Rowdy Rouser Sponsorship Story Of The Month: Meet EJ “The Streeeker” Maldonado
Ready for an incredible Rowdy-style success story? Meet the amazing EJ Maldonado. EJ is a Carson City-based ultrarunner, father, husband and all-around rockstar. In less than a decade he has completed three 100 mile races and multiple finishes in the 50k, 50 mile, and 100k distances. As an active member in the running community, EJ is a major supporter of trail running, local athletic events, and anything outdoorsy. He also volunteers in youth sports in his community.
The Rowdy Stats:
- President of the Tahoe Mountain Milers
- Active member of the Silver State Striders
- Race Director for Escape from Prison Hill and the Nevada Day Classic
- Ascent Runs Trail Ambassador
- Rowdy Rouser!
EJ’s Journey: Becoming a Rowdy Power House
EJ played college baseball, though in hindsight, he admits that he never allowed himself to reach his full potential. A party animal in those days, EJ lost his opportunity to continue in the sport. After returning home to finish school, he continued partying and lost track of his fitness and health habits. He started gaining weight and disconnected from his athletic self.
Over the next 7 years EJ continued to gain weight. In April 2011, he stood at what he considers his all-time low, weighing in at 300 pounds. EJ became disengaged from family, friends, and anything social. Then, with the help of a childhood friend, he realized things didn’t have to be this way. He started practicing yoga and meditation. He took up the habit of walking at lunch time. He even stopped drinking alcohol.
Then things got serious: The renewed EJ revamped his entire diet and started running in July 2011. By October he ran his first 5k. He kept at it and set a goal to run his first half marathon in 2012. EJ surpassed that goal and ran three that year. That’s Rowdy!
Going The Distance …
EJ quickly fell in love with distance running, and he wanted to push himself to see how far he could go. Instead of running a full marathon next, he aimed higher and jumped right into the American River 50 miler in 2013. Talk about believing in yourself! EJ had a blast and finished in 11 hours 17 minutes. It was official, he was hooked. Since 2013 EJ has finished three 100 mile races (Zion, TRT, and Headlands), as well as multiple short races.
Aligning His Mind and Body With ChiRunning
EJ has been working on perfecting his Chi Running form--a technique that blends philosophies of Tai Chi and running for better alignment and focus while running. For the past year and a half he has been training with Cheryl Lloyd, a Master Instructor of ChiRunning based in Reno. EJ has seen better efficiency and improved running biomechanics ever since he started on the ChiRunning path. He improved his 100 mile time by 3 hours 10 minutes and his 100k time by 18 minutes. That is outstanding improvement!
Training Like a Champion
Over the past 9 months, EJ has developed a smart training plan that helps him pay attention to the ways his body responds and adapts. This has helped him immensely with keeping healthy, rested, and strong. Here are some highlights from EJ’s training plan:
- Focus on active recovery like yoga, hiking and walking
- Cross-train on the bike 1-2 sessions per week
- Race short distances along with some targeted speed work
- Race longer distances with specific goals and benchmarks
- Focus on quality mileage over quantity
In addition, EJ likes racing shorter distances during a training cycle to adapt the body to breakthrough high intensity thresholds. He likes to mix in 50k and 100k races in the training cycle to train his body to race, get uncomfortable, dial in nutrition and drop bags, and work on 100 mile pacing.
Eating Like a Champion
EJ is focused on fueling up on clean and simple foods that allow his body to adapt easily on the fly if needed. In the past, he felt weighed down when he mixed in too many things in his overall nutrition plan. His current nutrition plan consists of Rowdy Bars, plant-based protein shakes, Arbonne Prepare and Endure, Tailwind, and water (of course). He put this nutrition plan to the ultimate test at Canyons 100k … it was successful!
Racing Through 2018
EJ’s main goal for 2018 is to run a sub-24 hour finish at TRT 100. His racing schedule for the rest of the year includes the Ascent Runs at Genoa Peak Marathon (June 9th), the TRT 100 Mile (July 21st) and the Ascent Runs Tahoe Flume Classic ½ Marathon (October 6th).
“In 2018, I was looking at simplifying my racing nutrition. I wanted to add a clean, solid fuel that would provide me with the energy and nutrition needed to put in the long miles on the trail and throughout the training cycle without bonking or feeling depleted. With Rowdy Bars, the timing was perfect! Eight clean and delicious ingredients you can spell, plus all the things I look for in sustainable energy: protein, prebiotics, and a low glycemic index. Rowdy Bars have been Canyons tested and proven! I absolutely love them! They are my choice for solid fuel out on the trails!” - EJ Maldonado
EJ’s Rowdy Shout Outs!
We are so proud and excited to be a sponsor for EJ as he continues to crush his goals and reach new heights. EJ would like to personally acknowledge all the love and support that he gets from his family: Fran (wife) and two sons (Aiden and Parker). He would like to also give big shout outs to his Carson crew: Ray, Buddha, Mike, Bert, Karl, Lawrence, Shannon, Abbey, Angela, and Gnal. More shout outs to Kevin and Ascent Runs, Tahoe Mountain Milers, Silver State Striders, Kellie and Rowdy Bars, Desert Sky Adventures, all of his friends out there on the trail, the trail running community near and far, and anyone else who has given EJ love, support and friendship.
Curious about becoming a Rowdy Rouser? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about our athletic sponsorships.finishes in the 50k, 50 mile and 100k distances.