Had the chance yesterday to catch up with a Challis graduate who was one of the members of the first senior class of track athletes I covered four years ago, Cody Lind. He is now a sponsored ultra runner and most recently competed in Norway. His next races will be in Spain and Scotland.
(Ultra) Running around the World
Challis grad Cody Lind is seeing the world through ultra running
By MARLOWE HEREFORD
Trading collegiate cross-country and track for running 50 kilometer races at high elevation has sent Cody Lind all over the nation and out of the country twice.
A 2013 Challis High School graduate and current geology student at Idaho State, Lind is an ultra runner. Thanks to sponsorships through Scott Running and V Fuel, he has competed in multiple 50k and 70k races since 2015. He has traveled to Colorado, California, North Carolina, Utah and as far away as Hong Kong and Norway and will race in Spain and Scotland before the end of 2017.
Competing as often as he is (and at the level he is at) has been a longtime dream for Lind. Achieving it so soon, however, was a surprise.
“Four years ago, I never thought it would happen right now…a dream coming true and living in it,” Lind said Tuesday in a phone interview. “It’s really special to have these opportunities.”
While Lind reached his dream sooner than anticipated, the fact that he is a serious ultra runner is no coincidence. He is the son of Challis cross-country and track coach Paul Lind, who is also an ultra runner, and the grandson of the late Bob Lind, a physician who was the medical director for the Western States 100-mile Endurance run, an annual ultra run spanning from to Squaw Valley to Auburn, Calif.
Growing up, Cody would accompany Paul on day long treks through the Lost River Range in Challis. Every chance Cody gets to visit Challis, he still joins Paul for an excursion.
“It’s kind of a whole life of running and adventuring,” Cody said. “From the time I could walk, I was going in the mountains with my dad whether it was hunting, fishing or going exploring. In 30 minutes, I could go out my back door and be in some of the highest mountains in Idaho.”
After graduating from Challis in 2013 as a four-year state cross-country and track qualifier, Cody competed for a year in both sports at NCAA Division II school Western Oregon University in Monmouth, Ore. He had completed one ultra run, a 50k, the summer of his junior year at Challis.
Upon returning to Idaho after his year at Western Oregon, he spent the summer in the Lost River Range and decided to pursue ultra running. He ultimately transferred to Idaho State and started working in high elevation runs around his class schedule. He hasn’t stopped since.
“It sounds crazy, but the reason I do it is I love it,” Cody said. “You kinda realize what a special place it is growing up in the mountains in Idaho. I knew I could play to my strengths and have the opportunities to see different mountain ranges and different parts of the country.”
His ultra running pursuit was aided upon receiving sponsorships from Scott Running and V Fuel after getting a few ultra races under his belt. He has been provided with gear, clothes and shoes from Scott as well as endurance gels from V Fuel, all of which he uses while training and competing. Both sponsors have also covered his travel expenses, including to and from races outside of the United States.
“It’s nothing to complain about,” Cody said. “It’s so, so cool.”
Cody said the US Sky Runner Series, consisting of ultra runs at 10,000 to 12,000 feet, has been around for three years, but Europe has had a similar network of races for several years. Anyone can enter US Sky Runner Series races, but competing in MIGU Run Sky Runner World Series Races requires a lengthy running and climbing resume to be accepted.