This week's Runners Life feature is Kyle Kranz of South Dakota. We first met Kyle as he was working with Skora Running doing their (awesome) social media. A true transformational story, Kyle went from being an obese teen to insanely fit ultrarunner and Ironman triathlete. Now he's focussed on shredding his 5k to half-marathon PRs down and coaching other runners to run to their fullest potential. Get inspired by his Runner's Life story here...
Describe what RUNNING is to you, in 5 words or less.
The escape from mediocrity.
How did you get started running and/or what inspired you to run?
When people find out I used to weigh 80 pounds more than I do now they assume I became a runner and lost it all, however, the irony is I never really ran while losing all that weight, but I utilized gym work and diet. Eventually I became a cyclist which evolved into triathlon and then into the single sport of running :) I’m a minimalist and running requires minimal equipment and time (especially compared to triathlon!) I love the simplicity of being able to go out for a run in the summer with shoes, socks, and shorts on. Nothing else necessary.
Your favorite running moment?
The moment that always comes to my mind is being 90 miles into my first 100-miler, in survival mode, and with a dead GPS on my wrist and no idea where the next aid station was. I came over this gravel road hill to see my wife parked on the road at the turn to head to the aid station. I was so happy to see her I started crying.
Who/what do you think you'd be like today if you did NOT run?
I think of this occasionally and I really have no idea. My entire life revolves around running from my income as a running coach to what I do as a hobby for ten hours each week. Maybe I would take up the luge?
Why do you keep on running? and running and running...
I do it to push myself and seek improvement. I’m not sure what will happen when the day comes when I reach an age where I likely won’t be able to improve anymore. Will I still have the desire to train and run to the best of my abilities? I’d like to get back into triathlons one day and hope to complete an UltraMan in the future.
What is your favorite post run/race indulgence?
Ice cream, no question! Typically my diet is devoid of food with processed added sugar within the first three ingredients (it’s an easy diet guideline) but on my once monthly cheat day (usually the day of a race) I’ll treat myself to ice cream :)
Oddest, most unusual, weirdest running experience.
How about scariest? I was running out on a gravel road very close to my childhood home and a bull attempted to jump the barbed wire fence that separated us. It failed to jump the fence and ended up simply knocking it over, then it proceeded to run up onto the road with me and we had a face off for a few seconds before we both ran in (thankfully) opposite directions.
Kyle, you and Nat Korol should swap stories about encounters with wild animals on the trails! Follow Kyle and his running adventures on his website (full of workouts and helpful training, and nutrition tips), Twitter , and Instagram @kyle_j_kranz.