Master of hills, bomber of descents, Orla is a cyclist turned trail runner.
From trail running to cycling, Orla loves exploring the woods and has a passion for the great outdoors.
Growing up as he did among the woods and mountains of upstate New York and Vermont, it’s easy to see why, from an early age, Orla developed a love of trail running. The countless hours he spent exploring the woods on foot and by bike truly nurtured his passion for the great outdoors.
A junior track “star” from the age of 10 he competed on the Track, Road, and X-country. He went on to compete Statewide and Nationally for his high school and college. The legacy of his early athletic career is an impressive array of track PB’s which include a 49 second 400 meters, a 1:49 800 meters, 9:06 Steeplechase, and 4:06 for the mile! Add to this a 5k PB of 14:53 and a 10K PB of 32:16 and it’s clear his running credentials are pretty solid.
After leaving college he switched to cycling and raced bikes on and off road. He competed for several years as an amateur in the Washington DC area before a serious road accident while out training put an end to his competitive cycling days. Following his recovery, at the beginning of 2001 he returned to his first love of trail running. The freedom and sense of exploration motivated him to join the world of ultra-running to see how far this would take him.
For over 15 years he has raced in countless single day and multi-stage ultra-distance events from 50K to 100 miles. His 50 mile PB of 7:37 and his 20:41 100 mile best are testament to his ability to combine speed and endurance over the widest range of distances. For the last few years Orla has also enjoyed triathlon which has given him the chance to combine his love of cycling in a multi-sport environment. Competing on many occasions over all distances from Olympic and half Ironman and culminating in a full Ironman debut in October 2016 where he posted an inaugural PB of 11:23 at Barcelona.
Why Trail Run Spain? “Since discovering this little corner of the world, I’ve experienced amazing trails, amazing weather and met some amazing people, many of whom are now good friends. In Andalusia we’re blessed to have this sporting paradise all around us and every time I’m out running the trails, enjoying a ride through the mountain roads, or going for a swim, I am in my element. As for the ‘Apres-sport’ it’s the perfect location to relax, soak up the culture and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere that prevails all year-round”.