COLORADO SPRINGS — From Barr Trail to North Cheyenne Canyon, Colorado Springs offers some of the best hiking trials in Colorado.
But running on those trials, like the Pikes Peak Ascent, is a totally different story.
Yet there is one Liberty Lancer who is trying to be the best in the world at it.
"I think I was made to do it. I think I was born to do it," explained Benjamin Townsend. "It goes deeper than just the competition. It is spiritual almost."
The former long distance cross country and track runner is switching things up after high school. Instead of going to college for track & field, Townsend is going pro in trail running, with sponsorship and training included.
"That is one of the greatest things about trail running, I can go and compete against the pro today," Townsend said.
"To seem him realize this dream and have the opportunity to run, and go pro right out of high school," added Liberty head track & field coach Jeremy Strom, who is also Benjamin's dad & coach, "It is what most kids dream about."
Strom has not missed one race in his son's career.
"I do treasure it," smiled Townsend. "it's also something I've never gone without. I guess I'm oblivious to how I would be without him."
:I wouldn't say I have missed a thing," added Strom. "I would say I was in the right place at the right time, every time.
And ever since he started running in 8th grade, Jeremy has given Benjamin the same advice.
"No expectations. Just run and enjoy it." concluded Townsend.
Benjamin plans to attend NAU next year to study High Altitude Exercise Science & Kinesiology, the study of the body in high altitude. He also plans to compete in this summer's Pikes Peak Ascent in Mantiou Springs.
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