Posted by: Ross Leonhart
At 20 years old, Wren Pyle is eying Skimo’s inaugural Winter Olympics event in 2026
Wren Pyle grew up in Virginia and found a passion for ultra running. When she moved to Burlington to attend the University of Vermont, where she is currently a junior, she learned running is a little difficult during the winter in the northeast part of the country.
So she did what most young people do – she went online and saw how European runners trained, learning that most of them were skiing in the winter. She figured she’d give it a try. While perusing Facebook for ski things to do, she came across a local race series and was recruited by the organizer to give it a try.
“I did the first one and it was really fun, and then I just kind of got hooked,” she said in January, prepping her upcoming course schedule for the semester. “For what I enjoy doing, it’s the perfect combination of everything.”
The 20-year-old is majoring in exercise science and physiology and has been for the most part self-coached through lots of reading. She writes her own workouts and also consults with the U.S. Team for a little help.
“In my opinion, it’s the best way to move around the mountains. You’re climbing up quickly and efficiently, and then you can just rip around anywhere you want to go pretty much immediately,” Pyle said. “Running, even in the mountains if you want to go 3-4 miles in one direction, that could take 45 or 50 minutes, and on skis you could be down there in five minutes. So it’s just a really efficient way to move around the mountains quickly which makes it really fun to train.”
Pyle will be competing in the Skimo Sprint and Skimo Vertical competitions at the Winter Mountain Games Preview in Vail, and possibly the Skimo Individual if her flights work out. In Vermont, she enjoys skinning as much as she can with her mom.
When asked if she’s working toward the Winter Olympics in 2026, when Skimo makes its debut, she said, “Absolutely.”
“I think my goal, at least for the next three years, is to work with the rest of the national team to try to get the U.S. qualified for the Olympics,” she said. “Beyond my own ambitions for making the team, the goal in the forefront is to make sure we can at least send a U.S. athlete to the Games.”
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