Photo: TNF Endurance Challenge

Every time I go back to New York City I grow to enjoy it a bit more.  On my first real trip over in adulthood, I felt like a fish out of water.  Piggybacking on a popular ski town insult denoting ineptitude on the mountain, my boss labeled me an “urban gaper” due to my palpable discomfort in the Big Apple.  Now I’ve got the subway lines memorized, can keep up with the freakish walking speed of the locals, and can genuinely enjoy the sheer insanity that makes this city so special.  Plus, the Hypoxico office is in the middle of Manhattan and my visits are always highly productive and stimulating from a professional perspective.  

Sean O’Brien 50

5 February 2014 2 Comments Category: Uncategorized

Photo: Jayme Burtis. Early miles with Josh Arthur

It’s no secret that I love SoCal.  My streak of racing successes in the area is as mysterious to me as it is to anyone else.  I’m fully aware that my good fortune will run out at some point, but I’m sure it won’t deter me from continuing to return to race on the beautiful trails that exist in the greater Los Angeles area.

North Face 50

11 December 2013 8 Comments Category: Uncategorized

Photo: Galen Burrell

It was a dark but clear and cold morning that greeted us in the Marin Headlands on Saturday.  Given last year’s weather conditions and the fluctuating forecast in the days leading up to this year’s edition, we all agreed that it was pretty much a perfect day for the annual bloodbath that is The North Face 50 Mile Championship.  Though hype was at an all time high, the pace felt downright civilized for the first several miles.  Predictably, Cam Clayton went off the front with a long string of us chasing from a safe distance in the pre-dawn darkness.  I ran with Mike Wolfe and Jorge Maravilla up the serpentining Heather Cutoff Trail until we caught the chase group halfway up the longest climb of the day.


30 April 2013 8 Comments Category: Uncategorized

Since the last time I posted, life has been a whirlwind.  I mean that in the best way possible.  My time in Aspen came to a close the way it started – with a raucous party and a glaring absence of moderation.  With a heavy heart and an intense enthusiasm, I travelled to New York City to begin the next chapter of my professional career with Hypoxico Altitude Training Systems.  The three day training that ensued was a pleasure on all fronts.  The employees were eager to teach and accommodated my ignorance with patience and competence.  For them, it was probably an exercise in endurance but, for me, it was stimulating and inspiring.  I left with a renewed fervor to work and am very excited to be associated with such a pioneering and innovative company.

I’ve been a Colorado boy my entire life.  One year ago, if you would have told me I would ever leave Aspen, I would have said you were crazy.  If you told me I would leave to chase a girl to a major metropolitan area, I would have laughed in your face.  It’s amazing how quickly things can change.

I’m moving to the Bay Area next month, not only to chase girl, but also to chase a dream.  For the last three years I’ve been a proud employee of The Little Nell Hotel and the Aspen Skiing Company.  The opportunities, experiences, and friendships I’ve gained during my tenure are truly invaluable and will survive long after my final day at the office.  Last Thursday I quit my job in order to focus full time on running.  I realize I only have one chance to make this work, so I intend to take full advantage of the opportunity.