21 Questions with Anton Krupicka - Page 3
Krupicka descending Mount Elbert during his Nolan's 14 attempt. Photo by Caroline Treadway.
9. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In the outdoor realm, still competing for sure. I think several guys have recently proven that it's possible to still be competitive in the sport into our early 40s, but probably transitioning into more slog-y types of activities that require more old-man strength, experience and mental toughness, and less speed and power. Like longish trail FKT attempts, big link-ups of multiple summits, maybe focusing more on slightly more technical mountain adventures.
10. Why does trail running appeal to you over other outdoor endeavors?
Three reasons: 1) Its simplicity. It's the ultimate stripped-down mountain activity; 2) I've finally reconciled the fact that I seem to have a bit of talent at it. It's fun to do things you're good at; 3) Flow. When you're good at something, and you've practiced it a lot, there's that magical nexus of ability and challenge that occasionally occurs that is incredibly seductive. People find it in all kinds of places. For me, for most of my life, it's been moving through the mountains under my own power.
11. What have been the biggest changes in the sport in the past several years, and how do you see it evolving?
Man, I hate this question, probably because I feel that I don't have any great insights beyond the things that everyone pretty much already knows. Race participation has gone up. The number of races has gone up. Competitive depth has gone up. A few very lucky people can make a bit of a living from the sport now because of corporate support or as race directors or coaches.
I honestly have no idea how it might evolve. I wonder about this all the time. Part of me thinks it might be a bubble, kind of like adventure racing from a decade ago. I just don't know. What I do know is that no matter if someone is paying me or not, or if I'm traveling the world or not, in the next several years, I will continue to head into the mountains as often as I can. Hopefully daily still, even if it's just my backyard hills.
12. What are the three most important things for aspiring trail runners to embrace?
Hiking. Eating on the run (so much of trail running is ultrarunning, it seems). Giving up control—the mountains are wild, so embrace that and become comfortable in it.
13. What's the best advice you've ever been given about running?
Running is an injury-prevention game.
14. Do you have a running mantra?