Jake ‘Ultra’ Exotic
Apr 19, 2022
Jake ‘Ultra’ Exotic
Jake is an ultra-trail athlete based in Colorado, known amongst his 30K followers on Instagram for taking on extreme distances in vibrant, eye-catching clothing. Jake has been using Beet It Sport products since 2016 and aims to finish in the top three finishers at the Lake Sonoma Trail Marathon (California) in 2-days’ time and the Azores Running Trail Ultra 188k (Portugal) on the 6th of May.
How did you get involved in ultra/trail-running?
I went to a casino in Cripple Creek, CO in 2018 and won $15. The pole was difficult to perform on that night and I hadn’t performed live since my dad’s ‘home video’ phase. With adversity and victimhood on full display I decided that rather than invest my new increased self-worth in a 12-inch by 18-inch doll house, so my older brother Josh had a comfort zone to sleep in (Yes, he’s allowed sleepovers), I chose to enter a 15.6-mile trail race in Woodland Park, CO. I snap-crackled and popped it.
I remember turning up looking like Ivan Ooze from The Power Rangers film after a night on the town and thought I’m either underprepared, wearing nothing but some nicotine patches and booty clutching nothing but an energy chewing gum for nutrition or all other competitors are paranoid. One guy had a hydration vest on, a belt of bullets and a pack of dogs tied to a sled. I think he even took his nostrils off to help with the altitude and I caught his wife trying to clip the heels of other runners.
What is your favorite and least favorite part of ultra/trail-running?
I can’t say I enjoy all the falling that comes with trail running. It is an unpredictable sport with variables that you can’t prepare for, even whilst running on the most manoeuvrable of trails. One moment you’ll be thinking about how George Michael is 1 of 5 acts to have 10 UK and 10 US number 1 singles and the next, you’re on the ground with one leg under a rock, straw from the other leg being collected by the Colorado locals to use as insulation for their ‘Nomadic Lifestyle’ vans and the daze from the falls always takes my mind back to 2015 when my ex-girlfriend made me get Instagram to like all her pictures. I had to wear a bodycam around her in case our ‘couple’s content’ got less than 100 likes and she sat me down for emergency talks and I was never seen again.
What is your greatest sporting achievement so far?
I wouldn’t classify anything I have done in running as an achievement in all honesty. Injuries have made all races I have ever been a part of mediocre but what else did/do I expect? I have averaged less than 18 miles a week for the last 3 years and I am racing guys who run 90 plus miles a week and have done so for years. I do not stand a chance right now against the top tier competitors and that is fine but if you really put things into perspective and consider how little I have trained, working multiple jobs with the stress and loneliness of living in a foreign country with no support at all in the 5.5 years I have been here then I’d say some of my races haven’t been too pathetic. But hey ho.
What are your aspirations in running for 2022 and beyond?
To be bothered enough to run is my biggest aspiration. If I can start to clock off a few months of 40 miles a week I like to think I can podium in any trail race below 50k. It is funny because even then I would be training less than a high schooler but I am so undertrained I know I stand a chance elevating myself from being an embarrassment compared to what I should be able to do.
Tell us something that most people don’t know about you?
An interesting fact that most people know about me is that I am a triplet. What people may not know about me is I am from Manchester, England. They’d know if they heard my poor and innocent accent. If you set up a hotline for those wanting to hear me talk them into buying me pretty things, I will be on the line 25 hours a day, 8 days a week.
What tips do you have for those who are looking to get into ultra/trail running?
Don’t do it because it bores your mind into a stalemate. Expression of my opinions aside, hitting the trails gives you the freedom to be the runner you feel like being in that particular moment with no emphasis on paces, Strava warriors or the pressure of satisfying your insecurities by running at a particular pace for however long. Strap on you heels and walk, run or skip in the way that makes the present as joyous as you need to feel satisfied.
Where in the world would you most like to ultra/trail run and why?
I miss my home. Running in the sh@* hole of Manchester, dodging the homeless (Sorry fellow members of the Littlehales League of No Money), finding silver on runs and putting it in my nest and rationally hopscotching across busy roads is the type of run I love the most.
Describe your perfect weekend.
My perfect weekend would start with me waking up. You can’t be too displeasured with starting your day that way. Following this revelation, I would dig more into the hole my life is in to find that generational wealth that has alluded me. Getting dressed would follow this. Am I going to wear the LBD made from chains and poison Ivy or am I going to be Michelle Pfeiffer’s Cat women? Maybe we should make this more diplomatic by opening these choices up to a public vote. Once I am dressed, I would nervously approach the refrigerator for a Blue Moon or 24. Following such justice my day will continue to grow into itself by me taking a shot of Beet It as I call my 65-year-old Aunty Ann. A 3–4-mile run would be the result of this interaction. I will then proudly sit at my desk to see out the remaining weeks of my Jonas Brothers phase. Happy days.
Why do you use Beet It Sport products?
I first used Beet it sports in early 2016. I had just landed after a work trip in Lille, France and was sat in subway taking a shot of Beet It in preparation for a trail half marathon I had in the morning. I tell you what, similar to that 15.6-mile race I mentioned in my prologue, I snap, crackled and popped it. 74.52 for the fastest trail half marathon in the UK that year. I can’t argue with how Beet It aided that version of Jake that day.