Bio

Hola friends,

I currently attend the highly prestigious–HA!– Middlebury College and started school February 2009, supposedly graduating in February 2013.  That’s looking more and more unlikely though as I might just have to take a semester or two off from school.  I gotta take some time to do my thing, although I’m struggling to find “my thing”.  I’m majoring in Geography and Architecture, hopefully joining two disciplines that will prove to bring me great success.  Or at least a degree.  I can make it that far right?  Designing and tinkering with things just makes me happy, whether its maps or buildings.  So why not major in design and tinkeing?  Fun stuff eh?

I’m spend more time in Middlebury than at home these days and would like to call myself a resident of these parts even if the state doesn’t want to.  I’ve got a bunch’o fantastic friends up here, locals and college buddies alike, and just can’t leave.  Training buddies, mountain bikers, high schoolers, old friends, artists, and a farmer or two keep me company.  Along with the heifers, those big ol’ beasts are like family.

Hobbies

I started trotting around in sixth grade as part of my middle school cross country team.  Graduating from the little leagues, I went on to run for my high school but never really fell into the right stride, 5k’s were just too short.  Vouching to trail race after my final cross country season senior year, I took some time off and ended up forgetting about running.  Some unforeseen events, surgery and a failing digestive system, sparked me to regain interest in maintaining a more healthy lifestyle.  During the fall after graduating high school, while other soon-to-be Febs were adventuring around the globe, I spent time resting from surgery, in physical therapy, and focusing on my body.

It didn’t take me long at Middlebury to rekindle my love for running, and a semester after beginning school, I began training for my first ultramarathon, the Vermont 50.  After finishing the 50k race (31 miles) much faster than anticipating I knew an addiction was brewing.  And soon enough some local Vermont runners were coaxing me into trying out my first 50 mile race.  5 weeks after my first race, I towed the starting line of the Stone Cat 50 in MA.  Finishing that race only further solidified my addiction.  4 weeks later, I shot out to San Francisco to race in The North Face Endurance Series 50 Mile Championship on the weekend before my final exams.  Whoops, I’m hooked.  My upcoming season was packed full of races (hopefully not too many!) with the centerpiece being the Vermont 100, but a long bout of sickness has left me unable to compete.  Contracting an unkown virus for 7 weeks (4 of which I was quite sick) left me rather weak.  Now it’s time for some new goals, barefoot running the centerpiece of my plans.

Photography’s been with me for 6+ years, taking me from my fine art work to the commercial world of wedding photography.  Unfortunately, I’ve fallen out of touch with my art recently, and all photography for that matter, and am trying to get back into it.  The debt I incurred to buy too much new shiny gear really put a kink in my work.  Now I must re-find my creative soul, which hopefully won’t evade me for too much longer.  Perhaps I need to revisit film and my roots in photography if I hope to discover my mojo.  Gear is not the answer, joy is.  Once you know what brings you joy, just flow with it.

I spend quite a bit of time on my bike as well, riding lots of trails in Vermont and Pennsylvania.  I’m just beginning XC bike racing and hope to compete regularly this year.  Along with riding, I have a nasty obsession for bikes and their technology, which of course would hurt my wallet quite a bit if there was anything in it.  I love getting out and ripping singletrack uber fast, or simply tooling around with some good friends.  If it’s rideable, I like it.

I enjoy art, building things, cooking luxurious meals for my entire house, slacklining, wandering in the woods, fine wine and aged cheese, long walks on the beach, raking dirt, sledding, scoring sweet free stuff that other college kids leave behind at the end of the year, arguing about bikes, eating lots of food, trying to surf (and failing), cleaning things, washing dishes, feeding goldfish, snowboarding and learning to ski, computing on computers, and everything else that a college student loves.

See you on the trails,

Alex Russo

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