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    Patagonia Ambassadors Create Running Tradition with Japan's Shinetsu 5 Mountains Race

    Shinetsu Patagonia Running Ambassador Krissy Moehl took top honors at the recently held Shinetsu Five Mountains Trail 110K in Japan's Shinetsu Highlands. This year marks the second running of the race, a labor of love born from the vision of another Patagonia Running Ambassador, Hiroki Ishikawa. Takayuki Kakihara, of Patagonia Japan, offers this introduction to the Shinetsu race. Krissy's own introduction and race reports follow after the jump: 

    The "Shinetsu Gogaku Trail Running Race 2010 ~ Art Sports x Patagonia Cup," produced by Patagonia Ambassador Hiroki Ishikawa was held in the Shinetsu highlands that spread across the Niigata and Nagano prefectural borders from September 18th (Saturday) to 20th (Monday). The "Shinetsu Gogaku," used in the title of the event, points to the 5 mountains that exist in the Shinetsu highlands. These mountains have long been deeply intertwined with the lives of the people residing at the base of these mountains and have attracted worshipers as a sacred place.

    Krissy aid The race which welcomed its 2nd year had a course of 110km, the longest course amongst
    domestic trail running races in Japan. This race also included many features that Hiroki Ishikawa had experienced in the various trail running races that he had participated in (mainly in North America), such as Japan's first-ever trail running event with aid stations. These allowed the family members and friends to provide support for the runners and set-up areas where pacers were allowed in to provide safety for the runners during the night hours. The race this year had a total of 542 runners (460 men and 82 women) who entered and 384 runners (225 men and 59 women) completed the race. Shinetsu Gogaku:http://www.sfmt100.com/

    [Top - photo courtesy Shinetsu Five Mountains Trail 110K. Bottom - Krissy Moehl takes off from an aid station, with a gentle push and a mountain of encouragement from race organizer Hiroki Ishikawa. Photo: Sho Fujimaki]

    Continue reading "Patagonia Ambassadors Create Running Tradition with Japan's Shinetsu 5 Mountains Race" »

    Tracing the Edge - Episode 10 with Krissy Moehl, plus a Look Behind the Scenes

    This is it. Tracing the Edge concludes today with our final episode featuring ultrarunner Krissy Moehl. Kick back and enjoy. You can catch all 10 episodes of Tracing the Edge at patagonia.com/tracingtheedge or on YouTube via the Tracing the Edge playlist.

    A lot of hard work happens behind the scenes of a series like this. And just like the athletes, who opened up and shared their lives on camera, co-creator Fitz Cahall kindly shared this story about filming a particularly tricky scene with Krissy.

    “Headlamps would have been a good idea,” said Bryan in the darkness. We hugged the tinder-dry pine needle slope to our right and did our best to make light of the 200-foot drop to our left. We were in a gorge, canopied by old growth on the darkest night of the month. It was like being shut in a closet.

    It had been a long time since I’d last forgotten a headlamp. It was a group a decision. Four hours earlier, Bryan Smith, my wife Becca and I stood around the car, bags loaded with the skeleton of a mechanical creature, 1600 feet of rope and two granola bars. We were ready to descend into the Lewis River Gorge in Southwest Washington. We would be 15, maybe 20 minutes tops, away from the car. Do we need a headlamp?

    Continue reading "Tracing the Edge - Episode 10 with Krissy Moehl, plus a Look Behind the Scenes" »

    Just a Five-Minute Run

    Kc - glacier run P1030365(LR) You won’t run again.

    I don’t really set concrete goals. In fact, I find it best to have no goals whatsoever; that way I won’t be disappointed if I don’t reach them.

    Hopefully some hiking by mid-summer, and some easy climbs by fall.

    Seriously, for me the goals are more of a process than an end point. Cliché, I know. But it’s weird how I can have certain ambitions or goals, and once I reach them I’ll allow a moment of satisfaction and enjoy a marg, but mostly I want to move on.

    I want to run again. Even just a little.

    The long grind of recovery. Mental, physical, emotional. Sometimes it’s like the mind games I play with myself in training, when I’m trying to push myself to become better. The little voice that’s always there, sometimes taunting, sometimes encouraging, that helps drive me.

    [Kelly trail running in Glacier National Park, MT. Photo: Cordes collection]

    Continue reading "Just a Five-Minute Run" »

    Tracing the Edge - Episode 7 with Krissy Moehl

    Is it possible to live an entire life in a single day? Ultrarunner Krissy Moehl has while racing. Massive 100-mile courses contain a lifetime of joy, tedium and wonder concentrated into 24 hours. For Krissy, her biggest races are touchstones in her life, a moment to process life's ups and downs.

    The next episode of Tracing the Edge revists Gerry and Alex Lopez and will air on September 15. To catch up on the series, visit patagonia.com/tracingtheedge.

    [With thanks to Bryan Smith and Fitz Cahall.]

    Ultra Tough

    Kc - TR start_2417(LR) There’s a great saying that goes, “If you don’t travel, you stagnate.” I think the idea also applies to engaging ourselves with people beyond our usual crowd. We can so easily get stuck in our own little circles, which also breeds stagnation and ignorance.

    And so two weekends ago I went with my ultraunner friends Krissy Moehl and Ellen Parker to Buena Vista, Colorado, where they were competing in a six-day mountain-running stage race called the TransRockies Run. It’s a team race, and Krissy ran in the Open Mixed division with Bryan Dayton, and Ellen in the Open Women’s division with Melody Fairchild. I’d asked them how they thought they’d do. Might they win? Did they have expectations? Did it matter if they placed? Coming from a climbing background, I readied for the spraydown, but both women pretty much just said that they wanted to do their best. Boooooring.

    The famous Leadville 100 (Krissy took second in the women’s division in 2005 – yeah, running 100 miles…what is wrong with these people?) was the same weekend, starting the day before TransRockies, so we figured we’d watch some of it. Sure, watching people run rivals only climbing on the excitement scale, but it’s real and anyone who can run 100 miles, or even give it an honest go, is a superstar in my book. Makes me wonder, what makes someone a badass? Anybody can coast by on natural talent – it’s easy to do well when things go your way. But what about when they don’t? Can anyone feel good for 100 miles of running? No freakin’ way.

    The ultra crowd fascinates me; I’m a big fan. Their attention to training, nutrition and hydration gets me thinking.

    [Starting gun at the TransRockies Run. Photo: Kelly Cordes]

    Continue reading "Ultra Tough" »

    Introducing Tracing the Edge a Ten-Part Video Series featuring Gerry Lopez, Colin Haley & Krissy Moehl

    [Tracing the Edge playlist, kick back and watch episodes 1-5. Video: Fitz Cahall & Bryan Smith]

    Our friend Fitz Cahall, who you know from The Dirtbag Diaries, and his partner Bryan Smith have created a new 10-part video series, Tracing the Edge, that peers into the lives of three Patagonia ambassadors. You saw the first four episodes in the Tin Shed. Today we're picking up the series with episode five. Read on for some background on the project from Fitz, then watch episode five with Gerry Lopez. You can look forward to a new episode every week from here on out.

    Adventures don’t always begin at trailheads. They can start in the most mundane places. Take for instance this dorm room at the Banff Centre for the Arts I’m currently calling home. The bedspread is the most wonderful floral pattern. Just lovely. Canadian reality TV is just as inane as its American counterpart – you lose just as many brain cells watching it, so I don’t. Whenever I’m here, lovely Banff always provides perfect working weather – steady rain.

    Continue reading "Introducing Tracing the Edge a Ten-Part Video Series featuring Gerry Lopez, Colin Haley & Krissy Moehl" »

    Backyard Adventures: Pioneer Trifecta (aka. Fatherhood Shakedown)

    Jj_Hyndman A little over a year ago, we invited readers to submit stories of their own Backyard Adventures and announced a deadline of January 9th, 2009. Here we are in 2010, and still (happily) receiving submissions. Today's post is from previous Backyard Adventure contributor Steve Graepel, author of an earlier piece about traversing central Idaho's Sawtooth Range. Steve's been working hard on his plan to thread a 900+ mile route through Idaho's wilderness by foot, raft and mountain bike. This installment of Steve's Backyard Adventures could be considered a recon-mission for his big trip, but with a new baby on the way, Steve had something different in mind . . .

    __________________________

    After ten years of marriage, life finds a comfortable rhythm; it’s a well-tuned circuit of work, exercise and leisure.

    And then along comes your first child...

    "It will change your life...your life will never be the same...parenthood gives back so much more than you put into it...". Growing wary of the overabundance of encouragement, or perhaps out of sheer panic, I jumped at the chance to get lost during the baby shower. There aren’t many problems you can't solve after an 8.5 hour push.

    I wanted to knock out a trip I'd heard rumors of. Nestled in Sun Valley's backyard, three hours from Boise, the "Pios" court those with a zest for adventure. . . .

    [Above: The view of Hyndman Peak from Cobb's south face. Photo: James Just]

    Continue reading "Backyard Adventures: Pioneer Trifecta (aka. Fatherhood Shakedown)" »

    Dirtbag Diaries: Fueled by Strawberry Jam - The Year of Big Ideas 2010

    Big_ideas_2010 The Dirtbag Diaries kick off 2010, and your weekend, with their annual Year of Big Ideas episode (2008, 2009). Do you have aspirations for the new year? Becca Cahall takes the mic today for an episode that's full of great goals:

    Ski filmmaker Nick Waggoner knew what he wanted to do with his life. He wanted to be a skier of the diehard variety. There were two obvious hurdles. First, he lived in New York City. Second, he was 11 years old. He found a way to make it work and before he was legally behind the wheel of a car, he was squeezing adventure out of skiing. In the last decade, his passion for skiing evolved into a passion for making films about skiing, but his approach has remained the same. Today, we bring you another Year of Big Ideas -- a time to turn daydreams into concrete goals. Professional athletes, weekend warriors, and full time dreamers present their goals for 2010.

    Download "Fueled by Strawberry Jam - The Year of Big Ideas 2010"
    (mp3 - right-click to download)

    Head over to the Dirtbag Diaries for information on the music from today's podcast. You can also connect with the show via Twitter and Facebook. Fitz's new Web TV show, The Season, is due to begin at the end of the month.

    Fittingly, I just watched Nick Waggoner's latest film, Signatures, again the other night. I love how the lines Taro Tamai draws inspire me to both strap on my snowboard and paddle out for a surf. He calls his brand of riding "snowsurfing" and for good reason. The trailer for Signatures can be viewed in the Tin Shed; visit Sweetgrass Productions or Patagonia.com to pick up your copy.

    Breakin’ Mama’s China

    By Craig Holloway

    Roch_1

    The Hardrock Hundred Mile Endurance Run through Colorado’s San Juan Mountains starts and finishes in the mountain town of Silverton, and has a total elevation gain of 33,000 feet. I’d met my friend Roch Horton at Grouse Gulch, the 42-mile mark, intending to pace him as far as Ouray. He’d already run the hardest stretch to the highest point (14,048 feet). I filled his water bottle and asked him how he felt.

    “No hail, rain or fog at the top of Handies this year,” he said, “but man it was warm up there. Ready to run, Craig?”

    “Let’s get to work.”

    Above: Roch Horton running down into American Basin after a long descent off Handies Peak at the Hardrock 100. San Juan Mountains, Colorado. Photo: Luis Escobar (AllWeDoIsRun.com).

    Continue reading "Breakin’ Mama’s China" »

    Patagonia Ambassador Moehl Takes 1st in Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc, Sets Course Record

    Krissy finish2 [Editor's note: The following report comes to us from Patagonia Athlete Liaison, Kristo Torgerson, with photos courtesy of Justin Bastien (www.justinbastien.com).]

    On August 30th, Patagonia Ambassador Krissy Moehl left an indelible mark on the ultra-running world when she crossed the finish line in Chamonix, France to take first place in the Women’s division at the 7th annual Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB); a 103-mile circumnavigation of the Mont Blanc massif, stretching across France, Italy and Switzerland, with over 31,000 feet of elevation gain. Krissy’s time of 24:56:01 also earned her a new Women’s course record, made her the first American woman to cross the finish line, and landed her 11th overall in a race that began with over 2,200 competitors. 2nd place went to last year’s winner, Britain’s Elizabeth Hawker, who crossed the finish line over an hour behind Krissy. Patagonia also had Ambassador John Stamstad and employee Jenny Uehisa finish the race with times of 39:52:14 and 43:23:25 respectively.

    The news of Krissy’s victory has been a jaw-dropping experience for all of us here at Patagonia. Like overjoyed parents, we couldn’t be more proud of her. Many of us have found ourselves reveling, “1st place!…1st American!…course record!…11th overall!…all in the Multi Use Skirt!!”. I’ve even had a few friends who were present at the race say what they found most impressive was how much energy she carried through the finish line with her – all smiles, and laughter and looking fresh.  

    We’ve been privileged to work with Krissy for many years now, and in her role as an ambassador she wears several hats. As an accomplished ultra runner, employee of the Conservation Alliance, and vibrant  (hit the jump to continue reading)

    [Patagonia Ambassador Krissy Moehl crossing the finish line to claim the Women's title in the 103-mile Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc. Photo, Justin Bastien, www.justinbastien.com]

    Continue reading "Patagonia Ambassador Moehl Takes 1st in Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc, Sets Course Record" »

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