Out There in Idaho: A Profile of Cody Lind

Cody Lind grew up outside a town of seven people in Idaho – that upbringing in the outdoors has made him an incredibly successful outdoorsman and mountain runner.

By on January 20, 2022 | Comments

Cody Lind grew up in the heart of Idaho, outside of Clayton, a town of only seven people. Yes, a town with a population in the single digits! Surrounded by the Salmon-Challis and Sawtooth National Forests, as well as the Boulder Mountains, White Cloud Mountains, Lemhi Range, and Lost River Range, it’s no wonder that his upbringing has constantly brought him back to the mountains as an adult and helped shape him into the accomplished trail runner and ultrarunner he is today.

“Even though I moved away for my first year of college to Western Oregon University, I got homesick [for the mountains]. Going into the spring, I just kept looking up mountains and routes, unofficial fastest known times, and trips I wanted to do — like all the 12ers in Idaho or tagging the Lost River Range peaks.”

Cody Lind - Matterhorn Ultraks Extreme Sky Race

Cody Lind running at the 2021 Matterhorn Ultraks Extreme. Photo: Brad Carlson

Known for his early years on the Skyrunning circuit in Europe, Cody recently had a breakout year, running his first 100-mile race and placing fourth at the Western States 100. While the race runs in his family — his grandfather Bob Lind was the former Western States medical director and on the nonprofit race’s board for 20 years. His father Paul Lind has finished the race twice, and now starts it off each year with a 20-gauge shotgun — Cody wanted to see what he could do for himself in the race.

“I think everyone’s only got so many 100-mile races in them, and I wanted to challenge myself to see what I could do. I’d done well at these very technical races, and growing up in Idaho we have a lot of technical trails, but we never really have to deal with the heat. That was such a challenge.”

It was a challenge Cody met head-on and conquered ­— finishing fourth place in his first 100-mile race during a brutally hot year over the quad-busting course. While Cody is happy to be known for his racing, where his heart really remains is in the mountains of Idaho.

Cody Lind - Peak In Idaho_

Cody climbing a technical peak in Idaho. Photo: Brittany Peterson

Cody had a very rural upbringing in a part of Idaho where you have to be pretty tough to get by. He spent his early years near Clayton, the town of seven with its two-room schoolhouse.

“It was pretty remote and there were a few people who lived in the area, but we didn’t really have neighbors,” said Cody. “There were lots of animals like elk, deer, and more in the area … The summers were incredible because it is basically a never-ending playground and there’s lots of snow in the winter. This is where everything I did involved the outdoors. Hiking, exploring, playing in the river, sledding, skiing, and constantly being outside.”

Cody later moved to the “big city” of Challis, Idaho, with a few more than 1,000 people, where he began to pick up running. His dad, Paul, managed to not only commute 130 miles — one way! — to work at the Idaho National Laboratory, but was also the track and cross-country coach, which Cody competed in throughout high school, helping Challis earn a number of state titles, all while training on their old-school dirt track.

Cody Lind - Glen Coe Skyline Skyrace

Cody at the 2017 Glen Coe Skyline. Photo: Philipp Reiter

Though he now lives in Pocatello, Idaho, a few hours from his childhood home, Cody has continued his lifelong interests of fishing, hunting for elk and deer, shed hunting (looking for the antlers of deer that have been shed the previous year), collecting geodes, and tagging the peaks throughout the region.

“I really like to earn the meat I eat, so if I get one elk or deer in a year, that’s a good year. I don’t run many races in the fall because I spend my time hunting … All those ranges I went to growing up with my dad and sister … we explored a lot, and they always turned into these 10- to 12-hour adventures in the mountains.”

Around 2016, Cody met his now-girlfriend Brittany Peterson, an extremely accomplished runner in her own right. While they traveled together to and competed in the Skyrunning races in Europe for a few years, they have been able to turn that experience and success into a series of running camps that help trail runners new to technical terrain hone their skills in the mountains.

The camp is relatively new, only in its fourth year and pending for 2022, but has been a great success. Taking eight to 10 budding mountain runners to rocky trails and technical ridge linkups around the White Cloud Wilderness of Stanley, Idaho, Cody and Brittany use their years of experience to help runners gain strides in areas that aren’t widely available in the continental U.S.

Cody Lind- Shed Hunting

Cody shed hunting in Idaho. Photo: Brittany Peterson

“A lot of people here [in the United States] say that technical downhills slow them down. I love super steep technical downhill, and want to share that experience, and help people gain confidence, and kind of step outside their comfort zone. It’s so satisfying to see their progress from the beginning to the end of camp.”

Along with his dad, Paul, Cody also coaches in their company, G20 Running. A self-professed small and local company, Cody and Paul guide between 20 and 30 runners of varying abilities, many of them running on the same terrain as Cody himself. They keep a small group to ensure close communication and personalized plans.

In between coaching, shed hunting, and prepping for next year’s Western States and technical running camp, he spends his home time with Brittany and their three fluffy pals: 12-year-old Sage, a pit bull mix who is afraid of her own shadow; five-year-old Suka, a fluffy, happy husky; and brand new six-month-old Onyx, a husky just starting to get her mountain feet under her.

So, what’s next for Cody?

“Well, in light of last year’s [Western States], I’d like to figure out a little bit more about recovery. I was pretty destroyed after the last one for a while. Other than that, just running a few races in the spring, I’m still figuring that out.”

Call for Comments

  • Come say hi to Cody! Have you followed him since his earlier days of Skyrunning and on into ultrarunning?
  • What’s your favorite place in Idaho?
Cody and Brittany with dogs

Cody and Brittany with their dogs Sage, Onyx, and Suka. Photo courtesy of Cody Lind.

Alex Potter
Alex Potter is a contributor and former editor at iRunFar. Following a nearly decade-long hiatus from running after college, she has found a new love in trail running. As a photojournalist, Alex has reported throughout the Middle East and East Africa for publications like 'National Geographic,' 'The New York Times,' and 'The Washington Post.'