By Amit Mehta Athlete Chats

Getting to know Trail Runner Levi Hawks

Who is Levi Hawks?

I am a 23 year old college student currently studying at Dixie State University with a hot passion for trail running. I am fairly new to the ultra marathon distance, but seeing how my brother, Hayden Hawks, run, I had to give it a try. I started running when I was in high school, but I didn’t take it seriously until I got back from my LDS Mission. Hayden, being the kind guy he is, took me in and showed me the ropes and I really haven’t stopped since and probably never will.

As Ultrarunner Hayden Hawks’ younger brother, how has he influenced your running?

Hayden’s dedication and love for the sport was my inspiration since day one. He was the one that showed me really how fun and exciting trail running could be, and by having the opportunity to travel with him to just a few of his races, I have gotten to meet some amazing people and see some even more amazing places. So you could say he made me to the runner I am today and hopefully will be in the future.

You run different distances from 10Ks to 50Ks. What’s your favorite distance to run and do you see yourself running 100 milers in the future?

Even though I’ve only ran the 50k distance, a handful of times, I’d have to say it’s my favorite running distance. The longer the better I have always said. So yes, absolutely I see myself one day running the 100 mile distance and who knows maybe even beyond that! I really want to see how far my body can go, how far I can push myself. For me the feeling I get when I complete a long race like the 50k distance is just so rewarding and amazing!

There are many well-known trail races around the world. Is there one in particular that you have your eyes set on?

Oh man! What a question! There truly are thousands of races I want to run in the future but if I had to narrow it down to just a few, I would have to say UTMB would be amazing! And by what Hayden has told me, it’s a stunning course I just have to see. Also to be worthy enough to run Western States one day would be an absolute dream! On a more local level, Wasatch 100 would be really fun. Also Ultra Caballo Blanco Copper Canyon Ultra 50 would be really fun to do someday, hopefully with Hayden!

Training and nutrition are two key elements to running. How much importance do you give to each?

Training is key! Really dedicating yourself to the sport and grinding through all the miles is what can set you apart from the competition, not to say to I am a good example for that but I do know how important it is and I am slowly learning to get through the tough times easier with some help from Hayden. Of course nutrition is a huge part of sustainable running as well. To pound day after day without some sort of mix to aid with the recovery would be crazy! I just recently within this past year have turned to a completely vegetarian diet and I can say one hundred percent that it has changed the way I run. I feel lighter and less sluggish day to day and I find that I have more energy as well. So I would have to say making the right food choices and using the right supplements aids for better training so the two really depend on each other and you really just have to find a balance to stay relevant it todays running fields.

Do you follow any specific diet or nutrition regimen?

I haven’t taken the full step to veganism just yet but I did, like I said, took my first step toward a healthier lifestyle. I started this past year with a completely vegetarian diet, not to say I didn’t eat healthy before, and I have followed religiously the dietary guidelines of a vegetarian. I have found that it has helped a lot with my running and recovery. Cutting meats and high fatty foods, I have found, has made the difference for me in my running and I urge anyone who is wanting to try something new to try it out!

Do you have a fueling strategy for your races?

I usually like to take a Unived gel about 30 minutes before the initial start of the race and I find that with one gel it gets me through about 50 minutes of the race, and then I’ll take one more gel to finish strong for the rest, or that’s what I did for my two most recent races. Obviously I take more for longer races but it seems to follow that same timing and also for longer stuff I have slowly been incorporating Unived’s Caffeine tablets for an additional “umfff” for the middle miles of a longer race. When it’s all said and done I always use Unived’s recovery mix for a better and speedier recovery afterwards.

You recently ran The Coastal Challenge 10K in Costa Rica and The Red Mountain 30K in your hometown. You finished second and first respectively, and even shaved off some time from your finish at The Red Mountain 30K last year and set a new course record. Both of these races were fueled by Unived. How have Unived’s products helped your performance? Have you noticed any specific differences since you’ve been using these products?

I have absolutely noticed a difference switching to Unived. I find that the products keep my energy levels high and my muscles from cramping as much. I have used A LOT of products, like everyone else, and I have found that Unived has consistently helped me in the same ways every race and as a Ultra runner that’s what you look for most, consistence, so it’s been awesome knowing that I have something that I know will do what it’s supposed to when I need it most. I hope for more success in the future with Unived!

What are your favorite Unived products? And why?

Unived energy gels specifically the mandarin orange flavor or anything really fruity and refreshing for my race and training full for the consistent energy. Also the Unived recovery mix for a speedy recovery for the harder miles to come, and of course one of my favorites the Unived Supergreens for the alkalizing properties it has and a healthy way to start each and every one of my days. The peak performance tablets have slowly been becoming a must have for me as well!

What does the rest of 2018 look like for Levi?

Race schedules always change day to day, but as of now, I have been slowly ramping up my race distances. So my next race will be in April (Zion 50k) which I am super stoked for. Then I’ve been thinking of doing the Salt Flats Endurance Run (50k) in May, then either Squaw Peak 50 mile in June or Speedgoat 50k, I haven’t quite decided yet. Finishing off the year I’ve been looking at The June Frow Trail Marathon in September, and last but not least I want to go back for the record on the Capstone 50k which is another race right in my backyard! This is all subject to change but that’s what it looks like for now!

Featured Photo By: Derrick Lytle

Second Photo By: Hayden Hawks

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