Michael Hagen

Club Member Since 11/20/2002

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Michael Hagen - Pikes Peak Ascent  2004 - I love Colorado weather!
Pikes Peak Ascent 2004 - I love Colorado weather!

“Sports are the reason so many people in America are overweight -- they watch them on TV.”

City: Colorado Springs State: CO

Favorite Shoe: What's on sale?

Age: 59.1 years old

Marital Status: Married to Eva, also an IC member

Family members:
Eva, son Luc (born 1998) and dog Huxley (born 1994) - all also runners (although Hux is starting to slow down a little).

What I do for work:
Commander of the Army World Class Athlete Program at Fort Carson, where Soldiers with outstanding athletic ability in a variety of sports train for the Olympics. (My job, however, is primarily management. Although I would love to train with the athletes, unfortunately I am stuck at a desk most of the day.)

Places I’ve called home and why I like where I am now:
Ames, IA, Bloomington, MN; Olivia, MN; West Point, NY; Fort Huachuca, AZ (twice); Ayer, MA; Fayetteville, NC (twice); Alexandria, VA; Naples, Italy; Colorado Springs; Greeley, CO; and most recently West Point, NY before moving back to Colorado Springs in 2002.

When I started running and what got me started:
In high school. We lived on a farm in Olivia, MN that had a loooong driveway. My brothers and I were usually late getting up, so we were often running to catch the bus. I discovered I was terrible at baseball, basketball, football, or anything else that involved skill, speed, strength, or coordination. Not that I had any endurance, either, but I reasoned that was the area that was most likely to improve with work. Or was it that no one else on the track team wanted to do the 2-mile???

What does running mean to me:
I love getting outdoors and experiencing nature and the feeling of invigoration after (even during) exercise. I like feeling fit and (hopefully) healthy. I love the challenge of constantly trying to improve, and the fact that the primary means to success are perseverance and motivation, and less so inherent "skill". Plus I love that I can eat almost as much as I want! And I enjoy the company of other runners.

Running accomplishments: View my Pikes Peak Ascent/Marathon results
My first race, a 2-miler in high school. Another guy and I battled it out the entire last lap, shoulder to shoulder. I out leaned him at the finish line -- for second to last place! I can thus honestly say I have never taken last in a race!

What I like about trail/mountain running:
Getting away from cars and into nature. The views. The soft surfaces.

Favorite running trail and why:
I love being able to reach trails right out the back door, which means Ute Valley Park, Blodgett Open Space, the Air Force Academy and even Garden of the Gods on a long day. There are a variety of great trails and views. Of course, Barr Trail is great, followed closely by Waldo and Section 16.

Favorite trail/mountain race and why:
My first was the Breckenridge Mountain Marathon. I did the ~12 miler. It was 2 weeks after moving here. I had no idea my heart rate could get so high in a race that long! And it barely went down when I was forced to walk! Barr Trail Race is the best trail race I've done - because it is so well done and contributes so much to charity. The Ascent is probably my favorite mountain race - because I don't particularly like nor am I good at running downhill. (I suppose not being good at downhill running explains why I don't much like it??)

Best running experience:
Anytime I can explore a new trail, especially in a place I've never been to before.

Worst running experience:
I broke my foot at the very end of my last run (within sight of my house!) the day before leaving for Ironman Switzerland in 2001. I was stupid enough to ask the doctor if I could still do the race, and when he didn't call me an idiot I actually considered it for awhile.

Running related bathroom stop story:
Ironman USA, Lake Placid, 2000 -- I started developing some stomach problems about mile 7 of the marathon. So decided to jump into a porta-potty. It was brand new, but missing one critical element - which I discovered a bit too late. Not wanting to waste any time, I exited and grabbed a wet sponge from the aid station, which I used "on the run." (Once out of sight, of course -- but it isn't so easy while trying not to break stride!) You just might want to reconsider taking a water sponge at your next race if they seem to be recycling them!!

Running pet peeves:
Spectator sports, spectator sports spectators (if they always spectate, never participate), and the American sport system. The American sport media's focus on spectator sports (football, baseball, etc.), and near disregard of lifetime fitness sports like running, leads to so many Americans playing team sports until they finish school/college and then becoming mere spectators thereafter. See quote above. The European community-based sport system is far superior in encouraging lifetime fitness.

People who don't respond when you say hello on the trail - unless they are obviously working so hard they can't muster the breath!

Something non running related that no one would guess about me:
I was on the debate team for two years in college. That ranks right up there with the worst decisions I've ever made.

Other hobbies and interests:
Triathlon and duathlon, and skiing (downhill, XC and especially alpine touring - I like to earn my turns.)

Page last modified: 11/16/2006

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