Josh Wheeler, Rock/Creek Race Team
Number of years running: 16
Location: Durham, NC
Occupation: Molecular Genetics Research Technician
Favorite Trail Race(s):
Way too Cool 50k
Favorite trails to train on:
Anything at altitude with a view.
Favorite trail running shoe(s):
La Sportiva Vertical K
Lifelong running goals:
Remain injury free. A mid-2:20 marathon is also on the bucket list and perhaps a shot at the Teton Summit running record.
I grew up running in the mountains around Chattanooga, TN. At present, I work at Duke University. I am passionate about two things: science and running.
I got my start in endurance sports at an early age. I ran my first marathon on my thirteenth birthday and completed my first ultra-marathon by the age of 16. I wrestled throughout high school and was inducted last year into the USA Wrestling Hall of Fame. During my senior year of high school, I was diagnosed with brain cancer and was told I would never be able to wrestle again. I shifted my athletic pursuits towards excelling in triathlon and have not looked back since. My first year on the triathlon circuit, I was ranked the top junior in the Southeastern United States and received All-American status nationally.
The following year marked my freshman year in college and I managed without ever having completed a full season in of cross country in high school to walk onto Appalachian State’s cross country team. I ran in the top ten on the team the entire season as we eventually won the Southern Conference title. That year I competed at both national competitions in Triathlon and placed in the top 100 overall each time. However, it has really been between 2008-2009 that I have managed to breakout on the endurance scene. This past year, I have been able to drop over thirty minutes on my half-ironman PR, improved my Olympic Distance PR by more than ten minutes and finished in elite level times at every stand alone running competition I have entered.
Over the last few years, I have had the privilege to represent the Rock/Creek Race Team at a number of endurance events. It is through R/C’s passion and support that I have been able to strive to achieve what at first would appear lofty aspirations. As of late, I compete predominately in the ultra-running/trail running; however, I have a varied past in triathlon and marathon running.
Proudest running accomplishments:
I would not be the same person without my girlfriend, who I met on a run. I would say that is probably my proudest running accomplishment.
Planned races for 2013:
Past top finishes:
2011 Scenic City Trail Marathon, 2nd OA
2011 Mount Mitchell Challenge, 4th OA
2011 Mountain Mist 50k, 4th OA
2010 Chattanooga Mountains Stage Race, 2nd OA
2010 TransRockies stage race, 3rd OA (w/ Nick Selbo)
2009 Lookout Mountain 50-miler, 1st OA
2009 Upchuck 50k, 1st OA
2009 Rock/Creek StumpJump 50k, 1st OA
2008 Dizzy Fifties 40-miler, 2nd OA