“When I finished my first 50 miler, which was my first ultra, I cried like a baby. It was like a religious experience.” –Kevin Bartow
If we had to describe Orange Mud Ambassador Kevin Bartow in one word we’d probably use “passionate.” Kevin is extremely passionate about being the best version of himself he can be. As a dedicated husband, father and personal trainer, it’s safe to say that by living his own life to the fullest he is helping to make the lives of the people around him better every day.
In high school Kevin was a self-described “orchestra dweeb.” As one of the smaller kids he often felt overlooked in team sports. One day his buddy Jeff suggested he join the cross country team. For Jeff, running made him feel like he could do anything. That stuck with Kevin and he decided to join the team! Today, Kevin refers to his participation in the sport of running as his “therapy” and he’s been taking it more seriously lately.
In 2014 Kevin conquered the Can Lake 50 mile endurance run, his first 50-miler! Most people would probably say that running their first 50 mile race is their greatest running achievement to date. But, Kevin isn’t most people. Kevin really loves helping other people achieve their goals; he makes his living doing just that. In fact, one of Kevin’s proudest moments in running was when he helped his wife, Gia, complete her first half marathon.
Kevin credits his success in running to his alternative training style. As a personal trainer he strength trains “like an animal.” Kevin finds solace in his unconventional training; he trains using kettle bells, slosh pipes, sledgehammers and huge tires. While training for ultra-marathons certainly requires logging lots of miles, Kevin believes that “turning your body into a tank” can’t hurt.
Kevin is an athlete through and through, but his greatest accomplishments have nothing to do with running. Kevin’s number one passion is his family. Being a husband and father drives him to be a better person. Living a healthy lifestyle is a tool he uses to set a great example for his kids!
The way Kevin found out about Orange Mud is actually a very cool story. His friend (also an Orange Mud ambassador) Ray gave Kevin his first Hydraquiver vest and it was love at first wear. The cool part is that Kevin has since gifted that same Hydraquiver to another runner in need! Kevin also loves the Orange Mud super soft everyday shirt; “it’s like being hugged by puppies.” Sounds pretty amazing to us!
Kevin has been running more relaxed recently since switching to running by feel and ditching his Garmin. He’s got some big goals on the horizon in 2016 including the C&O Canal 100 mile race in Maryland.
If you’re looking for some fitness inspiration follow Kevin on Instagram at @exuberantrunning and on Facebook at “Salty Anchor Fitness.”