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Life is a Spiritual Journey: The Quest of Wes Plate

Life is a spiritual journey.
Wes Plate
Year started: 2012 (Started Running Again)
Next race: Cocodona 250
Favorite gear:

Ultraspire Zygos Pack

For Wes Plate, the path to ultrarunning was an unlikely one. As a high school track athlete, he always preferred the sprints to long distances. “A few miles was about my limit back then,” Wes recalls. After getting out of shape in college due to drinking, running fell by the wayside for years. Wes Plate’s story is an example of how life is a spiritual journey and how ultramarathons magnify that experience.

Sober and Losing 70 Pounds

It wasn’t until 2012, after getting sober and losing 70 pounds, that the seed for running was replanted. A friend showed off a new GPS running watch that mapped runs online. The technology intrigued the video editor, who soon started running short distances again, working up to 5K races.

A Wrong Turn

In 2014, a wrong turn during a training run led to Wes covering 7 miles – farther than he’d gone in years. A friend saw the run uploaded online and said “If you can run 7 miles, you can run a half marathon.” That casual suggestion sent Wes down a path he could have never imagined.

First 100 Mile Race

After surviving that grueling first half marathon in 2014, beating the dreaded “wall” in the final miles, Wes caught the ultra running bug. He started training for longer and longer distances, inspired by books like “Born to Run” and the epic endurance feats of others. In 2018, he ran his first 100 mile race in under 24 hours.


Moab 240

But the spiritual awakening he’d expected from such an incredible physical achievement never materialized. “I finished and thought ‘Ok, it’s over.’ No angels singing, no clouds parting,” Wes jokes. “So I figured I’d have to go even farther to find what I was looking for.” And farther he went. Drawn in part by ultrarunner Ben Light’s similar quest for meaning through extreme endurance runs, Wes jumped into the 200+ mile scene. He’s now completed multiple 200 milers, including the famed Moab 240 in Utah.

Youtube Channel

Throughout these adventures, Wes documents his journeys on his YouTube channel, sharing the raw physical, mental, and emotional tolls of pushing his limits. His emotional honesty and relatability have struck a chord, as his Moab video went viral at the start of the pandemic. “I think people relate to me because I’m just a regular guy, not an elite runner,” Wes explains. “They can see themselves in my struggles and my willingness to make myself emotionally vulnerable to the experience.” Whether it’s shedding tears of joy after achieving an impossible goal or tears of anguish hitting the wall, Wes holds nothing back on camera. His philosophy is to model the openness and authenticity he wants to see in the world.

Fourth Running of the Cocodona 250

“These events are emotional journeys as much as physical ones,” says Wes. “If you go into them just trying to survive and gut it out, you’re missing the point. You have to let the experience rip you apart emotionally so you can grow from it.” Now Wes is preparing for his fourth running of the Cocodona 250 mile race in Arizona. Having gained a following from his films, he looks forward to the community embracing him each year. “Seeing people who watched my videos and were inspired to take on this crazy challenge – that’s what it’s all about for me.”

Rugged Divide 200

After Cocodona, Wes plans to run the rugged Divide 200 race before tackling even wilder endurance tests like the Arizona Monsters 300 and multi-day road races. His YouTube audience will be there every step of the way, being motivated as Wes continues pushing the boundaries of what’s possible.

On a Quest

At his core, Wes Plate is on a quest to learn about himself through these extreme running challenges. But in sharing that intensely personal journey, he’s giving others the courage to take their own leaps into the unknown. Wes Plate’s journey reminds us that life is a spiritual journey, one in which we try to find meaning and purpose through our endeavors. Wes inspires others to do the same.