Jeshurun ​​Small: ‘I’m ready for the summer, I’m ready for the Games – go for it’

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Jeshurun ​​Small lives and trains full time in Gunnison, Colorado.
Jeshurun ​​Petit/Courtesy Photo

In 2021, Jeshurun ​​Small was a graduate student at BYU, struggling to balance organic chemistry with professional racing.

“I couldn’t balance the two. I’ll be real, I just got burned,” he said.

Trying to spread 100% effort over a career and a sport was unsustainable.



“I took a step back and thought, ‘I may not be crazy (rich), but I’m able to focus on running full time and give it my all. Let’s see how far I can go, ”recalls the Adidas Terrex athlete.

“If you can give something 100%, it’s like, why not do it?”



Since this spring, the Western State Trail Team alum has racked up impressive results, including a victory at the Desert Rats 26-miler in April and a second-place finish in 1:10:15 at 4,500 feet in the semi. -Canyonlands Marathon.

Avoiding the standard route from high school to NCAA running didn’t hinder Small’s development, but rather forged his purpose in the sport: to show why his life’s work must come from a joyous source.

“I love racing, but what someone else loves is also very important. I want someone to enjoy what they do,” he said.

“Maybe I can share that with racing.”

Path to success

As a senior at Golden High School, Small remembers being drawn to a particular West State ad because of all the snow.

“I was like, ‘oh man, I want to go because I want to ski every day!'” he laughed. Eventually he found his way to the school trail running team and never looked back. Trainer Josh Eberly still monitors his 90-mile training weeks, which he supplements with 5-10 hours of skimo and gravel biking.

It’s not out of necessity that either form of cross-training is over, though Small has admittedly been caught up in all the data a bike can provide.

“It’s really interesting to see these riders on the professional circuit; Traditionally a lot of riders think of biking as a way to just spin the legs, but if you really think of biking as a way to push watts and raise thresholds, I think that’s actually a really thing beneficial,” he said.

“It’s fun to get involved in the sports culture.” One can easily imagine Small riding a bike with the same childlike bliss as a boy traversing “The Drive” in his backyard, John Elway jersey and all, because everything he does is wrapped with a dazzling smile.

Overall, there’s nothing out of the ordinary about his training – speed on Tuesday and pace on Saturday. “A lot of the stuff is very standard, NCAA stuff,” he described.

What is non-standard, and what Small wishes to represent, is the unbridled pursuit of running, detached from one’s own self-worth and tied to an inner satisfaction.

“My goal, and what I would like to start, is how to involve more young runners? How do we describe (running) where they don’t burn out?” He asked.

“And they don’t follow a career path and, yes, they made a lot of money, but they hated it every day. I want more people to be happy in life.

The daily routine of any trade, as Small – fresh out of a session of multiple 5-minute mile reps at the time of this interview – can tell you, is not everything fun.

“Let’s be real,” he laughed, detailing his day-to-day like a Nike t-shirt.

“Wake up, train, eat, go to the gym, eat, second workout, eat, go to bed,” he continued.

Loving the process, for Small, is key.

“At the end of the day, I want good results, but at the same time, let’s show some people that it’s a good time,” he said.

“I think it’s fun to push the limits.”

“At least for me to take a few years with racing and focus on it and try to do my best and see how far I can go, I think that’s the coolest thing,” Jeshurun ​​said. Small, adidas Terrex athlete.
Petter Engdahl/Courtesy Photo

go all in

At the Mountain Games, he plans to run the 5k and 10k, two races that are slightly outside his 25-50k sweetspot.

“At the end of the day, it’s going to be an all-out effort,” he said of Vail’s runs.

“You’re going to see black spots in your vision.”

His advice for competitors: Go fast, accelerate, then finish hard.

“I think it’s knowing how to keep pushing and pushing,” he said, noting that whoever leads at the top of the first climb usually wins.

“Get loose on the descents and then those rollers climb to the finish, go as hard as you can.” He pauses.

“Just do it all.”

Small lives these words of wisdom every day, remaining happily curious to see where it will take him.

“At least for me, spending a few years racing and focusing on it and trying to do my best and seeing how far I can go, I think that’s what’s cool,” he said. he declares.

“I’m delighted to be there, I’m ready for the summer, I’m ready for the (Mountain) Games – go for it.”

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