Trail Running will Save the World
Trail Running has the power to change the world for the better. Dylan Bowman lives on his passion with such belief. The activities that Dylan, a man who has been running as the worldclass trail runner for many years, is carrying out as part of his mission for the future are filled with many smiles and tears.
Dylan Bowman, a trail runner who became Goldwin athlete in October 2022, lives with his newborn son Rose, his wife Harmony, and two dogs in their brand-new home in Marin County, a hilly area rich in nature located at about 30-minute drive away from downtown San Francisco, California. Dylan temporarily slowed down his athletic career last year when his son was born, and now puts his family first. But one of the reasons he moved to Marlin County is because it is an ideal place to focus on his training.
"Marin County is a great place to train. The trailhead is less than five minutes from my house, so I can enjoy many variations of trails from there and do some hardcore long-distance training as well. The access to the city is easy and has well-developed running community and culture. I think it's the best environment in the world for trail runners!"
The appeal of this runner, Dylan Bowman, is not limited to him being an amazing athlete. He is also a "media personality" who spreads the magic of trail running from every aspect. Dylan established a company, "FREETRAIL", with friends who share the passion and love for trail running in the aim of passing on the beauty of trail running to the next generation using social media to share their knowledge and philosophy. He also communicates with general runners in person as a race director. The "FREETRAIL" sticker that he made imprints his passion toward trail running in a straightforward manner. “Trail Running Will Save The World”
The appeal of trail running
"I think trail running is a sport that strengthens our senses of freedom and peace. When you go up the mountain as the sun rises and are alone at the top, the moment you think that no one in the world knows you are there, there is real freedom. I feel that it’s a powerful and special thing that enables access to such a life experience. Anyone can try it with just a few tools and can feel the benefits through continuous training. You of course compete with others in races. But most of the time in my case, I become close friends with my competitors who I competed with. It's just easy to imagine the commitment required to compete in the race and the hard work all runners have put in. You for sure want to win the race, but one of the charms of trail running is probably the respect you have for your competitors."
Commitment to products
Another project Dylan focuses on is product development, so that trail runners can overcome their own challenges and gain life experiences that are special. His relationship with his sponsoring brands doesn’t end at being an athlete muse and extends to being a "partner" who mutually support each other to develop and promote trail running culture. "Our partnership with Goldwin has just begun, but we already had meetings in Tokyo and Toyama, where I had a very exciting experience. I was truly inspired by their attention to detail in their product development process. I felt Japan in way they approached development, which was very close to the way I personally aim to approach work, and organically felt familiar." "Their attention to detail in design is difficult to put in words, so we need people to actually experience it. But I believe 'FREETRAIL' can bring Goldwin closer to the core culture and community of trail running, which tells me that this will be a great partnership. "For me, a good product is one that feels like an extension of my body, a tool that allows me to run freely without thinking about it when I hit the trail. Because what makes trail running a special sport is the sense of freedom inherent in this activity."
My mission is to express
On March 27, 2023, Dylan was at a rental warehouse in the suburbs of Portland. He was there to prepare and load materials for the trail running race, "GORGE WATERFALLS," scheduled to start from the 31st. "GORGE WATERFALLS" is a race hosted by "DAYBREAK RACING", an organization that curates trail running races mainly in Oregon, which "FREETRAIL" is supporting the event as the race director. Only a small number of people gathered at the warehouse to load all the materials necessary for the race into rental trucks, and the next day they are marking the course for the 100K race. 150 volunteers will cooperate to provide the best racing environment during the race for a total of just under 1,200 participating runners. Dylan sometimes runs with participants with his smartphone and gimbal, and sometimes welcomes them at the goal with a microphone. He just does his best to support the athletes as a race director.
"I truly think I was so lucky, in so many ways, to live my dreams in a truly fortunate environment in the ten and a half years of my life as a professional trail runner. And I've had incredibly powerful life experiences as I travel to compete in races all over the world. It was a life of a dream for me, but now, I want to share my experiences with many people through "FREETRAIL". I really think it's my mission to promote this great sport of trail running. I want to spread the words about all the benefits we gain, both physically and mentally, from challenging ourselves in nature."
Trail Running will save the world
"Connecting with the outdoors as well as the community. I think these two connections are a fundamental human need. And I think trail running facilitates these two connections for everyone. Getting into nature and challenging ourselves, thinking on our own and pushing the limit to prove ourselves that we have the ability to overcome difficulties. When we connect with others who tell us about their own challenges, we understand their stories then realize that there are talents and skills that we don't know yet." "Trail running inspires people, gives us friendships, and gives us a sense of social connection and energy that are important to humans. And those are the two connections I found in this sport."
Supporting others leads to our own motivation
Dylan saw off competitors at the starting line during the race in all categories. He also waited for athletes on the trail, encouraged them, and sometimes ran with them as he live-streamed the scene. Not only that, but he also welcomed every participants at the goal gate with a microphone in one hand to liven up the site and congratulate the athletes who returned to the goal. His footwork as a race director with extraordinary vitality at the event represented his passion, commitment to his mission, and humanity that must have been cultivated through trail running, which made his words more convincing than what’s seen on interviews and social media. We couldn’t help but to ask him about his vision as an athlete.
"In the begging of this year, I’m competing at my favorite place, Japan, in the "ULTRA-TRAIL Mt. FUJI" 70k race "KAI". I
want good results there to fire up myself for optimizing my condition towards the "HARDROCK 100 ENDURANCE RUN" in
summer. "HARDROCK 100 ENDURANCE RUN" is a special race very difficult even to qualify and is known as a legendary race
that attracts top athletes from all over the world. I got lucky to win it by breaking the course record in 2021, so in
that sense, it is a special race for me personally.'
"I've been an athlete for many years. But when I get involved in trail running as a race director, I feel a different kind of joy. I feel a strong responsibility to ensure that the participants here have a great experience from a management point of view. Seeing participants taking on their challenges makes me very excited for my official return to competitions, which encourages me to push and challenge myself again. That’s why I'm pretty motivated now!" "Right now, being an athlete is not my only motivation, and I believe more of my passion will be devoted into promoting the appeal of trail running in the future. But I still have enough ability to compete at the top of the world again, and as an athlete, I'm interested in this unique realization I can only gain by pushing hard in the competition."
Born in Reno, Nevada in 1986, grew up in Boulder, Colorado.
Played lacrosse from childhood until graduating university. After retiring from lacrosse, stepped into full marathons and competed in trail running races. Winning major races in North America, Asia, Europe and Oceania, he has been actively racing worldwide for more than a decade.
In addition to racing, Bowman has made a successful career in the trail running industry. He founded FREETRAIL, a media and a company dedicated to sharing the passion for trail running with the next generation. Bowman hosts the Freetrail podcast, where he interviews a wide cohort of guests, covering topics from trail running, ultrarunning, sports, business, and the outdoor industry itself.
He has entered a partnership with Goldwin since 2022.
1st Place: Ultra-Trail Australia 100k in 2015
1st Place: Tarawera Ultramarathon 100k in 2015
1st Place: Ultra-Trail Mount Fuji in 2016
1st Place: 100 Miles of Istria in 2017
7th Place: UTMB in 2017
1st Place: Ultra-Trail Mount Fuji in 2018
1st Place: UTWT Tarawera Ultramarathon in 2018
2nd Place: Hardrock 100mile in 2021