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Meet BUTS member Brad Olzinski

Veteran trail runner Brad Olzinski, general manager at Fleet Feet in Birmingham and a BUTS original.

When did you start trail running and why? Man, I can still remember my first trail run, it was a Rattlesnake Ridge loop at OMSP.  The route wasn’t anything spectacular, but I certainly recall the feeling of running trails being so much more fun than anything I had experienced on roads and in neighborhoods.  It was exhilarating.  I proceeded to sign up for some trail races.  Memorial Day 6 miler was the first one and I was hooked.

What is your favorite distance? I am certainly most proud of my two 100 mile finishes, but my favorite distance is about 10 miles with a fair amount of elevation change.  Needless to say, I’m stoked for Race to the Lake.  My first time getting back out there since 2019.

Biggest mistake new trail runners make? I don’t know which the biggest mistake a new trail runner can make, there are so many… not hydrating, not fueling, over-training, under-training, getting lost, you name it.  That’s all part of the learning experience though.  I will say that in my experience, the best thing I’ve been able to do is to take advantage of local group runs and a community like BUTS to find like-minded individuals and lots of cool people to share this beautiful sport with.

Favorite food on the run? I think Spring is the first gel that I actually enjoy.  It’s gonna be a staple for any future longer efforts.

Best place you’ve been blessed to run? I was fortunate enough to go on a few runs in Washington state.  My run in Olympic National Park is probably the most beautiful place I’ve been able to go for a trail run,

What’s something people don’t know about you? Y’all don’t know that I’m actually from the North, since I have adopted Alabamian culture so well and have developed a rich southern accent.  I grew up playing exotic sports like hockey and lacrosse and was raised to address adults by their first name, not “sir” or “ma’am”.

Biggest mistake ever on Ultrasignup? If you are looking at my Ultrasignup page there is a handful of DNF’s, but the biggest mistake I’ve made is my lone DNS.  I slept in and was late to the start of Darter Dash in 2017.  I still lay awake at night sometimes wondering what could have been had I just woken up on time…

About myself, my family, and what I do… I have a wonderful family.  During COVID and my hiatus from running, we had two beautiful children; Viktor (2) and Olive (1).  I hope as they get a little bit older that they will be joining me for aid station fun!  As for me, I am currently the general manager at Fleet Feet in Birmingham.  It’s been a winding path, but I am truly happy to have landed on a career that has allowed me to help people run more comfortably goals and has encouraged me to plug back into Birmingham’s wonderful run community.  Always appreciative when I get to see familiar faces from BUTS at Fleet Feet events, group runs or just stopping by the store!

Find other stories about BUTS members in our #runbuts blog

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