'Where Are They Now' Featuring Bobby Reyes Of Dacula HS

What a trio: (L-R) Sean Reilly, Bobby Reyes and Ryley Miller

MileSplit Georgia reconnected with former multiple state champion Bobby Reyes from Dacula HS

1- How many state titles did you win in GA (what event and years) and other honors did you earn?

High School:
2002 5A cross country state champion
2002 Region 5A Region 8 cross country champion
2002 Gwinnett County cross country champion
2003 Region 5A Region 8 1,600 & 3,200 champion
2003 Gwinnett County 1,600 & 3,200 champion
All-Metro Team 2001, 2002
All-County Team 2001, 2002

2005 NJCAA Indoor Mile National Champion
2005 NJCAA DMR National Champions
2005 Half-Marathon Team Champions
2006 Half-Marathon Team Champions

2010 USATF Club Track & Field 10,000 National Champion (meet record - 29:51)

2- Where did you run in college and how did you do there?

I competed at Butler Community College from 2003-2005. At Butler I claimed one individual national title - the indoor mile in 2005, ran the mile leg of our national champion Distance Medley Relay (DMR) at the same meet, and tallied five All-American honors spanning from the indoor mile to the half-marathon. During this time, I ran PRs of 4:13 in the mile, 8:36 in the 3,000, 15:10 in the 5k,24:53 in the 8k, and 1:11:42 in the half-marathon.

3- Tell us about your journey from post graduation to where you are now at Colorado MileSplit.

After Butler I never finished out my collegiate eligibility (about two years worth). I continued to train - for marathons - though I never hit a good one. I ran Houston, Atlanta, and Boston before taking a nose-dive back down in distance. My wife (Liz) and I married after she finished her degree at Kansas State in 2008, and we moved out to Colorado in 2009

I transferred to the University if Colorado - Boulder, but did not compete for the Buffs. At CU, I pursued a degree in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing, and a minor in Philosophy.

It was in Boulder where everything began to fall into place. I trained with a post-collegiate group then-known as the Boulder Express. It was a group of a few dozen semi-elite athletes, and a few elite marathoners. We were trained by former marathon world-record holder Steve Jones (Jonesy).

It was here that I learned how to run without a watch (Jonesy was notorious for taking away watches when athletes were trying to hit specific paces - the goal was always to run based on perceived effort.) But it worked -- after a few months of training with the Boulder Express I had the race of my life.

I ran a 29:51 10,000 on the track at the 2010 USATF Club Track and Field Championships in San Francisco. At the time of the race I still hadn't broken 15 for a 5k, but I split 14:52/14:59. I believe the time still stands as a meet record.

The performance opened quite a few doors in terms of training partners, as well as sponsorship. I got the opportunity to compete for an Adidas-sponsored team (BRC-Adidas) while sharing the miles around Boulder with a handful of elite marathoners and distance runners like Jason Hartmann, Patrick Rizzo, and Tyler McCandless, etc.

The exposure to such talents led to great stories -- ones that would eventually launch my career as a sports writer. In 2013 I was experiencing a frequent achilles injury (likely to the fact that I was training over my head.)

I took periods of time off, and used my free time to utilize my creativity - I pitched a story to the (former) senior editor of from Competitor Magazine, Mario Fraioli (now known as "PodiumRunner") about Fernando Cabada's comeback. The story was published, and eventually got picked up by ESPN.

From there, the door was open. I wrote more features about athletes I trained with, or was acquaintances with in some way - Tyler McCandless, Alisha Williams, Jonesy, Andy Wacker, etc. I had stories published in a variety of local media outlets like Colorado Runner, RunColo.com, as well as Competitor Magazine, and letsrun.com.

The momentum eventually led me deep into the Colorado mountains, where I took a job as a Sports Editor for the Gunnison Times in Gunnison. An additional perk with relocating to Gunnison was the hundreds of miles worth of trails I could run on - some of the most beautiful in Colorado.

Gunnison was also home to D2 powerhouse Western State -- A school I once considered competing for after Butler (at the time the isolation and altitude were a bit to much for me…) But in 2014, nearing 30, I made a home in Gunnison, and finally dove into what I always envisioned would be my career.

As the Sports Editor I learned the subtle art of taking photos, and creating videos, in addition to honing in on my preferred craft - writing. I covered everything from youth gymnastics to collegiate football (for you NFL fans - I covered the bulk of Austin Ekeler's (now the No. 1 running back for the LA Chargers) college career from the sidelines of the Mountaineer Bowl in Gunnison, and I even wrote a handful of features on him…)

While my career as a journalist was on the rise, my athletic pursuits were in decline. My achilles continued to nag me, slicing and dicing any aggressive training I attempted. But I could still run - just slower. So, in a brash moment I decided to run my first - and presumably last - ultra-marathon. I purposefully undertrained so I could get to the starting line healthy, but that would come back to haunt me, because this ultra was a beast.

It was the first edition of the Grand Traverse - a 40-mile trek through Colorado's high country from Crested Butte to Aspen. Add that most of the terrain was on technical, single-track trail and well above 10,000 feet. Long story short, I survived the race, bloody knees and all (I fell a few times in dizzier moments at the higher elevations, and even once hallucinated about seeing a bear - but that might not have been a hallucination…) The Grand Traverse remains the last race I've competed in. Side note: I still run - but for reasons more involving my mind than my body. 

After three-and-a-half years as the Sports Editor at the Gunnison Times, my wife and I moved back to the Denver area in 2017 were I took a position at the Aurora Sentinel as a Desk Editor. Working at a desk left me quite antsy, however, and I yearned to get back out, writing and covering events.

Enter: MileSplit.

I spent the fall of 2017 covering cross country meets for MileSplit Colorado as a contractor on weekends. Covering high school cross country on Saturday mornings was a breath of fresh air. It was back to my roots, back in stride, just on the other side of the pen/lens. Just as I was getting my feet wet at the Sentinel, MileSplit Colorado's longtime editor Alan Versaw was stepping down. So, in January of 2018 I stepped into the role I had been eyeing for quite some time (I was an avid FloTrack fan as far back as 2005, back when they had a college kid doing a messy back-kick at the intro to "Kick of the Week.")

As a former competitive athlete, covering the sport I spent so many years competing in is quite the dream. It's blending two of my biggest passions - story-telling and running. Since then, I've been the Editor of MileSplit Colorado, which has exposed me to some incredible athletes and performances. And for any aspiring runner/writer/journalists out there - yes, covering cross country and track and field is as awesome as you'd think. 

5- Anyone you'd like to thank along the way?

I've been thanking my high school coach - Andy Christie (formally of Dacula, now at Mill Creek) - every chance I get, and this is one. He introduced me to so many things. He taught me to be a student of the sport, which blossomed into success on and off the track - as an athlete, and as journalist. Additionally, he introduced me to John L. Parker's "Once A Runner" when I was 15. The book is still my favorite book about running, but perhaps what really helped was that it opened a massive door of curiosity for other literature.

I've also got to give shoutout to my college coach at Butler - Kirk Hunter (now at Wichita State), who taught me how to really get up on my toes and kick at the end of a race (I'm traditionally a time-trialist), and Jonesy, who taught me let go, and flow. All of my best races always came when I wasn't thinking - I was just running. This is something that really applies to writing, and art - Don't think, Be. 

Also, a shoutout to the cross country/track & field community out here in Colorado, who I'm missing during these Quarantine Times - stay safe, and hopefully we'll be back on track in the coming months… And a final shoutout to my family for giving me the tools and the avenue to pursue my dreams, as well as my wife, who has supported me every step of the way. Great performances are more often than not the result of great support, and I've been fortunate enough in my life to have just that. 

Bobby Reyes 

Editor | MileSplit Colorado | breyes@milesplit.com