An Unlikely Journey to a Life of Ultrarunning

December 19, 2019 8 Comments

An Unlikely Journey to a Life of Ultrarunning

We are so incredibly proud and excited to introduce our newest rabbitPRO, Adam Kimble. Adam has been a member of the rabbitELITEtrail team for the past two years, but after numerous outstanding performances, it was clear that Adam earned his place on the PRO squad. On the blog, read all about Adam's journey from D1 baseball player to professional ultrarunner to rabbitPRO, all from Adam himself.

My road to becoming a professional ultrarunner has been an unconventional one to say the least. I’ve always been an athlete, but wasn’t a runner until much later in life.  I played Division-1 college baseball at Bradley University and during my career, I really didn’t enjoy running at all!  As a baseball player, running was often a punishment or just what we did at conditioning, neither of which I enjoyed very much.  It wasn’t until after my baseball days that I started to develop a love for running.  After I graduated, I realized that I really missed the “game day” competition and camaraderie of teammates.  As such, I was looking for a new outlet.  Enter distance running.

After my wife convinced me to run a half-marathon to “get in shape” in 2011, I ran my first ever marathon a year later in 2012.  Upon completing the race, I can very vividly remember telling my friends that “I’m never doing that ever again.”  Less than two weeks later, I signed up for my next one!  However, with ultrarunning, it was different.  I signed up for a trail 50k in 2014 and showed up at the race underprepared for the trail conditions.  Less than a mile into the race, we were trudging through knee deep water.  And though you might think that would have left a sour taste in my mouth, it actually made it more memorable and appealing to me. I was attracted to the challenges and obstacles that trail racing presented, and it made me curious for even longer distances.  So, just under two months after that first 50k, I ran my first 50-miler.  After crossing the finish line, I was intrigued by the thought of what happens after Mile 50, so I signed up for my first 100-miler two months after that.  Each and every time I ran a longer distance, I found more joy in the process and ultimately, more success in the races.

In 2015, while traveling internationally with my wife, I decided to test my merits on the international level and compete in the 4Deserts Gobi March self-supported 250km multi-stage race.  I raced for five days (150 miles total) against competitors from over 40 countries and to my surprise, I ended up winning the race! At that moment in time my eyes were opened to the possibility of a career in professional ultrarunning.  Since that race in 2015, I made one major promise to myself: build your life around your greatest passion.  For me, ultrarunning and its incredible community is that passion and calling.  From the time I won that first big ultra, I’ve been able to run across the US, set the FKT for running self-supported across Great Britain while summitting the Three Peaks, set the second-fastest time ever for the 172-mile Tahoe Rim Trail, and finish on the podium at four different 100-mile races.  I’ve also become a USATF-certified running coach, a Race Director for the multi-stage race organization called Beyond the Ultimate, and a motivational speaker.  All these things fulfill me and allow me to intertwine my love for running across a variety of platforms. 

As I mentioned earlier, I was missing both the competition of sport and the camaraderie of my teammates after I finished playing baseball.  Racing at the highest level of competition in ultrarunning fulfills the first part, and the community around our sport fulfills the rest!  After moving to Lake Tahoe from Chicago three years ago, I was thrust into a different world of running.  Rather than the flats of Illinois, I was running at elevation and mostly on trails in the Sierra Nevada mountains.  It took to time to adjust to that, but what didn’t take time was the love the trail and ultrarunning community in Tahoe showed to me from Day 1.  When I told myself to live a life built around my passions, I had no idea that ultrarunning was going to lead me to cross paths with some of the kindest, most supportive friends I could have ever asked for.  And I’m not just talking about running friends and people I met at races; I’m also talking about sponsors who treat me like family. Just over two years ago I started wearing rabbit clothing, and instantly fell in love with the product.  It’s the most comfortable running clothing I’ve ever worn!  But that’s not the only thing I look for in a sponsor.  More importantly, I want the support of rad people who believe in me and are doing rad things to give back to our sport.  To be a part of the rabbitPRO team means the world to me, and I couldn’t be more excited for the journey ahead!  My 2020 race season kicks off with the Tarawera 100-Miler in February in New Zealand (part of the Ultra-Trail World Tour), one of my favorite countries in the world.  After that, I’m slated to run some combination (TBD) of the Pioneer Spirit 50, Lake Sonoma 50, UROC 100k, TRT 100-Miler and California International Marathon.  One of my biggest goals for the year is to set a new personal best at every distance from the marathon to 100 miles.  Knowing that I have the full support of the rabbit family behind me on these endeavors makes me that much more confident that I’ll get it done.  I couldn’t be more stoked for huge accomplishments in 2020 and beyond!





8 Responses

Mike Auld
Mike Auld

December 26, 2019

God has given you a gift, a power. You, Adam, take that responsibility and use it to fuel the fires in others, both for running and for the Lord. Truly a gift. Thank you for allowing others to follow and be inspired! God bless you and yours! A blessed Christmas season and a glorious New Yeart to you.

Mike Auld
Mike Auld

December 26, 2019

God has given you a gift, a power. You, Adam, take that responsibility and use it to fuel the fires in others, both for running and for the Lord. Truly a gift. Thank you for allowing others to follow and be inspired! God bless you and yours! A blessed Christmas season and a glorious New Yeart to you.

Adam Kimble
Adam Kimble

December 22, 2019

Thank you all so much for your beautiful and meaningful words! My gratitude can’t be understated. Merry Christmas, everyone!

Christi Gallagher
Christi Gallagher

December 22, 2019

#smithstrong ❤️

Marianne Ziech
Marianne Ziech

December 20, 2019

Wow Adam.. you continue to amaze me. Love hearing all your doing and so proud of you. God has great plans for you. Give my best to your beautiful wife. Hope to see you both someday soon!

Please continue to keep us informed on your journey.

Have a blessed Christmas .

Marianne Ziech
Marianne Ziech

December 20, 2019

Wow Adam.. you continue to amaze me. Love hearing all your doing and so proud of you. God has great plans for you. Give my best to your beautiful wife. Hope to see you both someday soon!

Please continue to keep us informed on your journey.

Have a blessed Christmas .

Martyn Seconde
Martyn Seconde

December 20, 2019

Ah yes, ths brutal hills of the Illinois prairie. I know them well. It’s been great to watch you grow as a distance runner. Best wishes for a stellar 2020.

Carol Bull
Carol Bull

December 19, 2019

You are one amazing young man. The pride I have for you is only compared to the pride I have in my own kids. I feel so connected to you Adam, starting with the first day I met you in a hospital while visiting one of your biggest fans and forever guardian angel. My grandson, Mark, was so blessed to have you as such a big part of his life. The two of you shared so many things. Two of the biggest are your faith in God and your love of life. He will be forever at your side during any challenge you face. Continue to make us proud. Sorry to ramble on. SmithStrong forever.

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