Episode 412: When The Happiness Factor Falls – Eli Hemming From Professional Triathlete To Trail Runner

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We’re thrilled to welcome professional triathlete turned professional trail runner Eli Hemming to the show.

Jess and BJ followed Eli’s career through Olympic distance draft-legal racing on the world stage until he chose to step away from his career as a professional triathlete. Despite being ranked #1 in the U.S. because of his multiple World Cup podiums, Eli’s happiness factor was falling, and he could no longer ignore that it was time for a radical change.

When he hit the trail running scene in 2021, he immediately found success qualifying for the 2022 Mountain Running Championships, and when he crossed over from sub-ultra to ultra-distance racing with a 2nd at the Way Too Cool. He finished that year with several podiums but did not claim victory at a race until 2023, a year of continued improvements and highlights like placing 2nd at the Marathon Du Mont Blanc.

Since the calendar turned to 2024, he’s been on a winning streak; it’s almost as if the trails have been patiently awaiting his arrival.

Jess and BJ caught up with Eli less than a week after he took the win at the Big Alta 50k by over 20 minutes in a cool 3:38:33, an incredible feat considering this race came on the heels of crushing his competition at the Black Canyon 60k just two weeks prior, where he broke the tape by 30 minutes over 2nd place in 4:06:39. Smoking fast!

Thanks so much for tuning in. If you enjoy the show, please leave a review on your favorite place to listen to it. You can also support the commercial-free nature of the YTP and Awake Athlete podcasts by joining our Patreon community.

In this episode:

  • The feeling of winning
  • Finding fulfillment now
  • Hot from the start or slow build?
  • Opportunities for growth in his trail running skills
  • Knowing where the bar is set with competition
  • Racing in Europe versus the US
  • Routine philosophy
  • Importance of specificity of racing
  • Black Canyon Ultra goals
  • Why don’t we fuel enough while racing?
  • Big Alta learnings on nutrition
  • Golden Trail World Series
  • The uprising of sub-ultra racing
  • What does happiness feel like

Podcast Production: Bares Records

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Episode 412 Show Notes:

Black Canyon Ultra

Big Alta 50K

Blank’s Sports Nutrition

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