Christian Gering is one of those people who conjures the phrase “wise beyond their years.” The runner and multimedia artist traces his roots to the Katishyta (San Felipe Pueblo) and the Pi’pil people of El Salvador. He grew up in the Santa Fe, New Mexico, area, where he now resides, runs, and makes art.
Janji’s new film “Cosmic Runner” features Gering as he does both. For him, running and creating are intertwined. “I can go all sacred and spiritual and intentional,” he says. “But so much of this is when I think about how my feet and my body move through this landscape, I know … that people like me have been here before.”
Now a professional trail runner and ultrarunner, Gering got an early introduction to distance running. At age 13, he ran the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in Las Vegas (now a half marathon) with his father and brother. The Running For Real podcast reports the teenager limped through mile 22 — but, after a few years spent pursuing his passion for art, he no longer struggles at those distances.
He returned to running shortly before enrolling at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado, and he hasn’t looked back. His stat sheet now includes course records at the 2019 Javelina 100k and 2018 Jemez Mountain 50 Mile.
His path to trail running’s rare air was far from linear; during high school, he trained to become an Olympic soccer player. After he got disillusioned with the bureaucracy the process involved, he joined the ROTC and considered joining the military. But it wasn’t to be — he told the American Trail Running Association he abandoned the idea and grew a mohawk.
In “Cosmic Runner,” it’s hard to imagine Gering as anything other than he is — an artist, a free-thinker, and an advocate for connecting with nature and community through running.
Through a new collaboration described in the film, Gering’s art is also featured on a line of Janji apparel. His boldly colored patterns and abstract landscapes appear on caps, shorts, singlets, and more as part of the brand’s Artist Series. Head over to Janji’s website to check out the whole collection.