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From a 17 Year Smoker to a Top Texas Trail Runner: A Chat with Thomas Orf – 2014 Texas Trail Series Ultra Men’s Champ – EB42

“If a person can do it, as long as you want to do it, you can do it.” – Thomas Orf

Thomas Orf of Texas won the Ultra Men’s division of the 2014 Texas Trail Running Series. Thomas put together three top 100 mile series finishes along with earning the series win at the final race, a 100 miler, the Brazos Bend 100.

Thomas started his endurance sports journey in 2007 after dropping a 17 year smoking habit which he no longer wanted in his family’s life. Thomas’s focus and energy transitioned to his bucket list – run a marathon. From there, the love of running began to grow. Watching the Bandwater film, Running on the Sun, triggered a deep interest in the ultra world. As so his journey into trail running began.


Thomas and his family

Enjoy my chat with Thomas that includes the following musings and useful goodies for you:

  • the transition from smoker to Boston qualifier
  • Watching the Running on the Sun film and wanting to run farther
  • the not-so-enjoyable early days of trail running
  • memories from his first trail race, the Bandera 100k. Teaser – it hurt.
  • exploring the 100 mile distance
  • one of the biggest attractions of the sport he did not expect
  • favorite local trails (Austin area)
  • favorite running books
  • a useful tip and insight on patience and why you may want to turn your race strategy upside-down
  • how Thomas wants the first 50M of a 100M race to feel like
  • 2014 Texas Trail Series memories

Simply press the Play button to stream below.

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Resources and Goodies Mentioned


Trails (Austin Area)

Reads / Films

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David –

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About the author

David Hanenburg David Hanenburg is the passionate dirt-lovin' creator of Endurance Buzz and has been playing in the endurance sports world since 2000 after knockin' the dust off of his Trek 950 hardtail thanks to a friend asking to go ride some local dirt. In 2007 he ran his first ultra on the trails and fell in love with the sport and its people. For more information on David's endurance sports journey, check out the About page.

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