As a kid, David Kilgore would chase alligators in the swamps of Palm Bay, Florida. And he still runs fearless. When David’s not busy being the face of On in New York and Philadelphia, US, he’s building mileage and tearing up trails. In 2019 he made his debut for Team USA at the Trail and Ultra Running World Championships.
David Kilgore is a double or nothing kinda guy. So on June 23, 2019 he set out to run the Rio de Janeiro Marathon not once, but twice. Back to back. 52 miles. 84.4 kilometers. See what happened in the film above. And read the full race report here.
David doubles his distance in the new Cloudstratus – the evolutionary On for maximum cushioning with extra support.
How did you start running? It was in fifth grade. My dad used to run a mile loop around his house. I begged to go with him but he said I was too small. When he finally gave in, I had a blast. I wanted more, I was so hyped on it.
I began running track in middle school. When I was 13, I was running on the treadmill when a woman asked me about my running. She referred me to a local coach, Doug Butler, at Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy, a prestigious local school. Coach Butler being one of the winningest coaches in Florida history for distance running. But my parents couldn't afford the school at the time.
Instead, I began running with coach Butler with an adult group in a nearby park. I began to get faster. As high school approached, my parents talked with coach and the school. They negotiated that I allowed in at a very large discount of the cost. My parents helped me to start chasing the dream. At Holy Trinity, I became a four-time Florida state champion in cross country and on the track, where I was also an All-American.
Did you compete in college? I ran for the University of Colorado for three years (2X PAC12 champion, NCAA Champion teams), and for a year at the University of Florida, where I graduated. I also did a semester at Oklahoma State University (A Big12 conference champion team).
While I was at Oklahoma there was a death in the family. I went home to help out while taking online courses and competing. After that semester I lived out of my car for six months in Utah and Arizona, working odd jobs and running trails. When that got lonely I moved back to Florida for a few weeks and then got hired as a photographer in the northeast. I met my girlfriend, Molly, here and I never left. I had lost my path in running, but Molly helped me find it again. She threw me into a mile race after a seven-month hiatus. I've never looked back.
Why do you run now? I run because it’s what I love doing. I really love competing. Also, it’s one heck of a way to get around and see some mind-blowing places and meet some epic people.
What’s your favorite distance? I usually prefer to run long on a trail. I just love being out on a trail exploring for hours on end, moving quickly over technical and interesting terrain. But I love the variety and mixture I have with short and long races on the road and track, to extremely long hauls in the mountains and trails. It all has a place in my heart.
What does your training routine look like? My routine is not set in stone. I usually run at least 6-9 miles (10–15 km) every day. There can be some kind of fartlek in the middle or it can be a cutdown run (progression runs with specific pacing). I also double up a few days a week. If I’m running on a trail or somewhere interesting, I’ll continue for hours. I’ll also hop into workouts with people around New York from time to time just to hang out with people. I love racing, so if there’s a race on the weekend, I try to be there.
What was the most important race you’ve run to date? This is a hard one as most of the races I do are important to me in one way or another. However, I would have to say the Space Coast Marathon will always be near and dear to my heart as it is my hometown marathon. I had one of the most fun races of my life in an Orchard Street Runners event, ripping down New York’s 5th avenue during Christmas time. Also, probably the Ragged 50k mountain race and the Fourmidable 50k because they are both USA Trail and Ultra Championship events and they helped me earn a spot on the American 2019 World Trail and Ultra team.
Who inspires you? People with passion for what they do and those who work hard. I would definitely say my parents. I’ve seen how hard they have worked day in, day out – and what they have accomplished. My girlfriend Molly also has great drive and passion for her work and goals. She never gives up. But what really gets me out there every day is pushing my limits and wanting to compete. I love being competitive. Mixing it up in a big race is probably my favorite thing.
What is your pre-race ritual? I don’t really have any – I just use some body glide and if it’s going to be a long haul then band aids on the nipples!
What do you think about while running? I think about a little of everything - whatever I have going on for the day. Sometimes future races or new routes, sometimes I chat on the phone, and sometimes I just zone out while listening to some of my favorite tunes.
What's your go-to training meal? I don’t really have a staple meal, but I do love a big breakfast. I get a bacon, egg, and cheese bagel with hot sauce, plus an iced coffee, and a donut most mornings from a lady at a street cart in Harlem. Another thing I eat regularly, which has kind of become a joke, is my “Secret Sauce.” It’s a mix of granola, fruit (strawberries or blueberries), chocolate chips, peanut butter, and sometimes milk (preferably chocolate).
How do you recover after a tough run? You can’t beat a good meal, a relaxing afternoon with friends, or possibly an outdoor adventure. I love to go for a hike sometimes after a tough run because I get so jacked up from the workout.
What song is your go-to for the run? It always changes. I like country music for easy runs on warm summer days, but lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Queen, Blink 182, and Tony Matterhorn.
Who is your “team”? I feel I have many different teams, as I like to associate with, support, and endorse individuals/teams promoting and doing positive things for the running community as a whole. But I'm directly associated with the New York Athletic Club and the Lost Boys Track Club.
Apart from endurance sports, what is your passion?
People, animals and the outdoors. You really can’t have a bad day with any of those things.
What would you be doing if you weren’t a runner? I love photography, videography, and working with animals – actually I’m currently looking for a place to spend some more time volunteering if anyone knows a good spot.
What was the best piece of running advice you ever received? Be yourself and do the things you love.
Why On? I love running in On products. The company has unique and innovative products – and it’s same with their team. Plus, they have great morals – and morale.
What’s your favorite On shoe and why? It’s really tough for me to just pick just one. If I did, I would have to say the Cloudventure Peak. I just feel fast and light on the trail and the upper on that shoe is amazingly comfortable.
What’s your favorite item of On apparel and why? I would have to go with the Performance-T because it’s what I wear the most. It’s so light and comfortable to workout in. When it’s 100 degrees outside, it stays light and comfortable with sweat. But when it's 0 degrees outside, it makes for a great first base layer. Also, I have to give a shout-out to the Hoodie, because I’m a huge fan of it.