RaceMill Collegiate: Grant Crist of Boulder Tri

Wired to Compete

Hometown:  Downers Grove, IL

School:  University of Colorado-Boulder

Sport:  Triathlon

RM:  How did you find your sport of choice?

GC:  I sort of stumbled into running after deciding football was not for me, I joined cross country. I was originally a baseball player until getting injured my sophomore year of high school, which was bad because it was also during track season. So, I quit baseball shortly thereafter because I knew running was more for me, and was a taller challenge. I then was not quite good enough to run at my dream schools of CU, UT-Austin, or U of Illinois, so I met with the President of CU Triathlon, Corey Hazekamp, when I visited Boulder, he sold me on the team/sport, and the rest is history.

RM:  What drives your competitiveness?

GC:  Simply how I am wired as a person drives my competitiveness. I like to win more than almost anything else. My former coach, Wil Kupisch, used to say to "Honor your competition by running them into the ground," so that is what I always make my goal going into and during a race.

RM:  Athlete that inspires you? Why?

GC:  Being originally from the Chicago area, I am a huge Blackhawks fan. With this also being playoff season currently, we watched a playoff game in our hotel room the night before the National Championship race. I really enjoy Patrick Sharp, Corey Crawford, and Bryan Bickell. But, in terms of athletes more of my sport, I am a fan of Chris Derrick who just ran at the XC World Championships for the US, and am inspired by my own teammates, their impressive speed, work ethic, and humility.

RM:  How many years have you been competing?

GC:  I started racing cross country in middle school (circa 2005). I then continued to run track and cross country in high school and qualified for 3 state championships as I improved, along with our whole team. My former coach, Wil Kupisch, or "Kup" as he is known, was a huge factor in my development as an athlete and a man. Finally, I came to CU-Boulder to race on the CU Tri Team, so it has been 4 years here as well. Overall, this year marks a decade of competing!

RM:  Perfect weekend workout trip... where to? what do you bring? Itemize it! Tell us why it's in your car and why we need it.

GC:  I really enjoy riding up in the Mountains (Peak to Peak Highway, Carter Lake, or Big Thompson) with a stop for a sandwich, Cherry Coke, and a few awesome photos.

RM:  Group Training or do you prefer solitude? why?

GC:  I prefer a good mix. As they say, "everything in moderation." So, I try to get in 4-5 solo workouts per week, and 4-5 team workouts to keep things fresh. I prefer to have company on the longer workouts (50+mile rides, 12+ mile runs), but if not, music is an ok alternative too. As for solitude, I like to be able to run and 'free my mind' after long days, and to have a lane all to myself in the pool. Sometimes with 5-8 people in a lane it stresses me out to know there is someone constantly nipping on my heels.

RM:  Best result so far?

GC:  I highly value continued improvement. Sophomore year I was 125th at USAT in 2:09:40 equivalent, junior year 90th at USAT in 2:05:04 equivalent, and this year I was fastest yet at 70th at USAT in 2:02:53. More to come in the future.

RM:  What are you working on right now?

GC:  I am working on finishing my semester strong. I am an Environmental Engineering and Geology student, so there is lots of math to be done.

RM:  What are you training for now?

GC:  I am taking some time to just relax and have two weeks of no structured training. Following that, I am going to California to ride the coast and visit a friend, then looking at a half marathon and/or marathon mid Summer, and the Boulder Peak Triathlon.

RM:  Training secrets? Care to share?

GC:  The big secret is that "inputs=outputs." So without the right inputs, you cannot improve as you wish. Likewise, coming into races with strong aspirations is good, but no outlandish goals. Simply do not think too much and taper correctly before big races.

Also, having a huge network of people behind you like my awesome family, friends, and girlfriend, really makes things easier, more fun, and more worthwhile.

RM:  Do you have a dream race you want to create?

GC:  I would love to break my own mile PR of 4:48 this year and to run a half marathon in sub-1:16 starting at 5:50/mile and working down to 5:30/mile with a strong group of friends running in a pack right with each other. *In the photo of the team at the pool attached, you can see me holding up 6 fingers at our training camp in Albuquerque, NM in anticipation of winning our 6th consecutive national title.

Training Tracks:

Born to Run-Springsteen


Chelsea Dagger-The Fratellis

Chicago Bulls Theme Song-Allen Parsons Project

Teenage Anarchist-Against Me

Walk/Learn to Fly-Foo Fighters
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