Before Nate Youngs won his 35-39 age group at the 2016 XTERRA Pan American Championships in Ogden, Utah last September, his wife slipped a card in his bag. Nate laughs as he remembers it. “It said, ‘Winning isn’t everything … EXCEPT it is!’ I thought that was pretty good and it was the perfect thing to read before the race. That and Matt Signoretty saying, ‘Let’s go old man.’ That put a smile on my face.”
Perhaps Nate’s secret to winning may be his wholehearted approach to life. When he isn’t on the podium, Nate is a general contractor who admits that his family is everything to him. “They are extremely supportive,” he says, with a smile on his face. “And I love getting together with other athletes after the race and having a few well-deserved beers.”
But Nate, who has been racing XTERRA since he discovered XTERRA Portland back in 2013, has a harder rocking side as well. On the course, Nate is a fierce competitor, just like his favorite XTERRA racer Chris Ganter. Last year, in perhaps the strongest field the XTERRA Pan Am championships have ever seen, Nate was 21st overall and third amateur.
“That race was a sufferfest!” he admits. “Especially the run. In fact, I didn’t know I had won my age group. I had an idea I was having a good race, but anything can happen out there.”
As for what the future holds? “I will most likely go back to Utah this year, but nothing’s set in stone. I’m going to start the 2017 season in Alabama and go from there.”
What is for sure is that Nate’s future will be sweet. “I don’t have a diet,” he says. “I have a big bowl of ice cream every night, and trust me, there is no guilt!”