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Ben Robinson of Endless Mountains Running - Why NEPA? image
February 04, 2020
Ben Robinson of Endless Mountains Running - Why NEPA?

NEPA’s mountains have always been a destination for hiking, biking and camping, but for Ben Robinson of Tunkhannock, they’re the prime spot for running.

Ben is a sales manager at Montage Mountain and the owner of Endless Mountains Running, a local race management company. After living in Utah and Colorado, he returned home to NEPA and began directing races like the Howland Preserve 5-Mile Trail Race and the Black Diamond Running Series at Montage. His latest project is the Wyoming Valley Run, a ten-mile race from Pittston to Wilkes-Barre in September.

Ben’s passion for trail running and skyrunning (extreme mountain running) has led him to compete across the United States and around the world. In 2018, he was a member of the USA team at the Skyrunning World Championships in Scotland, where the team placed third. He also won the 2019 Wineglass Half Marathon and placed second at the 2019 US Half Marathon Trail Championships. In 2016, he ran across the entire state of Pennsylvania, following US Route 6 for 340 miles.



How long have you lived in NEPA?

About 22 years. I grew up in the Endless Mountains, then I lived out of the area for college at Lock Haven University. Then I lived for a while in Park City, Utah, and Boulder, Colorado.

What did you miss most about NEPA?

I definitely missed the four seasons. My favorite season is fall, and fall was like a week and a half there. It was cold, and then the trees changed, and then it was snow the next week. This is weird, but it’s sunny there every day, and I kind of missed the clouds every once in a while. I missed being able to breath while I was running uphill because I was at altitude. One of the big things I missed was the people.

What brought you back to NEPA?

I knew I eventually wanted to come back home and be close to family, and I really loved my hometown. It’s such a little mountain-river town, and I knew that’s what I wanted. Being close to Denver and Salt Lake City, I realized that I don’t like the cities. I just wanted to be in a small town and run up mountains whenever I could. I moved back because I knew there was a lot of potential here in outdoor recreation and that I would be able to be close to my friends and family.

What’s your favorite thing to do in NEPA?

100% run. Run all the time. I train 70-90 miles a week, so that takes up most of my free time. There’s a lot of cool training spots. If I were to narrow it down, I would say running at the state game lands in Noxen and Ricketts Glen State Park. I did a ton of summer training at Ricketts Glen two years ago, and there’s so much of that park that people don’t realize. Go outside of Falls Trail, because it’s awesome out there. I did a 24-mile run there, and I didn’t hit the same trail. You can just go forever.

What’s next for you?

I’m going to be focusing the next year on growing the Wyoming Valley Run. It’s a really cool concept to me because the ten-mile distance is new to the area. It gives those people who don’t want to train for a marathon or a half-marathon the ability to train for a double-digit race. The course was designed like the Broad Street Run in Philly because it’s super flat and super fast, and it showcases the whole area. Then there’s the rebranding of the Howland Race into the Howland Preserve Trail Fest. We’re going to have a five-mile race and a ten-mile race. Those are my two big projects. Personally, I want to make another USA team this year and run at the Skyrunning World Champs. Maybe try to break the world record for the treadmill 50K.

Where do you see NEPA heading in the future?

I want another fitness boom, because I keep hearing about all these races in Wilkes-Barre that were massive in the ‘80s. The fitness and running communities are growing, but I want it to be huge.


The races that are here are awesome, and they’re staples to the area. Like the Steamtown Marathon has been around for 25 years. It was mentioned on The Office. But I think that there’s a lot of untapped potential in the trail running scene specifically because there are a lot of cool public lands here that are underutilized. I think that focusing on that and getting people outdoors and in the woods is only going to help our region in terms of reaching the goal of health and wellness.

I think that NEPA fits me well because everything that I need is here. The people are here. The running is here. Everything I need is here.

At DiscoverNEPA, we celebrate everything that makes Northeastern Pennsylvania a great place to live, work and play. Now, we’d like to share your story. You planted roots in NEPA. You’re doing business here, creating art here and living your best life here. Whether you spent your whole life in NEPA, came here from someplace else, or moved away and eventually made your way back, we’re curious –