If you’ve been in the store recently, you may have seen a new face. That’s none other than our newest crew member — Nick Harris! So, just who is this long-haired, Ricky Skagg-loving speed demon? Nick offered us some insight into his running experience and his new(ish) move to Nashville.
NRC: First things, first. How long have you been running?
Nick: I’ve been running since middle school. I would do the 75m hurdles and the high jump and I was pretty good at both of them, take my word for it. I’m still waiting for them to update the record books.
I grew up fast, by the time I turned 7 I was 12 years old, and I would only get beat by one girl in the mile, so I was well on my way.
I was born on the shores of the Eurolava River in Rapala, and running was a big part of my family. My uncle Richie ran professionally for Nike’s Athletics West and ran 3:51.3 for the mile in 1984, which is really fast, no need to take my word for it, it just is.
My uncle Tracy ran professionally for Reebok and Brooks and, for 20 years, has been the best high school coach the state of Idaho has ever seen, take my word for it, I can’t even name another one.
My dad also went to CU and ran 1:49.1 for 800m in 1984. 1984 was a good year.
I never really understood what any of that stuff meant until I was older so I never felt any pressure to run in high school or beyond. I just ran cross country because my three older brothers ran cross country. Then, once they were gone, it was just what the cool kids did.
So, it was the cool kids and me, running cross country and track, and I didn’t even get beat by a girl this time.
NRC: You ran at the collegiate level -- tell us about that: highs, lows, PRs, what it was like being a college athlete?
Nick: I walked on at the University of Washington in 2012 and was there for three years, then I transferred to the University of Colorado for my last 2 years. At CU, I ran my PRs for 800m (1:47.8) and 1500m (3:42.6).
At UW, I had my PRs for the beer mile (it’s fuzzy) and maple bars eaten on the steps of Suzzalo Library with Tim and Meron (a lot).
Now, I’m training under Joe Bosshard in Boulder, I’m back to getting beat by women . . . only this time it’s in practice and they’re olympians so I’m cool with it. This past summer I ran new PRs for 1500 (3:41.7) and the mile (3:58.8). The next step now will be to run a little faster and start looking for a shoe sponsor, if anyone wants to sponsor someone with modest PRs and no social media, I’m your guy.
*NRC: Nick modestly left out he was the Pac-12 champion in the 800m in 2017. NBD.
NRC: You're new to Nashville -- what brought you here and how are you liking it so far?
Nick: My girlfriend Maddie is doing her residency to be a Dietician here, and I’m just along for the ride. Nashville has a stronghold on the collective psyche of the Harris family whether we like it or not so it’s exciting to actually be living here now.
Two of my favorite albums are Dylan’s Nashville Skyline and Todd Snider’s East Nashville Skyline and to think that Norman Blake was playing guitar on a Dylan record a mile or two from where I live now is pretty mind blowing. And Nashville is obviously full of stuff like that, you can’t get away from it. But enough about skylines.
I met Nancy Jones at her husbands grave a couple weeks ago
But enough about Nancy Jones
Short story long, and having nothing to do with running, I like being in Nashville.
I’ve also got some Bro Country songs in my back pocket written by my alter-ego and nemesis Blaythe Charlesly, if anyone’s shopping for hits. That shit’s easy as shit!
NRC: Are you training for anything now? What's that training look like?
Nick: Right now I’m mostly gearing up for the indoor track season so I’m just putting in some mileage, strides, fartleks, etc. Nothing super race specific. I’ll do a long run on Sundays and usually two workouts during the week. The other days is just easy running.
You might find me any day of the week jogging in full sweats on Vanderbilt’s grass fields, on the grass at Elmington park, or on the grass out at Rhodes Park. I definitely don’t jump the fences though because that wouldn't be right. But enough about grass fields.
I [ran] a 5k on Nov 10th down near Memphis and maybe jump in some other races if they come up. Mostly, I’m looking to get in a good mile or two indoors, see if i can qualify for USAs on Feb 22, then I’ll start looking towards the outdoor track season.
I will say we’re looking for more soft flat surfaces to run on in and around Nashville if anyone out there has any ideas. If anyone knows any secret dirt roads or gravel paths near Nashville for a long run, we would be forever grateful.
NRC: Anything else you're dying to let the world know about Nick?
Nick: I think Ricky Skaggs is the best country artist this town has ever seen, followed by Miranda Lambert.
I like to play guitar and I’m trying to learn the fiddle, mainly to be more like John Hartford
So, if Bobby Hicks or Mark O’Connor is reading this and wants to give me lessons, I accept.
Otherwise, come on down to East Nashville, we’ll steal your heart and your lawn mower