Reid Burrows, 27, an ultramarathoner from New Brunswick, Canada, has run all over the U.S., and for two weeks in March 2022, he ran around Globe.
“Globe is a hidden gem for the trail community,” he says. “It’s a hidden gem in Arizona.”Reid came to Arizona to train for the Canyons Endurance Run, a 100k route with a 16,000′ ascent. The event will be held in California on April 23rd. The top three finishers get into the Western States 100, an iconic 100-mile race.
“I was looking everywhere around the Phoenix and Tucson areas and saw this tiny town surrounded by mountains,” Reid says.
Globe was just the place to focus on training. No distractions. One coffee shop.
“There are trails everywhere,” says Reid. “3 kilometers in every direction I could be on a trail.”
In the first week he ran a little over 100 miles. Time on feet: 13-14 hrs. All of it in nature.
He ran out Icehouse Canyon to Kellner Canyon and took the windy climb up Sixshooter Canyon to a windmill. Four to five loops around Round Mountain at a time.
“I like how simplistic Round Mountain is; you can experience a lot in a very short period of time,” Reid says.
Another favorite was the road to Pinal Peak.
“651 is still open. It’s so nice to run on – smooth, no cars. Just beautiful,” says Reid. “You close your eyes and run on it, a nice gradual climb.”
A Good Start
Reid Burrows was born into a family of athletes. His parents are long-distance runners and world-class triathletes. He followed his older brother into swimming and then took to triathlons. Reid has raced in triathlons all over the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, and Brazil. He was on an Olympic trajectory and training with the Canadian National Team when a shoulder injury sidelined him. He stopped competing in triathlons in 2017.
A year later, to fend off boredom, he decided to run a marathon (26.2 miles) on the trails.
“I ran on trails for fun,” says Reid, “I haven’t looked back.”
In 2019 he participated in a 12-hour timed event, his first ultramarathon. Ultra-marathon, or ultra, is any running race longer than the 26.2-mile marathon (42.2k). Common ultra distances are 50 or 100 miles. Reid ran 125 miles to win the event.
“I felt amazing,” Reid recalls, “it was the first time I felt like me. Myself. The whole time.”
He raced two more 100-milers and was hooked. He ran for records, aka Fastest Known Time (FKT) and nabbed a couple in Ontario, Canada, where he currently lives.
Crew, Sponsor & Mental Health
The logistics behind a long race get complicated and analytical, explains Reid. He keeps spreadsheets on his performance. Running for 9-11 hours requires fuel, sock, or shoe changes.
Reid’s father, a business owner, and fellow long-distance runner provides financial, emotional and logistical support. He is Reid’s only crew member. For now. A good crew makes a big difference.
“With 30 seconds vs 5 minutes, you can make a lot of gains,” Reid says. You see your crew 3-5 times.”
Merrell came on board as a sponsor near the end of 2020. A Race Director in Ontario connected Reid with a representative.
“They sent 6-7 pairs of shoes and found some I liked,” Reid says.
His current trail running shoe of choice is the Moab Flight.
“I don’t feel pressure to perform,” Reid says of the sponsorship, “they see me as a human who suffers and goes through it.”
Reid has struggled with mental health and depression. Running, he says, is one way to deal with whatever life throws at him.
“When I face adversity in life, it makes me a better runner,” says Reid. “Adversity during running makes me a better human.”
Reid takes on weight training in the winter months to strengthen the large leg muscles.
“Climbing beats up the bigger muscle groups,” he says. “You need to strengthen them so they deteriorate slower.”
Reid prefers running solo, but when he does run with buddies, he never stops talking. Even during hard workouts.
”It feels like you’re just hanging out,” says Reid. “I’m always having fun.”
Maybe not always. Once he threw up 26 times during a 100-miler. He led the race for the first 160K and was passed in the last last kilometer to finish 2nd. Not once did he think of stopping.
“Once I start something I have trouble not finishing,” he says. “It’s just my mindset.”
Reid had a “sweet job” doing logistics for a concrete company. Salary and benefits and the potential to make a lot of money in a lifelong career. He was good at it. But he’s also an “against the grain kind of person“ so he quit his job and is giving himself a year to make it as a professional runner. His biggest fear is not failure; it’s regret.
“I’m basically just running,” says Reid.
When he is not running he’s resting, reading, journaling and drinking coffee.
Reid posts his thoughts and adventures on Instagram @ReidBurrows and has over 2,100 followers.
A traveler, Patti Daley came to Globe in 2016 to face the heat, follow love, and find desert treasure. She writes in many formats and records travel scraps and other musings at daleywriting.com.