Representing human-powered adventure on the trail and in action.
Rob’s foray into ultra running began on a whim in late 2012 at the Bootlegger 50k. Highlights included a record-setting run at the Leona Divide 50 mile, running the Grand Canyon double crossing route in a record breaking 6 hours and 21 minutes, a successful initiation to the 100-mile distance with a second place finish at the Western States Endurance Run followed by back-to-back wins in 2014 and 2015 while logging the second and third fastest times in the 41 years of the race, and many other top finishes. Rob is an inspiring athlete who has overcome great challenges and gives back to his community by advocating for the protection of public lands, supporting local causes, and passing on his hard-won knowledge to others.
“Kahtoola has been creating world-class traction products for well over a decade and I’m proud to represent such an amazing company based right at home in Flagstaff, AZ. Their MICROspikes® have kept me safe in the snow since their creation and I’m excited to have played a role in the design and development of their newest product, NANOspikes®, purposely built for runners.” — RK
“I feel most alive in the mountains and love to work hard to see beautiful places. My spirit animal is a gazelle and I metamorphose to one when I run. My favorite running partner in the entire world is my dog, Riley. Most recent races and/or adventures: Bandera 100k champion baby! Before that … it’s been awhile. Last races were in 2015!” — SH
“I am blessed to live in a place that allows four great seasons of sports. I compete in ultra trail running, ski mountaineering, and mountain biking. I am the father of three awesome girls that love the outdoors as much as I do. Most recent races and/or adventures: 2016 Kahtoola Agassiz Uphill Race, 2016 Power Of Four Skimo Race, and the 2016 Grand Traverse.” — BT
“I love to create recipes. I love challenges across all different types of terrain and distances. I love writing lyrics and poetry. Most recent races and/or adventures: I challenged myself to race in three different countries/continents in three different types of races. First a trail race in Chile, then to Switzerland for a cross country race solely on snow, and lastly, Mexico for Campo Traviesa or Cross as we call it in USA. The challenge was traveling, experiencing different food and cultures, while also attempting to race at a high level in a short period of time. #3forJoeG was a success with three victories and a course record!” — JG
“I wasn’t born an ultra runner but I will die one. Until then I hope to experience as much adventure in this sport as I can, meet as many interesting people as I can, and see all the beautiful sights this world has to offer. Most recent races and/or adventures: Most recently I raced the Brazos Bend 100 Miler in Texas running a 14:47 in December. Next up is the Orcas Island 50k and then I will continue to train through the winter in whatever the East Coast can throw at me (thanks to Kahtoola) for Western States to kick off my summer.” — MG
“I am Kaci, also known as Pixie Ninja. I am passionate about running and being out in nature. I am a believer, a dreamer, and love to set goals to chase. Most recent races and/or adventures: Hitchcock 50 Mile (night trail race) last December. Otherwise, just running around the greater Omaha area!” — KL
“I moved to Flagstaff seven years ago because I wanted the mountain town lifestyle. I love all the snow sports, and am completely obsessed with winter. I enjoy many mountain activities, including snowshoeing, xc skiing, snowboarding, splitboarding, MICROspiking, hiking, trail running and exploring with my dogs. I can be found up in the mountains almost any day of the week. The mountains bring me balance and peace, adrenaline and inspiration. It’s a lifestyle.” — AM
“I grew up in Ohio but transplanted out to western Montana. I love traveling through the mountains as efficiently as possible no matter the season. My favorite way to relax is to bake bread—and I’m currently perfecting an almond butter recipe to go with that bread. Most recent races and/or adventures: Skiing a lot this winter! Heading to Europe in February to race at the Ski Mountaineering World Championships, as well as race the Pierra Menta in France with Rob Krar.” — MF
Joe Grant is an endurance athlete residing in Gold Hill, CO. He has been running ultras for close to a decade, competing around the world in places such as Colorado, the Alps, Mexico’s Copper Canyon, Italy, Alaska and Japan. He has a diverse and extensive resume competing in trail and mountain running events such as the Hardrock Hundred, the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, the Ultra-Trail Mt. Fuji, the Tor des Géants, the Iditarod Trail Invitational, and many more. He derives his inspiration from exploring wild places under his own power. He is also a writer, photographer and coach. He writes a blog documenting his adventures on his site www.alpine-works.com, and is a monthly columnist for www.iRunFar.com.
Most recent races and/or adventures: In the summer of 2016, Joe took on the Tour de Fourteeners, a self-powered link up of all of Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks by bike and on foot. Joe started and finished at his home in Gold Hill, CO, riding 1,100 miles between peaks and running/hiking another 400 miles to scale a total of 57 summits in a month.
“I was born and raised in Virginia, but moved to Flagstaff in 2009 to pursue my running and ended up staying. My original goals were aimed at elite road racing, but in part thanks to Ian Torrence, I now have added the focus of ultra-marathons and trail running. The adventures the trails have taken me on are countless and I know there are many more to come. Most recent races and/or adventures: In the summer of 2016, Ian and I got to explore the trail running and racing scene in Steamboat Springs, CO, while campground hosting.” — EH
“My entire life I have been drawn to the mountains. Over the years I have found many different ways to enjoy wild places. Trail running is the method that I have found the most appealing to me as a way to explore the world and to challenge my body.
“I have an incredible talent for biting off more than I can chew, hence the current status of my life: Husband to a stunningly beautiful woman, Tanae; father to two amazing girls, 6-year-old Brynlee and 3-year-old Chloë; professional trail and ultra-marathon runner; and a physician assistant. All of this rolls in to a complicated challenge of balancing all the aspects in my life while maintaining my sanity … but I wouldn’t have it any other way.” — LN
Matt Johnson has been a year-round fishing guide for more than 10 years and spends a lot of time on the ice. He prides himself on educating others, which is his main emphasis for every day on the water or ice. Part of that process comes down to proper gear choice, so Matt ensures his clients that they are using the best options available in today’s industry. Matt also challenges himself to be on the cutting edge of fishing by welcoming new and creative products into the market—and this is exactly what happened when Matt started using the Kahtoola MICROspikes® back in 2008 to help propel the now ever-popular ice cleats into the ice fishing realm. When most people were using cheap, throw-away ice cleats, Matt was putting hours on the MICROspikes®—through both him and his clients—to ensure everyone was safe on the ice and had the ultimate in foot traction. When not out on the ice actually fishing, Matt is the Ice Team Manager where he has been fortunate enough to work with the biggest names in ice fishing. Much like Matt, the Ice Team directs all of their focus towards helping others catch more fish and making sure other anglers are excited about the sport. Matt and the Ice Team have more than welcomed Kahtoola into their elite group of ice fishing products used by the Ice Team Pros to help make their time easier and safer out on the ice.
Chad Markle has been using Kahtoola’s products since 2003 when he purchased the original KTS Crampons to train for the San Juan Islands edition of Primal Quest. He subsequently competed in the 2006 and 2008 editions of Primal Quest in Moab, UT, and Big Sky, MT, respectively. Over the last 10 years, he has competed in more than 30 adventure races across the country. Prior to becoming involved in adventure racing, Chad was a collegiate rower at Georgia Tech winning more than 50 medals in his four years of competition. Currently, he lives in the Salt Lake City, UT, area and participates in outdoor activities in a more recreational manner—typically mountain biking and trail running in the summer and skiing and snowshoeing in the winter.
Sara Wagner has been a passionate advocate for all things Kahtoola since her introduction to the company seven years ago. A competitive distance runner, Sara had won a pair of FLIGHTboots in the fall 2006 edition of the Soulstice Mountain Trail Run, a signature Flagstaff race. When she came in to exchange them for the correct size, we not only talked her into buying the first pair of FLIGHTdecks available to the general public, but to join our team as an associate. Between career jobs, Sara stayed on with us for a year. We tested her mettle many times, seeing if she could make it to the top of Agassiz, a ski run on our local mountain, in our products. She also proved she could survive her first snowshoe race at the high-elevation Tennessee Pass Nordic Center in addition to her first snow race up a mountain at America’s Uphill (both in Colorado). Many snowshoe, MICROspikes® and running adventures later, Sara still enjoys challenging herself and promoting our efforts amidst the trail running community.
Ellen is a USATF Certified Level 2 Endurance/Athletic Coach, and works as an outdoor fitness coach in Colorado’s Vail Valley. She is the coach/manager of the U.S. Women’s Mountain Running Team. She was the first American woman to climb Mount Everest from both Nepal and Tibet 2 (1 of 6 women in the world) and she works guiding treks and climbs in the Himalaya. Beyond her extensive worldwide climbing resume, Ellen has also climbed Himalayan 8,000-meter peaks Lhotse, Cho Oyu, and Manaslu in 2010. In 2013, she became the second woman in history to climb Nuptse to complete the “Everest Trilogy.” In 2002, she was voted Colorado Sportswoman of the Year for longevity and achievement in athletics. Ellen takes pride in helping people at any ability level reach their potential in fitness and wellness. As a bi-lateral hip replacement recipient, she supports and encourages other aging athletes to continue their pursuit of passion in sports. Ellen is very involved in her community, she is the founder of The Climb for Literacy, an annual event that raises money for literacy organizations in Eagle County, and for 10 years she was the Race Director for the Vail Mountain Winter Uphill race, a run/ski uphill race on snow which serves as a fundraiser for the U.S. Mountain Running Team.