Patrick Caron is a young trail runner who is taking the world by storm. He seems to have limitless ability, and his love for not only the sport of trail running but life itself is inspiring and infectious. It was fun to sit down with Patrick and learn a little about what makes him tick, and what his plans are for the future.
Ultra Running and Patrick Caron
The summer after I graduated high school, I quickly began to ramp up my mileage, spending long days on the trails around where I live. I also joined dozens of group runs with nearby running clubs so I could observe and hopefully learn from those who were more experienced. I entered my first ultra that fall with very few expectations, never having raced a marathon (let alone a half-marathon!) before, and, although I certainly learned quite a few lessons along the way (and am still learning them), I was successful in completing all 50 miles. I left that day feeling proud and yearning for more, with a newfound passion that would take me all the way to where I am today.
Patrick Caron: Salomon Sponsored Athlete
James: You’re a Salomon sponsored athlete, and that’s brought some cool opportunities to race and travel to other countries. Has that experience been scary for you? As a younger athlete do you feel intimidated or encouraged by more experienced athletes on your team? Any memorable travel experiences that have stuck with you?
Patrick: Yes, it’s certainly been pretty intimidating attending some of these major international ultras! The folks at Salomon expressed there weren’t any expectations of me in these first few races, and they were just hoping for me to learn from the experiences, good or bad, but I certainly had my own expectations. Whenever I toe the starting line of a race, no matter what the competition level, I’m always trying to get the best out of myself on that day, and hoping that it’s better than everyone else's. Of course, I’m also hoping to enjoy the experience and the beauty of the trails and terrain on which I’m running, but the drive to compete is always there, too.
Patrick Caron, Move Free
Patrick: I launched a new venture this fall that I’m excited to put more energy into! It’s called Move Free. We are a hat and apparel brand with a goal of connecting our products with people who are passionate about environmental stewardship and activism. And although I’m not big on listening to music while I run, I can be found jamming out to plenty of music in between everything going on - I can always use a little extra pep in my step! I enjoy mainly happy, upbeat tunes, whether it’s pop or dance music, from artists such as Avicii, Bastille, Lauv, Halsey, and Kendrick Lamar. Also, although I just mentioned I don’t listen to much music while running, there’s nothing quite like a late night winter run with fresh snow falling while listening to Yo-Yo Ma’s Cello Suite No. 1!
Patrick Caron, Dream Races
James: What dream races are on your bucket list?
Patrick: At one point I used to keep a list, but then I realized I was adding practically every race to it! At this point, I’m still young and hopefully have plenty of years of running ahead of me, so I’m in no rush to do any one race although, of course, I’d love to participate in some of the big ones in the next few years, including Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, Western States Endurance Run, and Hardrock 100. Also, after experiencing the European racing scene this past summer, I’m eager to race more of the pinnacle ultra races they have to offer, as the sport’s on a whole other level there compared to the US. I’ve always been drawn to New Zealand too, so I’d hop on a flight there in a heartbeat! And although they aren’t races per se, closer to home there are many FKTs on New Hampshire and Vermont trails that I’d love to chase!
James: One of the things that I love so much about following you on social media are your positive messages and big smiles that seem to be a part of every post. Tell me more about why you choose to present yourself to the world like that.
Patrick: Well, thanks! There’s enough negativity out there, and I’m trying my best not to be a part of it. The trails have always been my happy place where I’m at peace with myself and the world. Running and movement bring me tremendous joy, and I hope to share this joy with others, to inspire them to pursue their own passions, whatever they may be. One of my favorite quotes, written by mountain running superstar Kilian Jornet, is, “I think I run simply because I like doing it; I enjoy every minute and don’t wonder why. I know that when I am running, my body and mind are in harmony and allow me to feel that I am free, can fly, and can express myself through all my talents.”
Also, positivity is a performance enhancer! We all have our own challenges and struggles, in races and in life, and that’s totally okay, but by acknowledging and focusing on the positives, we can shift our mindset. Races are meant to be a celebration of our training and all the hard work we’ve put in, so we deserve to have a little fun with them! Positive energy feeds upon itself, and by spreading a little here and there with a “Great job” or “Way to go,” you’ll find that it comes right back to you. Lastly, I’m incredibly thankful for the running community and everything they have given me. I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today without the support of a whole bunch of people, and as a result, I love to support other runners in their journeys, whatever their goals may be.