SOURCE: Santa Fe New Mexican. Excerpts  and quotes from article written by Olivia Harlow.

christiangeringGering, a runner from San Felipe Pueblo, ran track his junior and senior years at Santa Fe Indian School and cross-country his senior year. Since then he has been chasing his dream — literally.

After High School, Gering ran at Fort Lewis in college, where he set multiple records and won the Outstanding Senior Award. Following college, Gering’s long-distance running hobby became a full-fledged passion, competing in race after race. Taking on course after course with the dream of becoming an elite athlete. However, Gering's races are not your typical 5 or 10k. Christian is an "Ultra" Runner. Now “going these distances is called ‘ultra,’ ” he said. “We’ve become so far removed from that — from everyday people going these distances. … I want to use ultra marathons to show we are capable of it. It never went away. It’s reconnecting, reigniting to this lifeway.”

In May, Gering competed in his first 50-mile run at the Jemez Mountain Trail race. Since then, he competed in the Speedgoat 50K in Utah — “one of the toughest 50Ks in America” — and finished in 10th place. In September, he won a 100-kilometer trail race at Lake Tahoe. 

That race also made one of Christian's goals a reality. Last year, Gering tried getting into the Salomon brand Ultra Academy in Hong Kong, but never heard back after submitting an application. This year, after his win at the Tahoe 100K — his first 100-kilometer distance — he qualified to attend the Academy in November. He finished in 9 hours, 48 minutes, and 24 seconds. Gering will depart for the running camp Nov. 25 and return Dec. 6.

This year’s academy, Gering explained, hosts 10 participants from around the world for a weeklong intensive training. The program will include running, health and business tips — including how to manage social media accounts and build a brand — as well as give them the chance to meet with Salomon executives and provide feedback on newer gear.

During the week abroad, Gering said the runners will compete in the Asian Skyrunner Championship Race in Lantau on Dec. 2. Gering said he thinks the race could determine which students Salomon will add to its international team, and he expects some degree of sponsorship or ambassador opportunity following the event.

The accomplishment, he says, is a first step in achieving potential sponsorship. But more importantly, it is also a way to inspire his local native community.

“I don’t see a large population of people out there [on the trails] who look like me,” said Gering, 27, his raven black hair pulled taut into a ponytail. “I hope it shows to Native people and to Pueblo people that anyone can run.”

A couple of months ago to help promote that message, Gering competed in and won the locally famed Big Tesuque Trail Run, which raises money for Wings of America — a nonprofit that promotes American Indian runners. Through all his hard work, Gering said he hopes other Natives — specifically youth — will realize that they can dream big, just as he has.

“You keep putting in hard work, and you’ll find your way there,” he said.

NOTE:   The original article speaks to Christian's diet and relationship to his native ways. For more information, you can read the original article here:





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