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May 2021-Alex Nickelson

Q: Tell me a little bit about yourself. (Where you’re from, what you’re doing now…etc)

A: I am originally from San Paulo, Brazil. At the age of 1 ½  my parents brought me to American where I grew up in  Sturgis, South Dakota.  I have always been an on the go person. I love being outdoors

Q: How long have you been running and how did you get started?

A: I’ve ran pretty much my whole life but I started competitive running in 2014 .

Q: Would you rather run with a group or alone?

A: Alone. I like just having the time to relax and let my mind run free. I also like running alone because I can start and stop when I want to. There is no time limit or distance that I have to keep. If I want to run 20 miles one day I will. If I want to run 3 on one day I can do that. 

Q: Do you prefer roads or trails?  

A: Trails because they are harder and they are more in the hills to where you can see nature. It is also more peaceful on the trails then on the roads.

Q: What is your favorite distance or race?

A: My favorite distance is 13.1 miles. My two favorite races are the Mickelson trail and the Veterans Mini March. 

Q: How do you stay motivated when you don’t want to run?

A: I love listening to David Goggins. He has some of the most inspiring stories that just gets me motivated and be like “I can do this. Lets go.”

Q: If I didn’t run I’d ………..

A: Love riding my dirt bike indoors and outdoors. It makes me relaxed just like running. 

Q: What do you find to be the most rewarding thing about running?

A: Just finishing with a good time and having a nice cold beer. 

Q: What is your favorite running memory?

A:  My favorite run was when I got to run Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth MN on June 21, 2014. The best thing about this run was it was my first run as a married man. I married my wonderful wife on June 19, 2014. So when I finished seeing my wife at the finish line was the best feeling I think anybody could have just being married a few days.

Q: Do you have a pre-race ritual?

A:  The night before I got all of my stuff lined out to make sure I have everything that I will need for that race. The morning of a race I get up early and go through everything one more time to make sure I have it all. Make sure I arrive at the race about an hour or so early. Do a little jog around the starting line to get warmed up and stretch and then just wait for the race to begin. 

Q: What’s the most valuable lesson you have learned from running?

A: Pacing yourself and enjoying the race. I’m not expecting to come in the top 5 in all the races. If I do then that’s great, but just knowing that I got out there and did my best and knowing that I was able to make it to the finish line.  

Q: What are your running goals for the future?

A:  My goals for running are finishing a 100 mile Ultra. I would love to finish in the top 20 of all the half marathons that I am running this year.

Q: Who inspires you most?

A: There are alot of people that inspire me, but the one that means the most and has been to most if not all of my races is my lovely wife Michelle. She gets up with me at the butt crack of dawn and makes sure I have everything that I need for that race. She stays at the finish line and cheers me one. She is always there at the beginning of every race and at the finish line. She keeps me motivated

Q: What advice do you have for new runners?

A:  My best advice for new runners is to start small and work your way up to where you wanna get to. Just don’t go all out when you first start because you will get discouraged and not want to continue running. Just get comfortable with starting small and achieving those small goals. Then work up to bigger goals. With every small goal that you accomplish you get a sense of achievement and the more you do the better you feel about yourself.