More Than Just Runners

By: Sean Miller

Professional running is centered around training of the highest intensity. But, a small fraction of these athlete’s time is actually spent training. The larger fraction is filled with rest, recovery, and downtime to prepare your body for the next big workout or race. So how is this downtime spent? As athletes all across the world prepare for this year’s Olympics, I sought out to find an answer to this question. 

To accomplish this, I sent an Instagram direct message to 50 pro runners. The message read something like this: “Hi xzy! This is Sean Miller and I am a writer for @the__harrier blog. For my next article I wanted to talk about unique hobbies and talents professional runners have outside of their sport. Do you mind telling me an interest you have outside of running? Thank you!”

Here is what our esteemed athletes had to say. (Listed in no particular order)

1. David Ribich

David certainly likes to keep busy while he is not running. If there is one word to describe his personal life, it is creativity. David loves to try new things such as podcasting (shoutout sit and kick podcast), writing short stories, and playing dungeons and dragons. Lately he has even dabbled in the art of screenwriting. To him, these unique hobbies are a great way to escape the stressful mindset everyday life and pro running can occasionally produce. He also enjoys doing “normal” activities as well, including watching Netflix and hiking with friends. 

2. Jordan Gusman

Other than being the center of fashion in the Tinman videos, Goose enjoys playing video games and working on cars. His current car is a 1994 Toyota Starlet, modified by himself. Fitted with right hand drive, turbo, and a mere 1100 lbs, it can get him going wherever he needs…fast. 

3. Nia Akins

Over quarantine Nia picked up playing the guitar and producing music. Although still young in the musical game, her very first song is dropping on all streaming platforms soon!

4. Morgan McDonald

After some intensive thinking, Morgan responded to my direct message with, and I quote: “put me down for future chess grandmaster”.

5. Craig Engels

While not combing his beautiful hair, Craig likes to renovate RVs and resell them. 

6. Henry Wynne

While traveling from race to race during his professional career, Henry started taking pictures of wherever he went, and during covid quarantine photography quickly became a hobby. He has also been an avid golfer for much of his life. Most recently, he has become interested in formula 1 racing.

7. Brian Barraza

Much like David Ribich, Brian has many interests outside of running primarily driven by creativity. What started as an undergraduate degree in studio art, Brian has expanded his artistic horizons to painting, sculptures, ceramics, and 2D animations. Lately he has also gotten into creative writing, and one day would like to perform a spoken word poem in front of a live audience. 

8. Drew Windle

In the off season, Drew’s biggest interest is Hunting. This was actually inspired by watching his two pet Hungarian vizslas hunt squirrels, rabbits, and birds in his backyard.

9. Tyler Day

Tyler likes to spend his free time reading and on the disk golf course. “Big fan of disk golf”, he said.

10. Patrick Tiernan

While he isn't competing on the track, Patrick, his teammates, and even his coach love to compete on the golf course. This has become a weekly tradition for the OTC men.

11. Oliver Hoare

An Australian Native, Oliver’s biggest hobby outside of running is surfing. It’s a shame there aren't too many waves in Boulder, Colorado where the ON Running group trains.

12. Sydney Gidabuday

In his free time, Sydney works a part time job with strava.