Running With Anton Krupicka

Uh huh. Because yeah, I did that!

{Well, technically he blew me out of the water and I didn’t even stand a chance of keeping up with him and the rest of the lead group. But that’s neither here nor there.}

Awhile back, I received an email from a PR gal with New Balance, inviting me to an event in Boulder. She mentioned that NB sponsored athletes would be in attendance and that the day would focus on the launch of their new Fresh Foam 980 trail shoes. Sounded like fun so I jumped at the chance; I was in!

Last Thursday rolled around and I headed to Boulder to meet up with the other media, bloggers and PR peeps that would be spending the day with us. I already knew Will, Heidi, Lynne and Marissa would be there, so my nerves were at a minimum. I’ve gone to dozens of press events but I still always get nervous if there isn’t anyone I already know! After the initial sorting, we were herded into a a van to be whisked away to the trailhead.

photo 1 (7)

As we were sitting in the van, I started looking around at the others. I recognized a few media people from Outside magazine, but there was also this guy sitting in the front that looked crazy familiar. His long hair was recognizable, but I couldn’t believe it to be true: why would Anton Krupicka be here? I mean, if I got an invite, it couldn’t be that important of an event?!

I briefly asked Marissa if I was crazy, but since she was less familiar with the ultra running icon, she couldn’t give me an answer. I assumed I was a lunatic, changed the topic, and went about the business of trying on my new Foam Fresh trail shoes. {Review to come once I’ve had them longer than four days!}

photo 3 (8)

The driver had dropped us at the Fowler Trail in Eldorado Canyon. After bouncing around in various Fresh Foam shoes until we found the perfect fit, the group split into two sections: the quicker runners and the slower runners. Will, ever the gentleman, chose to stay with me when I opted for the slow crowd along with the girls. Out of the gates, we were running up a semi-intense climb at an 8 minute pace, so I knew that I wouldn’t be hanging with the front crowd. I still didn’t know who those guys and gals were, but man, they were fast!

photo 2 (7)

The 4-mile trail run was beautiful and I enjoyed exploring a new-to-me trail. Will and I broke off from the girls when they turned around, and we found ourselves enjoying the quiet—yet blazing hot!—morning. We even laughed when a PR guy directed me down the wrong trail and I ended up on the side of a cliff. Because, of course—who else would that happen to?!

Always an adventure!

photo 1 (8)

photo 2 (8)

We also ran into one of the NB photographers who asked us for a mini photo shoot, so needless to say, we were definitely the last runners back to the parking lot! We filmed a quick “initial reactions” video with the filming crew, Will headed back to work, and I met up with everyone for lunch.

The rest of the afternoon passed in a blur: after lunch, we sat down for an athlete Q & A session where I quickly learned that I was not, in fact, an idiot. Not only was the long-haired wonder Krupicka, but I had also been running behind with Dominic Grossman, Brandy Erholtz and Gina Lucrezi!

Y’all, listening to them answer our questions was an awesome experience! I commiserated with Brandy as she spoke on juggling her life as a teacher, a wife, mom, and a sponsored athlete. I was impressed with Dominic when he mentioned that, in addition to his awesome running career, he is also a full-time engineer. I nodded my head at Gina when she said she loved trails because, “It is okay to be slow!”; and I laughed with disbelief when Krupicka mentioned that he would never consider a crazy long race; you know, like those ones that are 200 or 300 miles.

I ended up seated next to Dominic and Anton at dinner, and I continued to be impressed with them as people, in addition to their running super powers. They were both incredibly friendly, answered all my ridiculous questions, and even peppered me with a few once they discovered Will and I were engaged. In short, dinner was a fantastic night cap on an already spectacular day!

As for the new Fresh Foam shoes? Like I mentioned, I haven’t put nearly enough miles on them to feel comfortable offering an opinion. Out of the gates, I will say that I was initially impressed. And did I mention that I really love the colors?!

***************

Do you have a favorite runner, ultra or not?

Coolest person you’ve ever met?

14 Comments

  • Reply Cassie @ Rural Running Redhead July 28, 2014 at 8:58 pm

    That is awesome! I’d LOVE to talk to all those runners… and watch them run quickly away on the trail in front of me. What a great experience for you!

    • Reply heather July 29, 2014 at 12:58 pm

      It was so cool to hear how they manage their daily lives! Brandy is seriously amazing in that regard; so different that elite road runners who get to train all day, every day!

  • Reply Heidi @BananaBuzzbomb July 29, 2014 at 6:12 am

    Very very cool. I’m impressed that you were able to pick him out since I would have no clue. I really don’t know all that many pro athletes. And even those I do know of I probably wouldn’t be able to pick out in a line up because they’d look different in real life. Not sure if it’s just because I’m aloof or what. And like you found, they are just normal people when you remove all that extra stuff surrounding them. I’d totally be that person that would have a full conversation with a pro and walk away having no clue who they were. Ha!

    • Reply heather July 29, 2014 at 12:58 pm

      There are certain runners I stalk…he just happens to be one of them 🙂

  • Reply Justin Fricke July 29, 2014 at 8:37 am

    That sounds like such a rad time. I’m also super jealous you got a pair of the Foam Fresh 980 trail shoes. I have the Foam Fresh 980 road shoes, so I’m interested to hear your thoughts/read what you think about the trail version.

    • Reply heather July 29, 2014 at 12:59 pm

      Thus far, I’m a huge fan which is saying a lot– I have yet to find anything that rivals my beloved Hokas!

  • Reply Katie July 29, 2014 at 9:35 am

    I’ve seen Anton, but didn’t quite feel I could interrupt his run to say hey I am a HUGE fan. I want to be Larisa Dannis or Kaci Licktieg, but really most of the time you see the amazing ultrarunners and don’t realize they are so amazing because they are so much fun to hang with… If you can (which i can not, but I will gladly chat at dinner with them!) Jealous of your day! Eldorado Canyon is one of my favorite trails, but Fowler Ranch is a GREAT easy loop for a chill day!

    • Reply heather July 29, 2014 at 1:00 pm

      That was the cool thing– they all were so real and normal. Not that I expected them to be obnoxious, but it was refreshing to experience!

  • Reply misszippy July 29, 2014 at 11:27 am

    Ok, he would be soooo cool to meet! High on my list of runners I admire. And what a beautiful place for a run.

    My favorite meet so far has been Joan Benoit–and I got to run with her, too!

    • Reply heather July 29, 2014 at 1:00 pm

      Where was that? I think she is amazing! Every time I watch the clips of her running into the stadium at the Olympics, I get all smiley 😉

  • Reply Sarah C July 29, 2014 at 9:04 pm

    Oh he’s awesome. I’d totally have been able to pick him out of a crowd — I think I watch too many movies about ultra-running not to be able to notice all the top guys and gals. I really like Krupicka from what I’ve seen of him in the films – must have been cool to get to chat with him!

  • Reply Alyssa August 3, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    That’s amazing that people are able to run at the level while working full time and devoting themselves to families. Seriously, I use the word “inspiring” sarcastically 99% of the time, but they are the real deal. I don’t have any claim to fame celebrity meetups. Maybe someday. My mom met John Stamos and had him record a video to us. I’ve met Michael Phelps but everyone in Baltimore has and he’s a douche anyway.

  • Reply Denise G. August 7, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    I’m a big Kara Goucher fan and I also like to follow Dean Karnazes. I got to see Kara speak at the Nike Women’s Marathon expo a few years back (and meet her for a brief second and get a photo!) I was on cloud nine.

  • Reply Jason August 15, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    This is so awesome! New Balance just had a similar event here but it was with Abbey D’Agostino and I missed it and now I’m feeling really sad about it! Ha! I did get to meet Deena Kastor at an event earlier this year though so I suppose that makes up for it!

    Favorite Ultra Runner: Geoff Roes – because he’s from here and he brought ultrarunning into my realm.

    Coolest Person I’ve Ever Met: Anderson Cooper!

  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.