Brandon Araujo, Durham, NC / West Palm Beach, FL - PATH projects KREW
Hey! I'm originally from Florida, which is where I started running as a sophomore in college in 2012 to help manage some anxiety and somehow I became absolutely addicted. In 2018 I moved to North Carolina where I spent most of my free time outdoors either running on the local nature trails or heading out to western NC for some backpacking trips in the Appalachian Mountains. Recently, I just moved back down to FL to get all my logistics together for my thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail this year. Not sure exactly where I'll end up after that, but I hope to find myself somewhere with more epic adventures and incredible people in the community to experience them with.
Running accomplishment(s) you are proud of
Having run multiple marathons and a 50k, I think my proudest run was a simple 14-mile run from my apartment in college to the beach for sunrise. Although it wasn't a race, nor my longest run, nor my fastest run, I think it was one of the first runs that really developed my passion for running.
Any races or adventures on your horizon and / or bucket list?
I'll be starting a thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail on 4/6/2021. After that I've got my eye on some FKT attempts in NC and VA (Linville Gorge Wilderness Loop, Catawba Triple Crown), and then maybe a few ultras (hopefully getting my first 50-miler under my belt), before heading out for my next thru-hike, which will likely be the Arizona Trail or Colorado Trail.
In the future I'd love to run in some of the major 100-milers (Hardrock, Western States, UTMB, Wasatch, etc.).
Your favorite PATH projects gear?
For Running: Sykes AT 5" Shorts. I'm pretty picky with my running shorts. They need to have functional pockets, be lightweight but durable, still be comfortable after being drenched in sweat, and most importantly - be affordable. These shorts check all the boxes for me.
For Hiking: Graves PX 5" Shorts. Chaffing is one of the most painful things to deal with on a long backpacking trip. The separate short/liner system of PATH projects completely solves this and the Graves PX are particularly great for hiking since they have a little more storage than the Sykes, but with same incredible comfort.
What do you enjoy about running?
The simplicity of it. There's something special about being able to rely only on your two feet to get yourself from one place to another and to experience the landscape in between from such an intimate and unique perspective.
Advice for runners looking to improve?
Know your "WHY"
Obviously it's important to set goals, train, and track your progress, but in addition to that I think it's important to really know what motivates you. Before signing up for a race, attempting an FKT, or starting a training plan, have a strong understanding of what your motivation for doing it is. There'll always be days when you don't feel like running, or times during a race when you don't think you'll be able to finish or hit your goal, but if you have a strong enough "why" then reminding yourself of that will help keep you focused and push you through the tough times.
Social channels you are most active on?
Learn about all other KREW members HERE.