Tony Dell'Ario Seattle, WA - PATH projects KREW

Tony Dell'Ario Path Projects Ambassador

After failing to kickstart a running habit for health, I eventually trained for and completed a trail half marathon in 2017. Upon completion, I immediately knew I wanted to run an 50k, which I did the next year. Upon reaching that goal, I knew I wanted to run 100 miles, which I did the following year. With nearly more 50ks and adventure runs between them than I can count, I now chase the high of accomplishing athletic goals that feel just beyond reach, taking as many pictures along the way as I can and encouraging others that - as a very normal human - most people can do these things if they want them badly enough.

Running accomplishment(s) you are proud of

Training for my first 100 miler on the back of a nasty stress fracture felt like an accomplishment and introduced me to adventure running as I trained - often solo - deep in the wilderness of the Cascades. The weather was perfect that summer and I managed to fall more in love with the mountains of my childhood than I thought possible. The race itself felt like the bringing together of the most special people in my life - from my wife and family, who trekked to aid stations in the middle of the night - to my friends who made sure I had what I needed or showed up for the finish - to my best running friends who paced me, ensuring I didn't give up - to the friends I made on the course. I use those memories to remind myself that I can do incredible things, even when they start to feel impossible.

Any races or adventures on your horizon and / or bucket list?

This year: Mt. Baker Ultra (which will include my first foray into mountaineering), Needles 50k (a lovely community event in mountains I know well), Plain 100k (a zero-support, zero-marking event in especially rugged terrain).

Your favorite PATH projects gear?

The Muir hat! I don't have a ton of hair - the Muir hats provide great coverage without being oppressive. Plus, they keep the sweat out of my eyes really well, somehow work great backwards (unlike every other hat I've tried), and the simplicity of their appearance stands in (welcome) stark contrast to the "let's be an obnoxious pseudo-retro color party" aesthetic that most other shops seem to espouse.

What do you enjoy about running? 

For my day-to-day city runs: Even when I really don't want to do it (because the weather is bad, I'm sick of all of my routes, or whatever), I know that every time, I will feel better, mentally and physically, if I just get it done. For nearly every long weekend adventure: There is both the obvious joy in being in the woods or on mountain ridges or peaks; there is the less obvious pleasure in doing things that would have taken old me days to hike.

Tony Dell'Ario Path Projects Ambassador

Advice for runners looking to improve?

It really helps to want something. Whether it's feeling fitter or completing a race - you have to have something that motivates you past what I call "the suck." Starting out running, it hurts and generally feels bad. But once you do it enough, you begin to feel good - and the pain, when it comes, is a known quantity and more easily overcome. Getting there just takes the proper motivation.

Social channels you are most active on?

BlogStrava and Instagram.



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