Hello! My name is Steve Taylor, and I am an athlete ambassador for Icebug. I am an ultra-runner, meaning I focus on distances longer than a marathon and primarily run them on trails out in the wilderness. I’d love to take some time to tell you a little bit more about myself and what ultimately led me to the sport of mountain ultra-trail running.
Running wasn’t always my athletic outlet. I was born and raised in Baltimore, MD, into a family with deep roots in tennis. Everyone on my mom’s side of the family either played college or professional tennis and my brother and I found ourselves inclined to follow the same path. In my freshman year of college, I was fortunate enough to walk on to the practice team for a small D1 program, but the constant struggle of trying to fight for my spot on the team coupled with my pursuit of a degree in Marine Biology and Spanish eventually led me to end my time playing competitive college tennis.
As I went through college uninhibited by tennis practice, it allowed less healthy hobbies to dominate my free time. If I wasn’t studying, you could typically find me out on the town with friends enjoying drinks to excess. I was lucky enough to graduate with a strong degree, but I also brought along incredibly unhealthy drinking habits. These habits continued into my post-collegiate life, and I wondered whether this was becoming a road to a self-destructive lifestyle.
While I was no longer playing sports as regularly and with the same ferocity as I once had, I still had the urge to compete. I believe it was about one year after I graduated that I remembered coming across a video while in college of the ultra-trail race UTMB, the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc (a 100-mile race through France, Switzerland, and Italy).
I re-watched the same video; the intensely beautiful scenery paired with the unfathomable goal of running beyond a marathon both bewildered and inspired me. I briefly ran cross country in high school. While I enjoyed it, I was mainly using it as training leverage for tennis at the time.
This was different - something new, inspiring me to change my life for the better.
I quickly began training and signing up for races that increased in distance 10k, half marathon, marathon, then finally a 50k. All of them kicked my ass at the time of completing them, but the discomfort was never a match for my want to run further and my curiosity to see how far I could go. I ran every trail near where I lived in Maryland and decided I needed a bigger playground. I decided to move to Colorado, where I have resided for the past four years, to increase my access to the outdoors and increase my quality of life. Since moving to Colorado, I have met the love of my life, completed and podiumed in several trail and ultra races, and purchased a piece of property that my fiancé and I call our forever home.
I consider myself extremely lucky to have discovered my love for trail running. It has led to so many beneficial changes and opportunities in my life, not least of which is being partnered with Icebug. I hope that my story has resonated with some of you, and if you haven’t already, I hope this inspires you to find an activity that sets your soul on fire and brings a positive change into your life!