LA fitness model skips marathon for Alaska ultramarathon

fitness model runs Alaska ultramarathon

Runner Ryan Young decided to take up running on a whim, which ultimately lead him to trying the brutal Susitna 100 in Alaska. Photo: Courtesy of Ryan Young

While Los Angeles was flooded over the weekend with runners excited to take on the Los Angeles marathon, one well-known fitness model and running enthusiast skipped the race to run in a slightly different locale: Alaska.

Ryan Young is a 36-year-old Los Angeles-based fitness model with a passion for running who has gained a huge online following for posting photos of his toned physique as well as images of him running across the globe.

A photo posted by Ryan Young (@ryyoung) on

Young, who competed recently in the NYC Marathon, decided to take his running to The Last Frontier to try to run through 100 miles of frozen wilderness for the Susitna 100, a race that ended Tuesday in Big Lake, Alaska. He did it all in an effort to help fight childhood obesity.

“For most of my adult life I was big into cycling,” Young told the Los Angeles Times. “A few years ago I was walking into a spin class and just stopped. I realized I was bored and had a flashback to when I was 15. My older sister was finishing a 50-mile race and I ran the last mile with her. I remembered that I wanted to try that, so I committed to spending just 10 minutes on a treadmill each day for a week.”

He immediately became interested in running, and before long started running marathons. Young said he continued running marathons for a few years before attempting his first ultramarathon in 2015, and that decision led him to running the Susitna 100.

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“The terrain is difficult because you’re running through Alaska in the winter where the conditions can change in a moment,” Young said of the run. “I also have to pull a sled carrying 20 pounds of survival equipment.”

A photo posted by Ryan Young (@ryyoung) on

Young set up a GoFundMe page and used the race as a vehicle to raise money for the 100 Mile Club, a charity with a simple goal: Getting kids to pledge to run 100 miles per school year. For Young, his hope was that his run might help inspire some small change in the younger generation.

“It’s about teaching children how a little devotion each day can help them achieve big goals,” he told the Times.

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