Last Friday I had the chance to hear Ultra runner Anton Kupricka talk at a local shoe store here in Grand Rapids, MI. He's New Balances new spokesman for their minimalist trail shoe. Normally, I would think it's more of a shoe propaganda, but actually Anton was heavily involved in the shoe creating process as it was the shoe he was trying to build on his own for over 7 years.
He showed different products he had bought and how he cut out certain aspects of the shoe to create a light minimalist shoe. Pretty interesting to see his hand made, customized works. It started with him having up to 11 stress fractures from high school through college and seeking a better way to run.
Here are some notes I took about his journey in running. First, this guy is a stud in the world of ultra running. Never lost an Ultra race. I think he's competed in something like 11. We're talking 8-20 hours of running.
He finds his inspiration in other endurance athletes, mostly alpine mountaineers. Especially, guys like Ulie Steck that climb fast and without oxygen. He says that's the way he want to run, fast and without much gear.
Some things I found interesting. Doesn't carry much water. He drinks from mountain streams and yes, he has gotten sick many times.
In a 100 mile race he will burn something like 15,000 calories. He only eat about 40 GU gel packs. So not a lot of fuel. He says he's trained his body to work under these conditions.
Why he likes ultras, " It forces me to stay in the moment, you can't think in a 8 hour run, I have 6 more hours and You're done. You will be defeated. Stay in the moment."
"I like to try to find that flow, where each foot strike is perfect, that is essentially why I run."
He was asked if he got massages. "No, it's not for me, I have a chiropractor I see a lot that I trust with all my aches and keeping my body ready." (shameless plug for chiropractic!)
He has a documentary out called "Indulgence, 1000 Miles Under the Colorado Sky."