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💥Trail Gangsta of the Month (MAR '22) : Kylie Aldaz of Tucson, AZ 💥

Full Name: Kylie Aldaz

Age:  33

Hometown: Colorado Springs, CO

Current Residence: Tucson, AZ

Occupation: HR Director for the University of Arizona Global Campus and Running Coach 

 

1. How did you discover trail running?

  • I started running in 2010 as a way to deal with emotions and cope with grief after losing my mom to a really hard battle with cancer. I would run a mile around my neighborhood block because I was too scared to venture out anywhere else, let alone on the trails. I started getting more involved in the road running community and would participate in the weekly running club that would end at a local bar so I had an excuse to drink beer with my friends on a Tuesday. 
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  • Then
  •  I met my good friend Bev, who was looking for pacers for her upcoming Leadville 100 race and after training with her on trails and being at Leadville for the race that year, I was immediately hooked. Over the years, I worked my way up from a 5k to my first ultra and beyond and I fell in love with trail running and being able to escape real life and just feel completely free and in control on the trails.I really just like to run, hang out with my friends and get lost in nature and trail running allows me to do that. 
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    2. You competed in the 6 day Race2Adventure in Costa Rica last year. What was that like?!

    Costa Rica is by far the most beautiful place I have ever visited and this race/adventure brings you all over the country to see everything it has to offer. I got to run on a volcano, through the middle of a rainforest where there were howler monkeys swinging above me growling and throwing things, in the cloud forest, to the most beautiful waterfalls, and on the coastline with some of the most pristine beaches I have ever seen.

    Also, I had never swam in the ocean before (I had just seen the ocean for the first time a few years ago actually), and a few of my friends and I swam over a mile in the ocean to this little island- it was the scariest and coolest thing I had ever done!

     

    3. If you could compare/describe the running scenes in Tucson vs Phoenix vs Flagstaff in short catch phrases, how would you do it? 

    Tucson - Under rated trail scene and overshadowed runners by our friends in the North, but it is a little piece of heaven down here with our canyons, peaks, and saguros.

    Phoenix - Way too hot, way too crowded, too much drama, but an incredible running community and some of the best runners I have ever met.

    Flagstaff- The most badass runners who get to run up the ski mountain in the middle of the winter, eat Pizzicletta anytime they want and run into Jim Walmsley at the local grocery store. No big deal. 

     

    4. On the States side, you’ve raced countless ultras! Name a race that was the prettiest, hardest, and had the best after-party. 

    Prettiest: 

    Mt. Hood 50-With constant views of Mt. Hood in Oregon, you run through dense forests of huge trees and on some of the softest single track trails I have ever been on.

    Hardest:

    Definitely Run Rabbit Run 100 miler- It was my first 100 miler and I was not prepared for what was going to happen in those 33 hours. I somehow managed to finish after throwing up for 24 hours and not being able to keep anything down and pretty much coming back from the dead at mile 70. 

    Best After-Party:

    The Pikes Peak Marathon always has the best after party! You run back into the town of Manitou Springs (where I grew up and went to high school) after running up and down a 14,000’ mountain and the streets are just lined with people, including all of my friends and family and then all of my favorite local breweries are serving up beers right at the finish line!

     

  • 5. What inspired you to make the leap to being a running coach?
  • I am a lifelong student and am such a nerd when it comes to learning about something I feel so passionate about. I also love to read and grow and completely immerse myself in whatever I am involved in. I had been working with a coach myself and really loved the process of gaining more knowledge on how I could be the best athlete and runner possible.
  • I started having more people on social media reach out to me for guidance and questions about their own running journey and I decided to make the leap into coaching myself! I got certified as an RRCA Level 1 running coach and UESCA Ultrarunning coach and will be starting the UESCA Endurance Sports Nutrition Certification in April to better support my athletes and their nutrition! 
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  • 6. What’s the most rewarding part of being a running coach?
  • Most days, I think I enjoy coaching even more than being an athlete myself! My athletes are so inspiring and each one of them has a different story that brought them to running. I see all of the hard work they are putting in to reach their goals and it in turn inspires me! 
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  • 7. How can someone learn more about your coaching services?
  • You can check out my website at www.deserttopeakcoaching.com or send me a DM on my IG account @kyliekrun_az or @deserttopeakcoaching! I always set up initial consultations with anyone that might be interested in working with me just to make sure we are a good fit for each other!
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    8. Besides Crown King 50k and a this year’s Race2Adventure in Norway, you’re running the Cocodona 250! What are some unique ways you are preparing for this race?

    Running and eating a lot on no sleep…

    In all seriousness, I have a good plan with my coach Hayden Hawks and I am doing 3 big weeks that will include Crown King 50k, the first 50k of the Cocodona course which includes 10,000 feet of vert, and a R2R2R.

    I am also switching up my nutrition plan and starting to train more with whole foods versus liquid calories and gels which will be more sustainable over that distance and that amount of time.


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    1 comment

    • Kylie,
      Wow! You are just amazing. So very proud of you.

      • Suzan Headley