David Laney on Ice Baths, Adventuring in the North Cascades, & Craft Footwear (Ep.124)

If you grow up in Portland, OR, running is practically a birthright. For David Laney, it quickly became a way of life: he was already running 5 to 6 days a week by the time he turned 10. After a successful collegiate career followed by a brief stint racing on the roads, David burst onto the trail scene in the early 2010s, just as the sport really began to professionalize. Since then, he’s built an impressive resume of race results on the strength of an unmatched dedication to training in the mountains — he still spends most of his summers living in his car, stringing together big days in Washington’s rugged North Cascades.

This past year, David left his longtime sponsor and joined a relatively new player to the trail space in Craft Sportswear. Soon after signing to run for Craft, he doubled down and took a full-time job helping them launch footwear in running shops across the US. Not too many athletes have that kind of relationship with their sponsors, so we talked to David about how it came about and what to expect out of Craft Footwear in the years to come. Along the way, we also get into his signature ice bath routine; running a self-supported 100-miler to raise money for Charity: Water; his breakout performance at UTMB in 2015; shoe surgery; and much more.

TOPICS & TIMES:

  • Growing up in Portland, OR (1:52)
  • David’s running career (5:25)
  • Why run specialty shops matter (7:13)
  • Ways to grow the sport of trail running (7:42)
  • Turning “pro” (9:21)
  • How to get sponsored: then vs. now? (10:30)
  • Adventuring in the North Cascades (11:48)
  • Truck living & mice attacks (13:29)
  • What David does when he’s not running (14:38)
  • Thoughts on coaching (16:57)
  • 2015 UTMB: highs & lows (17:57)
  • COVID & a year without races (23:04)
  • Running 100 miles for charity (23:58)
  • Craft Sportswear (26:35)
  • Creativity & shoe design (31:04)
  • A meditation on ice baths (33:00)
  • What’s next (35:09)

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