This month we talk with BUTS member Slade Hubbard, a relatively new ultra runner with a veteran’s insights.
When did you start trail running and why? Fall of 2021. As a family, we watched “The Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young.” The consensus was, “Wow, how stupid?” Never having run trails, I signed up for Blood Rock 50 Miler. “Wow, how stupid?”.
What is your favorite distance? I’m still relatively new to the trail running scene. I’ve made a conscious effort to experience different formats and distances, everything from 5k to multi-day endeavors, but 100+ mile races have my attention.
Biggest mistake new trail runners make? A. Putting certain races and distances on a pedestal. Go register for that absurd race, train hard, and TOE THE LINE! You’ll be amazed at what you are truly capable of. The learning curve is steep and DNFs WILL HAPPEN, but don’t let that stop you from having a life-changing experience.
B. “Fair-Weather Training.” The event you are prepping for is, most likely, not going to be sunny and 75 degrees. Run in the heat, run in the cold, get your shoes wet, put some dirt on your face.
Favorite food on the run? Avocados, salted potatoes, watermelon, and almost anything from Belvita or Nature Valley. I tend to avoid gels as long as possible, but I always carry a few packs of Spring Awesome Sauce and a Spring Wolf Pack.
Best place you’ve been blessed to run? Living in Pelham, I have the good fortune to call Oak Mountain State Park home. The diversity of the trails are amazing. You can certainly train as hard as you want out there. I am fresh off my first trip to Leadville / Twin Lakes, Colorado. Anxious to get back out there and do some exploring.
Biggest mistake ever on Ultra Signup? I have a bad habit of entering lotteries for races without looking at the price tag. What are the odds of getting in? Right?
More about Slade: The longest distance I’ve completed was in June, The Last Annual Heart Of The South Road Race, a 350-Mile “Open Road Adventure Run” that started in Fig, N.C. and ended in Bryant, Ga. It touches five states and runs the entirety of Tennessee from north to south. Just another sadistic route from the dastardly Gary Cantrell, aka Lazurus Lake.
I am married (Kim) and have two kids, (Allie & Harry). They love being outdoors and all 3 are extremely supportive of my adventures. What started as a way to show my kids that “you can do anything you set your mind to,” has become a lifestyle. Paloma Blanca Runs, Birmingham Ultra Trail Society, and the trail running community, as a whole, has gifted us with many friends, family, mentors, and role models we would have never encountered otherwise. I am forever grateful. I look forward to many years of bad decisions with y’all!