Monday, January 15th, 2018
Basecamp Bellingham: Jeremy Wolf – Ultrarunner
Todd Elsworth

In our Basecamp Bellingham series, we are sharing stories about talented local athletes who choose to call Bellingham “Home”.

Jeremy Wolf has a professional hobby known as ultrarunning. (For those who don’t know, ultrarunning is longer than traditional marathons, with lengths that go farther than 26 miles.) He knows how to take life seriously and approaches running intently. His main drive is to balance his life as a father, a husband, and a professional ultrarunner and manage a full-time job. The balance he strives for is that none of his priorities are jeopardized, period.

Photo by Brandon Sawaya.

“I appreciate balancing being a dad and working full time, and competing at a high level in a sport,” he said. “I take pride in being able to balance all the things in my life.”

He has lived in Bellingham for about two years and was born in Great Falls, Montana. As their family has become acclimated to the area, they have begun to fall in love with Bellingham and all that is has to offer. His family relocated to Bellingham because of a job offer that he had.

Currently, you can find the family climbing around at Vital Gym, hitting up the Whatcom Falls Park Pump Track or walking their new dog around Lake Padden.

The trails by Arroyo Park offer beautiful scenery all year-round. Photo by Brandon Sawaya.

He’s also quite fond of Historic Fairhaven, where there’s a cool, older downtown feel. And you can catch him and his family at Aslan Brewing in downtown Bellingham. “It’s good local food with good beer to wash it down with too,” he said. His favorite is the flagship beer, Batch 15 IPA.

“I love Bellingham,” Jeremy said. “The access to trails around here is phenomenal.”

Photo by Brandon Sawaya.

Fun Fact: Jeremy and his close friend Jason Schlarb launched Schlarb-Wolf Productions, as an adventure film company. They had the opportunity to explore some incredible trails while they were traveling, so they documented it. They even had their “Around Patagonia” film screened at some film festivals too, check out his blog for the details.

Photo by Brandon Sawaya.

As a professional ultrarunner, Jeremy is sponsored by a handful of respected brands like Hoka One One, Ultimate Direction and Julbo Eyewear. (This is a neat Bellingham piece produced by Hoka One One: Bellingham, Washington Top Trails.)  As an ambassador, he endorses their products with a personal touch. “I am honored to represent these companies whose products I firmly believe in and use daily,” he said.  “Their support allows me to pursue my passion for running amazing trails around the world.”

Check out their amazing video featuring Jeremy and trails around Bellingham, here. 

He has been running ultras since 2013. His first race was the Spokane River 50K, where he won that race. And he’s been hooked ever since. He believes that most of the ultra-stuff takes more mental strength rather than physical. “If you can just get out of your head that it’s a long run, and you just keep fueling and stay hydrated, put in decent training and you pace yourself, you’ll do just fine,” he said.

Photo by Brandon Sawaya.

He loves the Bellingham area so much because he has access to many trails that he can train on all around Whatcom County. We have access to technical trails, runnable trails and everything in between. About 90% of his training is done out of his back door, and through the trails around Lake Padden and Galbraith Mountain.

Another beautiful spot near the Chuckanuts is around Woodstock Farm, where trails are surrounded by views of the San Juan Islands. Photo by Brandon Sawaya.

“I like the outdoor vibe of Bellingham. The unique thing here is that it has a slice of mountain outdoor enthusiast with the mountain biking scene and the paddling scene,” he said. “I think it’s cool to see a blending of all of these outdoor pursuits.”

He is so excited to have lived in Bellingham for about two years, and he is eager to explore and get lost in more trails around this area.

Photo by Brandon Sawaya.

You can follow Wolfe on Twitter @jeremywolfRun and Instagram @jeremywolfrun, and also his site here.


Q&A with ultrarunner Jeremy Wolf

What do you take with you on your runs/rides?
iPhone, for pictures and the occasional podcast on a really long run.  The Trailforks map also comes in handy navigating the maze on Galbraith.

How long have you been in this sport?
I’ve been a runner since the mile in my 4th-grade gym class.  I took running seriously through college where I ran for Montana State University.

Why do you love Bellingham?
I dig the college town vibe, quaintness of Fairhaven, access to trails, and the giant mountains to the east.

Where do you train in Bellingham?
Out the back door, I can run to trails on Galbraith, Lake Padden, and Chuckanuts.

Where is your favorite place to eat in Bellingham, why?
Aslan, one stop for great food and beer.

What superpower would you have if you could have any? 
Flying. The main reason why I trail run is to get to the mountaintop view.  If I could fly, the views would be non stop!

What are your favorite activities to do in Bellingham?
Climbing with my daughter at Vital and riding our bikes at the Whatcom Falls pump track.  Midnight kayaking through the bioluminescence in Chuckanut Bay is amazing too.

Where is your favorite place to play in Bellingham/Whatcom county?
Mt. Baker Ski Area

Three things we wouldn’t know about you:

  • When I was 12 I wrote a letter to the editor of Sports Illustrated for kids that got published.  It was about how I was a goalie on a winless hockey team but actually enjoyed it because I got to face so many shots.
  • I co-founded Schlrab-Wolf Productions, a film company that’s produced trail running videos shot in the Italian Dolomites, Patagonia, and New Zealand.
  • I directed the Mountain Running Film Festival and co-founded the trail running nonprofit Montana Trail Crew in Missoula, MT.

To learn more about running in the Bellingham region, see our running page.
For an updated list of local running events and equipment see Basecampbellingham.org.

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About the Author:

As the co-Executive Director of Recreation Northwest and the founder of the Bellingham Traverse, Todd promotes outdoor recreation and brings people together to enjoy, preserve and improve the places where we play. He enjoys biking, hiking, paddling, skiing and will try anything twice. Get connected at RecreationNorthwest.org.