when I tried to buy food with my triathlon “pro card.” I needed a job that actually paid money.
Turning to the outdoor industry that had treated me so well as an athlete, I found a career as a sales rep for some of the best-loved brands in the industry and am able to combine my passion for playing outside with employment that keeps me there. Now, with a beautiful family (wife & 2 boys) and a fantastic life, the dream continues…
2011 season summary:
2011 was a year of less racing, but more hard work and volunteerism. I direct both the Mount Mitchell Challenge and Rock2Rock 10k trail runs here in Western North Carolina, as well as chair the board for Asheville’s Mountain Sports Festival. I still managed to win a few races… but mostly managed to teach my youngest to ride a bike!
I did make it back to one of my favorite races (Rock/Creek StumpJump 50k) to defend my 2010 Master’s win — and limped home, again the first 40+ finisher — only to find that they had cruelly pulled out the rug on me and upped the age for the Master’s category to 45+, leaving me shut out in the cold! Although, that does give me a great goal for 2012 as I am now 45…
Proudest running accomplishments:
I have been lucky to have a number of wins that stand out for me — the Mount Mitchell Challenge, the Grandfather Mountain Marathon, the Shut-In Ridge Run — but my proudest accomplishment was running side by side with my father (a life-long smoker) as he kicked the habit, started running and qualified for the 1990 Boston Marathon…
…and that might be topped by running with my son this year as he finished his first 5k.
Planned races for 2012:
Rock/Creek River Gorge 10.2 Mile
Rock/Creek StumpJump 50k
Various triathlons including the USA Triathlon AG National Championships