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I’m a Competitor: Sommelier Bobby Stuckey

This former professional cyclist-turned-sommelier is not your everyday runner.

This former professional cyclist-turned-sommelier is not your everyday runner.

As a master sommelier and co-owner of Frasca Food and Wine in Boulder, Colo., Bobby Stuckey is used to long nights. But that doesn’t mean he sleeps late.

The 45-year old meets a group for a tempo 10-miler at the Boulder Reservoir one morning a week, logs a long Sunday run and joins his business partner for a weekly ride. (Stuckey is a former pro cyclist.) With a 2:47:24 marathon PR from the 2009 New York City Marathon, Stuckey says his running is changing. It’s no longer just about fast times—it’s also about becoming a better runner.

When did you start running?
My first 10K was in 1976. I was 7 years old and it was the Big Sisters Share a Little Love Run in Phoenix. The race T-shirt was so big on me that it looked like a dress. But I loved it and wore it every day because no other kid had done a 10K. My PE teacher at the Hopi Elementary School made us run a mile three times a week. I was lucky to have cardio development at an early age.

How did your athleticism develop?
I ran cross country through high school. I was never the most talented, but I was always willing to do the work. I got into triathlon in the 1980s and eventually focused on cycling. I even went pro—I was a domestique—but just briefly. I quit racing bikes in the ’90s. The restaurant business is tough and I realized back in the 1990s how important it was to balance my work and endurance sports. The great thing about running is that you can just walk out and do it.

RELATED: I’m a Competitor: Drummer John Wicks

Why is racing important to you?
Having a goal makes my whole year, so I do at least one major race annually. I’m like a diesel engine—it takes me a while to get in shape, which is why marathon training works for me. For a marathon, I look at the schedule to see when I can make one work, and then my wife looks at the options. Even though I’m running a race, it’s a vacation. She gets to choose the destination.

A quiver of running shoes and a quiver of wine—do you see a correlation?
That’s easy, I’m a strong believer in both. Every run and every night is different. I equate racing flats to a world-class bottle of Burgundy or Barolo. Champagne makes me think of a regular run, but one where I suddenly manage a huge breakthrough. Five go-to wines is a good amount—a sparkling, two whites and two reds.

More About Bobby

Go-To Gear
I travel a lot. My Garmin watch keeps me honest about distance when I run unfamiliar routes.

Favorite Run
When I worked at the Little Nell in Aspen, Colo., I would go on the trail up to Warren Lakes with my Siberian husky.

Post-Race Splurge
Wherever we are, we celebrate with a great dinner and a great bottle of wine.

Time Management
Everyone has their Jenga of interests and time they need to figure out. Running is about consistency—you just have to set that schedule.