Tyler Hansen Profile

Tyler Hansen Profile

By Gene Deering and Joe Howell

Santa Cruz Half StartEarly one morning at the base of Cold Springs Trail, a group of twenty runners were getting organized before setting off for Jesusita Trail.  When the name Tyler Hansen was mentioned, two different people started discussing the Legend of Tyler.  “Did you know he ran from Cater Water Treatment Plant to Inspiration Point in 28 minutes?” ….. “Tyler ran from Hendry’s to Leadbetter in 14 minutes”.  These times were so unbelievable I thought I was hearing the legend of William Wallace from Braveheart- “William Wallace is seven feet tall”.  The scariest part? The Legend of Tyler is absolutely true.  See more below.

Name: Tyler Hansen
Age: 32
Hometown: Santa Barbara

Employment: Property Administrator at Investec Management Corporation and Cross Country/Track Assistant Coach at San Marcos High School.

Family: Soon to be married to Vanessa Carter.  She is the greatest joy in my life, as she loves God, the outdoors, being active and of course running!  In 2008 we decided to run a half marathon and that is when she started running and I started running again and we haven’t stopped since!  I have an amazing mother who raised me and my sister and brother here in Santa Barbara.  My childhood gave me a love for the outdoors. As a family we would go camping, riding bikes on the bike path to Goleta Beach, hiking, surfing, snow trips, etc.

Other sports, hobbies, interests, etc.: I just love being outdoors, so a few of my favorites are snowboarding, rock climbing, camping, backpacking, soccer, ultimate frisbee, disc golf, wake boarding, biking and hiking.  I also enjoy strategy games like Settlers of Catan, Carcassonne, Gang of Four and Ticket to Ride.

Favorite Food: Sushi ; SB has some great sushi restaurants!

Favorite Movie: Happy Gilmore

Favorite Spectator Sport: I’d rather be playing than watching.  However I do enjoy Rally Car Racing, which I consider a sport. Rally car drivers are incredibly talented and have to be in amazing shape to throw around a car like they do.

Cars I’d Love to be Driving: Yes, I’m a car guy and love driving my car, a 1995 BMW M3.  As for dream cars, at the top of the list would be a Porsche GT and an early 1930’s Ford Roadster.

My friends describe me as: A glass half full kind of guy who always tries to be positive, kind and loves having fun, but also determined and competitive.

If money were not a consideration, I would love to: Do more to help those in need throughout our community and the world, including going on missions to other countries in great need.  Spend more time coaching to share my joy of running with young runners.  And of course, I would love to travel and explore the world.

In the next 5 years, I hope to: Be making a difference in this world, whether it’s on a small or large scale.  We are here for a limited amount of time, so I want to make it count and use my time to help others.

Personal fact that will surprise my running friends: I stopped running from 2000 to 2008 as I severely injured my ankle (playing basketball) and ended up reinjuring it two more times in college cross country.  At that point I decided to give up running because my wellbeing was more important.

Favorite Running Shoes: Nike.  I have been wearing Nikes since high school, with only one injury from running, so if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.  My shoe of choice over the past few years is Nike Free.  For racing it is the Nike Streak LT; they are so light I barely notice they’re on.

Favorite Distance and PR (post collegiate): Half Marathon 1:13:24.  I am also pretty excited that I broke 16 minutes at Nite Moves this year, running a 15:58.

Best Race and Why: Santa Cruz Half Marathon in 2013.  For starters the course is beautiful; it is an out and back overlooking the ocean and the turnaround is a 3 to 4 mile loop on flat dirt trails of Wilder Ranch.  I was feeling great except a calf cramp from mile 2 to 4.  I ran a smart race, went out as planned, a little faster than my goal pace.  There was a lead pack of 3 that were just ahead of me.  I ran the first few miles with another guy, at around mile 4 he started dropping off, so I set my eyes on the 3 guys ahead.  I caught 3rd at around mile 8 in Wilder Ranch and could see that I was slowly closing in on 2nd but it took until mile 12 to catch him.  I was expecting for him to go with me, so I threw down a strong surge and he didn’t respond, so I finished the last mile hard. I finished under my goal time of 1:15, in a time of 1:13:24.

Worst Race and Why: These are the moments we want to forget, but as a competitor these moments are important to seize and learn from.  It was the 2012 Ojai to Ocean Marathon.  I finished in 7th place in a time of 2:49:39 only 2 minutes off my PR…. that doesn’t sound so bad, right? Well let me tell you, it was!  So I am not a high mileage runner, I topped off my training at about 65 miles a week in preparing for the marathon and felt pretty confident in my goal of going sub 2:40.  The race started and I was feeling great, holding a comfortable sub 6 minute pace through the first 6 or so miles and that is when my stomach started churning (not a good feeling with 20 miles to go).  I tried to smooth out my stride, which helped a little, but I still was miserable.  I took a pit stop at mile 14, which didn’t help much.  It wasn’t until around mile 22 that I started feeling better and was able to pick back up and finish hard.  I learned the hard way about the importance of eating a proper home cooked meal the night before a big race.  To top it off, I got a knee injury (probably from changing my stride in the race), which kept me from running for a month and a half, which felt like forever!

Average Weekly Mileage (last 12 months): 30-35 miles, with increased mileage when I’m building up to a race.

Favorite Local Race: There are so many great races locally, but this last Spring I had a blast running in the Stellar Nites Trail Race Series at Elings Park.  They call it a 5k, but I think it was a bit longer.  It had about 1,000 feet of elevation gain, which made it very challenging.  The toughest section of the race is the sand hill; you might as well be on a treadmill because it feels like you’re running in place.  I ran 3 of the 6 races, finishing 1st in each and hold the course record.

Most Memorable Running Experience: I can’t decide between two, as they have different reasons that make them memorable.  The first one was this past June; I summited Mt. Whitney with an extremely talented group of local runner.  We “hiked” up the mountaineer’s route, which is very challenging and is more like climbing then hiking at times.  It is about 5.5 miles with over 6,000 feet of elevation gain.  The weather was amazing, was in good company and immersed in the beauty of the great outdoors.  On the descent we took the main trail (10.5 miles) back and being runners, well we ran! The terrain was rocky and challenging and not to mention 97 switchbacks, which actually was my favorite section of running.  All-in-all an amazing trip that I will remember for a lifetime.

The other most memorable running experience was doing a Ragnar Relay with 11 friends.  The Ragnar is a 200 mile relay race.  Our race started in San Francisco and made its way to Calistoga.  It took our team 27 hours to finish.  I slept for about one hour in the car, as others were running.  My favorite leg of the race was my 2nd, which was 9 miles at around 3:00 in the morning.  I was running through the middle of nowhere in complete darkness with a headlamp, flashing LED lights and a reflective vest.  All I could see is the flashing LED lights of runners ahead of me.  Throughout the race we were decorating our car and keeping track of “road kills”, which are how many runners you pass during the race.   We kept a tally on the hood of our car and had over 300 road kills by the end of the race. It was so much fun doing this with my friends and by the end we all were so delirious.  Truly a unique experience and one that I would highly recommend doing.

Favorite Place to Run: Over the past year I have been running the SB front country trail and thoroughly enjoy the beauty and the challenging aspect of trail running.

Glory Days PR: I ran for San Marcos High School (where I now coach) and my PRs were 15:35 for Cross Country (3 miles), 16:00 on the Mt. SAC course (anyone who ran cross country in California knows how tough that course is). For track 4:26 in the 1,600 and 9:35 in the 3,200.

Realistic Running Goals for this Year: Partake in more local races, as I have only raced in a few and am planning to get my feet wet in ultra-running. For those of you who know about Strava, I enjoy the challenge of going after “course records”, especially on trail runs.  It is a fun way to motivate yourself to push your limits, so my goal is to set some tough to beat trail records.

Wildly Optimistic Running Goals for this year: Shhh, don’t tell anyone but I have my sights set on the Pier to Peak course record. I don’t know if it’s possible, but it makes it more fun going after the impossible.  It’s on my radar for 2014.  I recently found out that Mike Smith ran from Cater to Inspiration Point (3.5 miles with 1,600 feet of elevation gain) in 27:xx minutes in the early 90s; until hearing that I was content with running the route in just under 30 minutes.  So a few weeks back I went after it and ran a 28.44. I have some work to do but I will run it in under 28 minutes.  Come follow me on Strava and see when I accomplish this goal!

Lifetime Running Goals: Run for a lifetime.  I truly love running and I set goals along the way, so my Lifetime Running Goal is to keep setting goals throughout my life and keep challenging my ability.  To run as long as I love running and share that love with others.

Local Running Heroes & Why: When I was in high school (in the late 90s) I admired Pedro Gutierrez. He was quick and his style & form made running/racing look effortless. Watching him flying down the Nite Moves course was inspiring.  My heroes are all the people who come out to our local races to run and challenge themselves to the best of their ability.

Personal Training Tips:  Be positive, have fun and find joy in your training and racing!  If it’s not fun, don’t do it.  As Steve Prefontaine said “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.”  This starts with training; if you don’t give it your best in training you won’t achieve your best when it comes time to race.  Be smart with your training and listen to your body.  One rule I live by is making hills my friend; I try to incorporate hills in most of my training runs.

Why I Run: Because I love it, the purity of the sport is incredible. There is no better feeling then getting outside, exploring and setting your mind free from the busy world we live in.  From a competitive stand point, I am the only thing that can stop me from achieving my goals, so there are no excuses or blaming someone else. Running gives me the ability to be in the moment where nothing else matters.

I love runners who: Are out running to better themselves mentally, physically, for health, wellbeing and the love of running.  I feel like runners are some of the happiest people and tend to have a great appreciation for life.  I love watching races and seeing hundreds or thousands of people finishing a race that they trained so hard for and seeing the joy of their accomplishment.

Suggestions for local races:  It would be cool to have a mixed terrain race, with trail and road running.

Add Anything:  I have kept a low profile in the running community since I started running again in 2008 as I mainly would run solo or with the kids I coach.  I don’t race much, maybe a handful of races a year.  Over the past year I have gotten to know many local runners and am happy to be a part of this amazing running community, filled with such great people.  It seems that just about every day of the week there is a group meeting up for a run. See you all out on the roads, trails and race courses. Happy running!

SBAA Member since: 2013

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