Alex Nichols on Coaching College Cross Country, Pikes Peak Streaking, & Beekeeping (Ep.132)

Relying on a bunch of college kids to crew you through the Western States 100 might sound misguided, but for trail and ultra runner, Alex Nichols, it’s an important part of team building. After being named the head coach of Colorado College’s cross country program last year, Alex has made a habit of inviting some of his athletes out to support his own racing endeavors. As it turns out, those same ‘college kids’ helped him secure an 8th-place finish at Western States back in June. So, we talked to Alex about the intersection between coaching full-time at his alma mater and running trails professionally. Along the way, we detour into his four-year streak of summiting Pikes Peak every month; John Steinbeck; the joys of beekeeping; and a whole lot more.


  • Running 100 miles on a 1.1 mile loop (1:41)
  • Western States 100 (6:04)
  • Alex’s Background (11:22)
  • Colorado College’s block schedule (15:27)
  • Two English majors talking (17:03)
  • Alex’s collegiate running career (19:30)
  • “Indulgence: 1000 Miles Under the Colorado Sky” (21:11)
  • The professionalization of trail running (27:02)
  • Self-coaching (30:46)
  • Alex’s Pikes Peak streak (35:27)
  • Coaching cross country at Colorado College (39:43)
  • Beekeeping (47:40)