Joe Grant is a highly accomplished professional ultra-runner and all-around endurance athlete who has completed some of the endurace world’s most challenging events—several Hardrock 100s, UTMB 100, Western States 100, and Bighorn 100, as well as the Arizona Trail Race (750 miles on mountain bike), Iditarod Trail Invitational 350, and many, many more. He most recently completed the “Tour de 14ers,” a solo, self-supported and self-powered link-up of all of Colorado’s 14,000-foot mountains, by bicycle and on foot. For those of you counting, that’s climbing 57 fourteeners, accessed all by bike, in 31 days.
But Joe’s career as a professional athlete makes up only a small portion of his personal identity. He is a talented writer and photographer, as well as a voracious reader. He was born in England and grew up in France, so he has a global perspective that gives him a unique point of view. He is obviously driven to pursue challenging goals, yet he has always been focused more on the process than the end result. Joe’s athletic achievements seem to combine his desire for continued personal growth with a genuine love of wild places and a strong conservation ethic.
Because he has such a depth of knowledge on so many interesting subjects, talking with Joe solely about running would only begin to scratch the surface. So after a rundown of his recent 14er adventure, we went deep into his thoughts on adventure, endurance, and pushing one’s personal boundaries. He talked about his upbringing and how family and friends have helped shape his outlook on life, giving him the confidence to pursue an unconvential, yet extremely fulfilling lifestyle. We of course talked a lot about books, as well as goal setting, daily practices, and his thoughts on conservation.
I’m obviously biased, but I loved this conversation and really appreciate Joe taking the time to chat. I encourage you to check him out on social media (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter), and read some of his columns. If you like people who are passionate, humble, deep-thinking, and all-around interesting, you’ll enjoy getting to know Joe. Enjoy!
All photos courtesy of Joe Grant
- Joe Grant
- Joe’s Instagram, Facebook, Twitter
- Joe’s iRunFar column: From My Doorstep
- Tour de 14ers
- Hardrock 100
- Colorado 14ers – 14ers.com
- REEB Cycles
- iRunFar interview – smiling during running
- Geoff Roes
- Satish Kumar – Resurgence
- No Destination: Autobiography of a Pilgrim by Satish Kumar
- Gary Snyder
- The Abstract Wild by Jack Turner
- Shadows of the Koyukuk: An Alaskan Native’s Life Along the Riverby Sidney Huntington
- Hubert Selby Jr.
- David Gessner
- All the Wild that Remains: Edward Abbey, Wallace Stegner, and the American West by David Gessner
- The Prophet of Dry Hill: Lessons from a Life in Natureby David Gessner
- Articles about the sale of public lands: Here, here, here, and here