- M.S. Psychology
- UESCA Ultrarunning Coach
- UESCA Sports Psychology Specialization
Kevin Niksich has over 25 years of ultra-running, mountain climbing, and adventure experience. He is a UESCA Certified Ultra-running Coach (2021) and holds a Masters in Psychology.
“Having a Master’s in Psychology enhances my coaching abilities by understanding the psychological aspects of performance, motivation, and goal-setting allowing me to work with athletes on a more comprehensive level. Combined with my running knowledge, this facilitates more effective communication to help me guide individuals for both immediate and long-term athletic growth.”
Living in Portland Oregon after grad school 20 years ago, the opportunities for adventure were endless with plenty of time to explore. Kevin spent his weekends mountain biking, skiing, hiking, and found a passion for climbing the glaciated peaks of the great northwest including Mt. Rainier, Hood, Adams, Baker, and Shuksan, just to name a few.
Just as he became certified to lead climbing teams, a business opportunity took him to Georgia over 12 years ago. With no big mountains to climb, he fell in love with ultra-marathon distances, specifically 100 milers which are the closest thing to the all-night 24 to 36 hour efforts found in climbing. Kevin skipped right to the 50K distance and ran his first hundred shortly thereafter, the Pinhoti 100.
Up to this point, Kevin’s ultra-running experience was self-taught. He knew no ultra-runners, had no idea how to go about training, or even what questions to ask. Totally undertrained and not knowing what to expect, it was a painful and humbling experience, but he finished! He never wants anyone to be in a similar position and loves to work with beginners and first timers, of any ultra-distance.
Since then he’s accumulated a wealth of knowledge about running ultras and has finished 9 100 mile races: Western States, Hellbender, Pinhoti (2x), Georgia Jewel, Rocky Raccoon, Thunder Rock, Zion 100 and most recently Uwharrie 100, where he finished 10th overall! Along the way he has coached many runners to complete every distance from marathons up to 100 mile races, which has been very fulfilling for him.
Kevin understands racing is fun but he also loves self-supported runs. These adventures can bring you epic places races aren’t allowed to go and you also get to run with friends the entire time. He’s completed quite a few notable bucket list runs like the Grand Canyon’s Rim to Rim to Rim, Palm Springs’ Cactus to Clouds to Cactus, and circumnavigations of Mt. Hood and Mt. St. Helens, the Georgia Loop, and countless peaks up and down the west coast.
Kevin has a wife of 20 years, two active teenage boys, and is a part owner of a sporting goods manufacturing business. He definitely understands time constraints and other responsibilities when training for endurance events and prides himself on finding balance while training for ultras. He believes keeping things fun, fluid, and flexible not only gets you to the start line once, but many times over, and year after year. Kevin strives to coach and train in a sustainable way, to make this a long term sport, so you can achieve these adventures for a lifetime.