5 Famous Trail Runners – For Inspiration & Motivation

Everyone has people they look up to, aspire to be like, or follow on social media for that little extra boost of motivation. The trail-running community is no different. For me, it shows what the human body is capable of…and helps me stay up to date with all the new gear coming out since they typically have all the cool sponsors. Here are 5 famous trail runners, for inspirational needs, listed in no particular order.

Anton Krupicka

Anton Krupicka is an American ultra-runner winning a bunch of different trail races. He was also featured in one of my favorite trail-running-related movies, Unbreakable.

Always thought it was cool that in pretty much every race Anton was in he was running shirtless. Something I did a lot of when I did a lot of racing. Basically, if it wasn’t late fall or winter, I was enjoying upper body freedom!

I first became familiar with Anton when he partnered with New Balance and helped represent the Minimus line. I loved that shoe. Had it in a bunch of different colors, and even bought it again when they relaunched the shoe a few years later.

Anton Krupicka still runs but it doesn’t seem to race as much. He does a lot of biking, and rock climbing, and shares his adventures on Instagram.

Kilian Jornet

Another beast in the trail-running world and also featured in the Unbreakable movie mentioned above. Kilian is a Spanish trail runner who has won Skyrunner World Series six times along with many other trail races such as Western States Endurance Run and the Hardrock Hundred Mile Endurance Run.

He used to be a huge part of Salomon and their epic mountain running videos but has recently formed his own running gear company, Nnormal.

Timothy Olson

Timothy Olson recently set the record for finishing the Pacific Crest Trail in 51 days, 16 hours, and 55 minutes. That’s an insane accomplishment!

He’s previously won the Western States 100 in 2012 and 2013 and is currently an athlete for adidas TERREX. Showcasing a lot of their awesome gear.

Ellie Greenwood

Ellie is a British ultramarathon runner. She began her ultra career in 2008, has won countless races, and holds a ton of course records including the Western States 100 and JFK 50 Mile Run.

She is also a coach through the Sharman Ultra Endurance Coaching team. And per an iRunFar interview, she lives a “simple” life stating: “I don’t need a complicated life. I run, hike, go to the gym, pretty boring.”

What more inspiration do you need there? Cuts out all the fluff. And just does!

Scott Jurek

A legend in the trail running community. Scott Jurek is an accomplished trail runner, author, and huge vegan foodie. He also was part of the “Born To Run” adventure, traveling down to Mexico’s Copper Canyon to race against the local Tarahumara.

This book helped springboard the barefoot running movement and helped Vibram Five Fingers go mainstream. It’s definitely worth a read.

I’ve read his autobiography Eat & Run but haven’t been able to get to his 2nd book, North yet, but it’s on my list. Even though I’m nowhere close to being vegetarian or vegan, I keep the Eat & Run book handy for some of the vegan recipes he features in the book.