Dax Ross

Ultra Trail Runner

Hometown: Encinitas, California 

Website: Dirty Running

I started running about eight years ago, because I figured it was a better habit than smoking a pack of cigarettes a day. My girlfriend (now wife) ran for the UCSD track team and I would try to convince her that it was completely pointless to run longer than 15 minutes, and that any more than that was detrimental to my health. She now crews me at races like San Diego 100, and rolls her eyes when I tell her that I want to leave for a week to go run through the mountains.

I live in San Diego and do my best to recruit other local runners to challenge themselves on our local trails. A few years ago, I mapped out a 26 mile loop encompassing the trails surrounding my neighborhood and now organize a challenging grassroots trail marathon every year. I also organize a popular "No Puking on the Trail" New Year's Day run that attracts some of the best trail runners in Southern California as well as kids, dogs, and even some roadies. Nobody has puked, yet.

When I'm not running trails, I'm probably at a soccer game, archery lesson, symphony, skate park, surf camp, or ballet performance, proudly watching my kids. I enjoy writing about running, trail therapy, my family, and documenting S!*t Ultrarunners Say at www.dirtyrunning.com.

Real job: I try to avoid anything that forces me to wear a tie, so I spend a lot of time consulting from home, mostly online marketing, content creation, and lead generation.

Favorite beer: At the moment it is Pizza Port Chronic Ale, which they just started putting in cans. My all-time favorite is Ballast Point Sculpin IPA.

Guilty pleasure: Frilly, complicated drinks from Starbucks, the kind you have to order under your breath, so the other people in line don't hear you. Also, fantasy sports.

Other hobbies: I love hiking with my family. I also attempt to play guitar, but I really don't have much time for a lot of hobbies because if I'm not running or going to the mountains, I'm with my wife and three kids (and supporting their hobbies).

Favorite thing about VFuel: The taste. I also appreciate that the company was founded by endurance athletes who formulated the product for the unique recovery needs of those who push their own endurance limits.

Favorite recovery meal: I'd have to go with my wife's cooking. She's Iranian and makes some delicious Persian meals. There's this one that is a thick stew made with tomatoes, eggplant and beef chuck called Khoresh Bademjan served over basmati rice. That dish brings me back from the dead.

Favorite trail running memory: There was this day on the John Muir Trail that really sticks out for me. It was day 5 of our trip and we were more than halfway done, the legs and lungs felt good, and after a tough morning we hit a beautiful section along the San Joaquin River and climbed up alongside an amazing series of waterfalls that led to Evolution Meadow and eventually to the absolutely gorgeous Evolution Lake. This was my favorite camp of the trip, and we arrived in time to soak in the lake, wash out our nasty clothes, and eat dinner as the sun set, bouncing its warm glow on the white granite mountains that surrounded the lake. Sitting there, eating dinner after a 26 mile day on the John Muir Trail and watching the sun go down has to be one of my favorite memories.

2014 running plans:
This is a strange year for me. My wife is in school, so I don't have a lot of races on the schedule. I am planning on doing the Leona Divide 50K, pacing at the Tahoe 100, taking a running trip to Southern Utah and running parts of Zion and Bryce, and possibly completing the Wonderland Trail later in the year.

Past running highlights:

  • John Muir Trail Through-Hike in 8 days
  • Joshua Tree Traverse
  • Zion Traverse
  • 8,000 Meter Challenge
  • Cuyamaca 100K
  • Canadian Death Race
  • Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim