In his early years, Troy ran in high school and maintained an active lifestyle, largely due to the influence of his father. As he entered his mid-20s, Troy also became an avid outdoor enthusiast who loved hiking and backpacking. As he became focused on building a business, endurance sports took a backseat. Troy would disappear into the backcountry for 5 or 6 days at a time. This is Troy’s journey from tragedy to trailblazer.
Seeking a Positive Outlet
That all changed abruptly when Troy turned 30 years old. Within a span of two weeks, he experienced the devastating loss of both his mother to lung cancer and his beloved dog. Still reeling from these painful events, he made the decision to quit smoking cigarettes as well. Seeking a positive outlet, Troy bought a new pair of running shoes and started hitting the roads and trails near his home.
He Wanted to Become an Ultrarunner
What began as a coping mechanism soon grew into a passion for distance running. Troy steadily increased his weekly mileage, joining the Sonoma County trail running community and making new friends along the way. He often faced injuries that sidelined his training, but he never gave up. After reading Christopher McDougall’s popular book “Born to Run,” Troy set a lofty goal – he wanted to become an ultrarunner.
A Sense of Fulfillment
Over the next couple years, Troy carefully built up the endurance needed to race 50+ mile events. He tackled his first ultramarathon and was immediately hooked on the challenge. The long hours of training and the suffering during races brought Troy a sense of fulfillment he had been missing. He had rediscovered his love for pushing the limits of human endurance. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many races were canceled.
Lost Coast Trail
Troy decided to pursue a solo goal – the fastest known time (FKT) on the remote Lost Coast Trail in Northern California. On his first attempt in 2020, he made it 57 unsupported grueling miles before the wheels fell off. But Troy refused to quit. Over the next year, he focused intensely on preparing both physically and mentally to conquer the Lost Coast FKT. His meticulous training paid off, and in 2021, Troy captured the record he had been chasing.
From heartbreaking loss, to tenacious training, to record-setting achievement on California’s rugged coastline, Troy’s story illustrates the resilience of the human spirit. Troy uses his own story to fuel his vision to tell the stories of other everyday athletes through his podcast, the Midpacker Podcast on the Freetrail network. Troy’s story is an example of embracing failure, never giving up, and going from tragedy to trailblazer.