14. Joe Grant – mountain, minimalism & turning the blinkers off.

Jun 23, 2020

He’s done great things, but has found a way to reflect on all it has taught him. Joe is a mountain athlete, writer, coach and photographer, living in Colorado. He’s raced in some of the most competitive events around the globe and has also pursued local, self-powered adventures around Colorado. Notably he linked all of Colorado’s fourteen thousand foot peaks in 31 days, self-powered and self-supported by bike and on foot starting and finishing at his home in Gold Hill.

Born in the UK and moving to France as a 6 year old, Joe’s entry into running came from an interest in backpacking and climbing. What started as a more utilitarian tool to cover more terrain and ‘explore wild places under his own power,’ transitioned in 2007 to an enjoyment for the ultra running experience. With only one race under Joe’s belt, he placed first at the Caballo Blanco Copper Canyon Ultra. However, it was the holism community vibe and opportunity to experience culture and land that drew him into the sport over the competitive nature of it.

It was around this time the sport of ultra running popularised and attracted sponsorship.Joe was amongst one of the early waves of talented trail enthusiasts who stepped into a unique way of life – that involved international racing and frequent travel.

Some of Joe’s diverse race resume includes: Hardrock 100s (2nd in 2012 & 3rd in 2017), the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, Western States 100, the UltraTrail Mt. Fuji, Tor des Géants (330kms in Italy), The Coastal Challenge (six-day race in Costa Rica), the Iditarod Trail Invitational (560kms in Alaska during winter) and the Arizona Trail Race (1200km mountain bike)

This conversation includes the discussion of:

* Joe’s early influences – grandparents & rollerblading.

* His early obsession with the minimalist mindset, and how running fitted into that aesthetic.

* The grounding nature of buddhism & eastern philosophy to cool the fire – the mind & emotions.

* The evolving concept and opportunity for the sponsored endurance athlete.

* The cost of international racing and the growing pains it created in other areas of his life.

* Returning to his roots and to embarking on the Tour de 14ers.

You can follow Joe’s movements, writings and photography on his https://www.alpine-works.com/ and via instagram @alpineworks.

Wandering Fevers award winning Documentary on his Tour de 14ers: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/themiddleway

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