This week, Anton (Tony) Krupicka caused a bit of a flurry amongst the ultra-running community here in Singapore when he flew in to promote the launch of the Minimus Zero range by New Balance.
|Salomon – New Balance – North Face|
Tony is a two-time winner at Leadville 100, one of the toughest 100 mile races in the US. His race resume is littered with first places and PRs in 50 and 100 mile races, particularly if there’s a mountain or two along the route.
I had a great opportunity to run with the man himself on our local trail, together with 20-or-so other enthusiasts. Despite nursing an injury and jet-lag (he was in New Zealand prior to his visit), he’s light on his feet and gamely answers the questions being thrown at him without even breathing hard. He didn’t expect the reception he received from fans and media at the launch event, it seems Singapore’s ultra-running community is growing fast! He patiently obliged everyone’s request for a photo or autograph, and answered all our questions with a smile. Definitely one of the good guys.
|Mr Kor started running in his 70s, has done Boston once and qualified twice!|
|Tony and Sham lead the way|
|With the posse|
When asked, he doesn’t have much preference when it comes to food as long as its fresh, but admits to having “plenty of baked goods and probably way too much sugar”. He liked our local chicken rice and nasi lemak, though!
His main philosophy for life is “being present and not getting distracted from the very serious task of truly living”. And running in the mountains is the best way he’s found to do that. Tony’s well known for running in nothing more than his shorts and shoes, the bare minimum, happy to be slightly dehydrated and bonking a little if it means his run to the summit is unencumbered.
“.. I love how I can run up and into a mountain cirque or over a pass and be completely dwarfed and humbled by the sheer immensity and grandiosity of the landscape and I love flying down the other side with the breeze in my hair and the gravel in my shoes and the burning in my quads and the branches in my face and then when I’m finally all worn out there’s nothing like peeling my shoes off and just sitting. Just being at rest. Running sharpens the focus on life and intensifies the emotions. Is there any better reason to do anything?”
|Riding the Macritchie Trail (not much wind, but a little rain!)|
Perhaps we can take something from this, with our busy lives and myriad distractions. Back to basics, stripped down to bare bones. Everything is distilled back into it’s purest form when we escape our distractions and concentrate on just being alive. I know I’m guilty. Sometimes I run and there’s so much on my to-do list that I can’t concentrate on what I’m doing right at that moment. It’s only when I remember to let it all go, that I remember why I run in the first place. I remember who I am.
“Take the time to figure out what it is you’re doing and draw on that most essential, most basic motivation when you get tired during training or racing and realize that – even if life seems a bit uncomfortable now – you will undoubtedly feel better – about yourself, about life – if you press on and finish instead of giving up and quitting. Doing well in ultras is largely about perseverance: perseverance in the consistency of your training and perseverance in the face of race hardships. the more often you persevere, ultimately, over time, the easier and more effortless your running will become and the more fulfilling the experience will become. Relish the experience of being truly present, which I find the suffering of mountain races usually affords its competitors.”
Some food for thought, a little inspiration and motivation, perhaps. What’s getting you out for a run today?
|The boys bare all .. well, all but one anyway.|
I also got a chance to meet some new people, including Isaac Loo, a triathlete and runner who’s got a neat blog on Everything You Want To Know And More .. go check it out! 🙂
|With my new friend Isaac|