Julie “Stopwatch” Urbanski

Julie Urbanski

Julie Urbanski

I still can’t decide if I’m a hiker that runs or a runner that hikes…at the same time I write about it all on a blog and in books. I’ve hiked the PCT, AT, CT, and CDT (2007, 2011, 2012, 2013), all with my husband, Optimist, and have completed 20 marathons, including the Boston Marathon, two 50ks, three 50 milers, and one 100 miler. I’m also the author of two books with a third due out in 2014, “The Trail Life: How I Loved it, Hated it, and Learned from it,” and “Between a Rock and a White Blaze: Searching for Significance on the Appalachian Trail.” Growing up as a total suburbanite in Cincinnati, Ohio, where I only camped in the backyard, my first long backpacking trip was the PCT, where I started with a 40 pound pack and quickly learned why lighter was better. I’ve since become a spreadsheet-loving gear geek, who enjoys being on trails, sharing experiences, and swapping knowledge, whether I’m out for a thru-hike with my husband or in a race, chasing a faster time or maybe just the runner ahead of me.

Home: Seattle, Washington

Age: 32

Website: Urbyville

Favorite Training Grounds: I’ve been all or nothing when it comes to hiking; other than thru-hikes, I’ve never actually taken a weekend hiking trip because I run so much in the “off-season.” Since moving to Seattle in the Fall of 2013, I’ve already explored local parks like Discovery Park, and local mountains with humbling trails like Cougar, Squak, and Tiger Mountain. Seattle is surrounded by awesome hiking; I’m truly spoiled.

Current Plans: In addition to a few key ultra races this year, such as 50ks and 50 milers, my husband and I plan on hiking for a week in Colorado in the late summer. Long trail runs and day hikes in and around Seattle are my main staple for training and adventure as I learn my way around the Pacific Northwest. My husband and I co-authored a book about our 2013 CDT hike, so we plan on hosting book signings and CDT presentations over the course of the year in order to spread the word on such a unique trail.