Running on Clouds in the Cloud City
If you’re exploring the local trails this week, you’ll likely “run” into athletes from around the world as they train for the Leadville 100 RUN and MTB races. David Kilgore, an On sponsored runner based in New York City, is one of those impressive athletes who happens to be staying in the Mountain View Residence Hall while preparing for the race.
Though it’s not his first time visiting the Cloud City, it is his first time running the Leadville 100 and his excitement is contagious.
“Leadville is different from other ultras,” says David, who represented Team USA at the Trail and Ultra Running World Championships in 2019, “The challenging mountain passes, technical terrain, insane views, breathtaking altitude, and the ambience makes this race one of the most iconic and toughest 100s around the world.”
A Dynamic Running Career
Growing up in Palm Bay, Florida, David fell in love with running. He started running track in middle school and in high school, and became a four-time Florida state champion in cross country and track. As a college student, he ran for the University of Colorado and the University of Florida.
After college David took a brief hiatus from running competitively, but he knew he wanted to work in the running and competitive sport industry. When he started working as a tech rep for On in New York City, he quickly got back into the spirit of competing.
“As the first year went on I was able to build myself back into a globally competitive athlete,” says David, “I signed a contract with On as an athlete as well as continuing to work within the company professionally. I feel a very unique dynamic to say the least, but it’s something I quite enjoy.”
Training on Local Trails
With race day fast approaching, David began training as soon as he arrived in Leadville. He’s spent some time on the Half Moon Creek Trail, running up and down Mount Elbert and Mount Massive, the two tallest peaks in Colorado. David has also had the opportunity to hit the trails with CMC faculty member and cross-country team coach Darren Brungardt and he plans to snag more miles around the campus trails in the coming days.
“Running in the mountains is just really raw in my opinion,” says David, “It’s freeing, challenging, and teaches you to be adaptable and to think on your feet (literally).”
It’s no coincidence that David is staying on campus in Leadville, as On is a big supporter of the Colorado Mountain College cross-country team. Waking up in the residence hall and exploring the same trails where the CMC Eagles cross country running team trains and competes in local races makes it easy to feel a connection with the students.
“Do what sets your soul on fire,” reflects David, when asked what advice he has for college runners, “Find the fun and passionate parts of the sport and hold on to that. It will take you to where you want to be and continue to grow the sport in a positive lens.”
The Leadville Trail 100 Run will take place August 21 – 22, 2021. David and other accomplished runners from around the world will cover one hundred miles of extreme mountain terrain, and we look forward to cheering him on.