Dreaming Big: Insights From a 12-Year-Old Trail Runner

An essay by a young trail runner, Sky Couvreux, about his life on the trails.

By on September 21, 2022 | Comments

[Editor’s Note: This month’s Community Voices submission is by guest writer Sky Couvreux about his relationship with running. Welcome and thank you, Sky!]

Hi! My name is Sky Couvreux, I am a 12-year-old boy, and I live in Redstone, Colorado. A friend of my mom’s told us he did not know many trail running kids, and was curious if I would share a little bit about my running.

My motivation in running is to be able to get to places far out in nature, where the sun is warm, the trail is nice, and the mountains are green, white, and beautiful. Cold river dunks and high mountain passes are also high on my list. I have lived in Colorado my whole life, and have spent a lot of my childhood outdoors.

Sometimes I see a mountain peak and think, I want to run to the top of THAT mountain. So then, with my parents, we find the trails and go. I always knew that was not how every kid saw peaks around them, and knew not every parent took their kids to mountain summits.

Sky Couvreux with family on Mount Rainier

Sky Couvreux (third from the left) with family on Mount Rainier in 2020. All photos courtesy of Chloe Couvreux.

Trail running has always been a part of my life. My parents are long-distance trail runners. I was taken along on trail hikes, to mountain tops, and on stroller runs as soon as I was born. I have run, played, and scrambled on trails for as far back as I can remember.

My first real trail run on my own power alone was when I was four, on a short trail on Flagstaff Mountain in Boulder, Colorado. My parents drove two cars, dropped one off at the bottom of the hill, and we all drove to the upper trailhead. My parents, my little brother, and I bombed it down the hill, running, playing, and jumping. This was my first trail run and our first family trail run. I have never run on a track, and only once or twice on paved roads the whole way. Trail running is the way I go.

I like running more now than when I started because being a little older, I can appreciate things like the views and the mountains more, and I can go further and notice more cool landscapes, animals, and plants. I have also gotten a lot better at running since I was four, partly because I am still running and my training miles are adding up, and partly because getting older makes me more physically capable.

Sky Couvreux racing

Sky Couvreux running a trail race in Moab, Utah.

I like running as a sport and a way to get places, but I also like the people. I look up to people who have had their own visions of natural wonder, and managed to realize them, I think that is cool. The list of my heroes includes men like Kilian Jornet, Anton Krupicka, John Muir, John Wesley Powell, Edward Abbey, Tommy Caldwell, Alex Honnold, and Alex Johnson. People like these individuals inspire me to have fun and do awesome stuff outside.

When I grow up, I definitely want running to be a part of my life. I want to run ultramarathons all over the world. I don’t know where I see myself as an adult, but it will be somewhere close to trails, probably in this galaxy. I want to train so I can finish my races strong. I want to become an awesome ultrarunner and have an amazing and funtastic time on the trails! I think what would be the coolest would be to be an awesome ultrarunning grandpa. Until I’m old for that though, I want to run a bunch of races, including the Western States 100 and Hardrock 100, and the UTMB, among others.

I don’t know if running is for everyone, but I wish all kids had something they do outside and are excited about. I think anyone who plays outside understands it is important to protect our planet so we can keep enjoying it. I think if more people were running and playing outside, we would have fewer sad people in the world.

[Editor’s Note: If you’d like to know more, you can get in touch with Sky’s mom, Chloe, via email on “chloe_sfo at hotmail dot com”.]

Call for Comments

Are you a kid who likes to trail run? Or a parent of a trail-running kid? Tell us your stories in the comments!

Sky Couvreux running in France

A very young Sky Couvreux running in France.

Guest Writer
Guest Writer is a contributor to iRunFar.com.