Q&A with Ultra Runner Brian Costilow

Brian Costilow
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New Balance and RootsRated have teamed up to profile runners making a difference in their communities. We asked each of our runners a series of questions to learn a little more about what running means to them, where they like to run and what are some of their running goals.

Brian Costilow, 40, has been running since his early 20's and has achieved the wildly impressive feat of completing ten consecutive Leadville 100's over the past decade.

Do you belong to any running groups? Formal or informal?
Rock/Creek Race Team, "Chattanooga Trail Runners" on Meetup... and I lead some training runs for R/C both formal and informal.

Do you have any favorite trails?
Anything in the woods, in the mountains, or by water. Locally, Lookout and Signal trails, Savage Gulf is pretty spectacular, so is Eastern Tennessee.

What's it like to have work and hobby blend together so well?
Pretty cool, Rock/Creek is super supportive of my running endeavors.

Morning runner or after work?
Either. Whenever I can squeeze a run in... but most likely to be in afternoon or evening.

Treadmill Yes or No?
I have never set foot on a treadmill... ever... not sure I even know what one looks like!

Do you run year round? Winter-outside or in?
I run year round...you can't be a finicky ultra runner.

Do you have any favorite pieces of gear?
Swiftwick socks, my Ultimate Direction handheld water bottle, and my black DeFeet lightweight running gloves!

What's your routine? Describe. Coffee first? Out the door fast or slow transition?
I MUST have at least one cup of strong coffee before I run. Depending on distance to start, I'm usually up 1-2 hours before a race. An egg or oatmeal/cereal an hour+ before.

Do you listen to music? Favorites?
Sometimes... Massive Attack, My Morning Jacket, Michael Jackson, John Coltrane, Pretty Lights, Guns n' Roses, Gorillaz, Black Sabbath, Grateful Dead, and Laurie Berkner (oh wait, that's my kids' songs).

In the middle of a hard race with the devil on your shoulder telling you to quit, how do you keep going?
I'm actually really good friends with that devil now... He/she/it was quite an annoying ass for a while, especially with that fiery shrill-like giggle (think Yanni and Kenny G) that accompanied the provocation of my projectile vomiting. But, fortunately, I learned to expect and embrace his/her/its annoying presence on my shoulder.  He/she/it eventually gave up, realized it was more enjoyable to just accept the free piggy-back ride, whisper Guns N' Roses "Patience" in my ear, and enjoy the beautiful scenery on the way to the finish... That devil now loves the experiences had during a 100 mile race and is usually the first to give me a high-five after crossing the finish line.

Favorite post race/long run activity/approach to recover?
A lot of ice cream, high gravity IPAs, hot yoga, gourmet burgers, being lazy, and trying to match my boy's socks in laundry.

Bucket list races?
Hardrock 100, Bighorn 100, Cruel Jewel 100, Pinhoti 100, any quality 100 really... and the Laugavegur 55k in Iceland....

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