In the video above, Trail Run­ner Magazine’s open male Trail Run­ner of the Year Max King describes how he began trail run­ning on his high school’s cross coun­try team, and stuck with it because of his pas­sion for being a part of the wilder­ness while training.

All of his hard work has def­i­nite­ly paid off. He had an impres­sive 2012 with a PRs at the Olympic Trails in the marathon and 3000-meter steeple­chase, the USATF Trail Nation­al Cham­pi­onship win in Bend, Ore­gon, and he broke the course-record at Maryland’s JFK 50-mile.