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While we're getting closer to the next UTMB, the American mountain runner Anton Krupicka shares his running experience explaining his "Ultra - trail Essentials"
Once you said that is not the distance that motivates you, but the mountains. Which is the mountain that represents your biggest challenge? I don't think there is any one mountain that represents my biggest challenge. Instead, my motivation comes from experiencing beautiful and inspiring landscapes. All natural, wild environments offer their own kind of beauty that allows to completley strips away all the civilization gear. Is very simple, but very meaningful at the same time You’re well known to be a minimalist runner. Aside for shoes, what constitutes your ultra trail essentials? It depends on the length of the outing. Most long European races have a list of mandatory gear that includes stuffs like wind shell, a long-sleeve t-shirt, some gloves, additional buff and so on… But almost any time I go into the mountains, though, I take the La Sportiva Oxygen 2.0 Windbreaker or the La Sportiva Hail Jacket. They are both very light and can be essential for the fast-changing weather in a high mountain environment. If you get the chance to put in your backpack something too big or just too abstract to being possibly carried away… what would it be? Maybe Courage, or Joy. When you have to run for more than 160 km, can happens to really think to end it up before the finish line, even if you trained for that specific race maybe the entire season. Well… In these moments, all you need is a bit of courage, a sprout of Joy, and change your mind about how you see the race: stop thinking about the competition, run numbers, or result’s expectations. Just think as you’re doing a run around the mountain following a logical line, and if you can go on, continue to move, look forward… good for you, but there is nothing wrong if you stop, it’s not a failure. Certainly you can be disappointed for a while, but if you know you gave all your best efforts, you win anyway. There’s not a Km set number to run, so if you don’t finish the entire track it’s ok, you can always come back and try again. The day before the race: what you use to do? Nothing special to be fair. I just make sure to rest, stay off my feet, and relax. Trying to be casual and not worry about what I have to do or not, what is better to eat and so on. Honestly, I'm not too fussy about this. I try to think about races as just another long run in the mountains. The night before the race: what’s the book that cannot miss on your nightstand? I don’t have any specific rituals, so there is not a particular reading that motivates me or pushes me in the right mood for the race. The book on my nightstand changes often, is whatever novel I am reading at the moment. But if I had to choose… David Foster Wallace is my favorite author, and “Infinite Jest” is certainly one of my fav book. Face the 168 km of the UTMB doesn't seems to be easy,even for those whom trained a lot for the competition… What would be your last-minute advice at the start line? As with any 160km race, it is important to start conservatively. The first 40km at UTMB are very fast, but if you don't burn yourself out here, it is easy to start making up time on the big climbs that come after that. In particular, you want to be as fresh as possible for the last three climbs after Champex-Lac.
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