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Basketball to Runner: Bryce Aguilar’s Path to Endurance Sports 

From basketball to runner.
Bryce Aguilar
Year started: 2004

Bryce Aguilar’s path to becoming a runner, coach, and entrepreneur wasn’t a straight line. It began with a chance encounter in his high school weight room. As a basketball player, Bryce never considered running as a sport. That changed when the cross-country coach approached him, recognizing his last name. Little did Bryce know he was paving the way to go from basketball to runner. 

Kind of Hooked 

“He’s like, ‘Is Ernie Aguilar your dad? He was really fast in high school,'” Bryce recalls. This unexpected connection led to an invitation that would change Bryce’s life. Initially hesitant, Bryce agreed to join cross-country to improve his basketball fitness. Little did he know, he was about to discover his true passion. “By the time I did the summer running camp, I ended up getting third in the time trial. I was kind of hooked at that point,” he says.

Sense of Community

What truly captivated Bryce wasn’t just the running itself, but the sense of community. “I was closer with those cross-country guys after three days in the woods and running than I was with any basketball team I’d been on,” he explains. The welcoming atmosphere and shared experiences formed bonds that would shape his future.


Transitioned into Coaching Cross-Country

As Bryce progressed through high school and into college, running became a central part of his life. He competed at the collegiate level for a couple of years before naturally transitioning into coaching. “I ended up running in college for a couple of years. That was cool. And then I transitioned into coaching cross-country,” he shares.

The Sport He Loved 

Coaching allowed Bryce to stay connected to the sport he loved while helping others discover their potential. He found joy in building team camaraderie and motivating young athletes. “I’ve continued to coach in some capacity or another at high schools, middle schools in the area ever since then,” Bryce says proudly. However, like many adults, Bryce’s personal running journey had its ups and downs. Marriage, kids, and work responsibilities often pushed running to the back burner. But the spark never fully died out.

Hood to Coast 

A friend’s invitation to participate in Hood to Coast, a famous relay race in Oregon, reignited Bryce’s passion for running. With only two months to prepare, he committed fully. “I ran every day for two months to get ready for that,” he says. This experience reminded him of the joy and fulfillment running brings to his life.


Bryce’s renewed enthusiasm for running, combined with his love for community, led to the creation of apparel company RUN PNW. This business venture allows him to merge his passion for running with his entrepreneurial spirit. “I love the running community. I love the Pacific Northwest community. Bringing those two things together, I know that there’s just so many other people that love both those things,” he explains.

More than Just a Business

For Bryce, RUN PNW is more than just a business. It’s a way to stay connected to the running community and inspire others. He sees it as an opportunity to create value and build people up, reflecting the positive experiences he’s had throughout his running journey. To those just starting their running journey, Bryce offers simple but powerful advice: “First, do it. Get out there, don’t care about what your time is, how fast you’re going. Take it slow at first, and then connect. Connect with somebody.”

Sense of Community 

Bryce’s story is a testament to the transformative power of running and community. From a basketball player to runner, then coach to business owner, his journey shows how running can shape a life in unexpected ways. Through RUN PNW, Bryce continues to foster the sense of community that first drew him to the sport, inspiring everyday athletes to lace up their shoes and hit the trails of the Pacific Northwest.