Trail Running Stories

Dan Patitucci
Patagonia Ambassadors Run the New Patagonia Park, Part 2: The Run

How do you tell the story of 106 miles in two days in a short and concise manner? It’s nearly impossible—similar to trying to restore an ecosystem and build a national park. So many little steps, so many little stories. Our route would take us through the new Patagonia Park. Starting north in the town…

Jeff Browning
7 min Read
Running to the Bottom of the World

Exploring South America’s public lands on foot.

Felipe Cancino
6 min Read
The Most Obvious Line

Luke Nelson's FKT on the Wasatch Ultimate Ridge Linkup.

Luke Nelson
5 min Read
FFFKT (Fastest Fish Fourteener Known Time)

Jenn Shelton traverses the Sierra High Route.

Jenn Shelton
15 min Read
If You Love It, Run for It: Dispatch from the Inaugural Takayna Ultramarathon

Krissy Moehl reports from the inaugural takayna ultramarathon “There are no footprints.” Fellow Patagonia ambassador and New Zealand native Grant Guise voiced what I was thinking. Our headlamps and phone lights dimly illuminated the overgrown double-track from Rebecca Road. “If 100 people are starting a race in five minutes, we would see footprints,” he said…

Krissy Moehl
14 min Read
Introducing “Training for the Uphill Athlete” by Steve House

In his new book, Training for the Uphill Athlete, Steve House joins forces with coach Scott Johnston and athlete Kílian Jornet to develop a comprehensive approach to finding the joy and the payoff of intense training effort. Even lunges. The wind had made its presence known all night, the tiny tent shaking off its layer…

Steve House
6 min Read
Generations of a Diné Family Reflect on Running

Some time in the northern corner of the Diné reservation helps clarify why this question is so hard to answer. A girl wakes and runs toward the light, her dark hair streaming behind her as she races in the direction of the rising sun. She hears the prayers of her family and friends as her…

Meaghen Brown
7 min Read
Seven Recommendations for Trail Racing and Training

Patagonia is thrilled to publish Steve House and Scott Johnston’s second training book, Training for the Uphill Athlete, for which they teamed up with world-class endurance athlete Kílian Jornet. This is an excerpt from the book, now available in Patagonia stores, on Patagonia.com, and at your favorite bookstore or online distributor. I race a lot:…

Kílian Jornet
4 min Read
A Very Large, Long Group Run Through the Bob Marshall Wilderness

For the slo-mo, bug-bitten, exhausted joy of really long runs. Time expands and compresses on long runs. Moments of navigation or extended discomfort can seem endless, while the landscape sifts by like a slow-moving picture. And then suddenly it’s been hours that slipped by without you noticing, except for the subtle changes in light and…

Meaghen Brown
2 min Read
Home Run: How the Braford Family Connects by Foot

Some families share religion, camping, lavish vacations, opera. Other families go running. On an unnaturally warm February morning, one of many in a winter that never made up its mind south of the 40th latitude, the Braford family went for a run. Through town on Shrine Road, up toward the local water supply, to the…

Meaghen Brown
4 min Read
Krissy Moehl and Jeremy Wolf Run from Bellingham to Mt. Baker

On clear days in the Pacific Northwest, views of Mount Baker depend on the marine layer and the storms. The 10,781-foot snowcapped dome is often obscured by the shifting weather, and though I’d grown up looking at the mountain, I didn’t see it much this year. But when Jeremy Wolf emailed me about running to…

Krissy Moehl
7 min Read
Tackling All of California’s 14ers by Bike, and Only Getting a Little Lost

Groggily I stirred in the sweaty musk of my sleeping bag. I’d spent the night on the hard concrete slab directly outside the Independence campground’s pit toilets, with the wafting stench of shit enveloping my fitful slumber. I shut my eyes, trying to forget where I was. My hips were sore, my kidneys ached and…

Erik Schulte
8 min Read
The Way There: Why We Create and Seek Out Trails

It starts with the focal beam of a headlamp. Sunrise is more than an hour away and it’s pouring rain. Hands tucked into the sleeves of a jacket, and the pace already quick through the sharp Tasmanian buttongrass—trying to stay warm. There is an urgency to understand this threatened place, to know takayna / Tarkine as…

Meaghen Brown
4 min Read
Three Hours, Max: Underestimating a Run

The map showed an unbroken line contoured to the ridge. We started running along that line and ran past its end, into a space between two worlds. A few orange ribbons hung on branches in natural openings, marking what might eventually be the beginning of a trail. We followed it. When a gravel slope appeared…

Will Leith
3 min Read
Messengers: A 250-Mile Relay Across Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante

As we sat on the tailgate of the truck, our frozen breath swirling under the light of a headlamp, we heard the first distant thud of rubber on dirt. The approaching runner was still a mile away, but you can hear just about anything that happens in the dense stillness of 2 a.m. in the…

Johnie Gall & Andy Cochrane
4 min Read
Lessons in Gratitude

It started on a hot afternoon in May, deep in Bears Ears National Monument. Four of us had been going hard for a couple of days and the fatigue from difficult miles was stacking up. One of us was struggling. It might have been lack of training, or perhaps improper fueling for back-to-back 12-hour days…

Luke Nelson
3 min Read
The Disaster Training Plan: Running the Tour du Mont Blanc with Jenn Shelton

“We just have to run 20, 30 or 50 miles a day over some mountains. What could go wrong?” When I received my itinerary from Jenn Shelton to run the Tour du Mont Blanc, I took a hard swallow of quickly drying saliva, knowing that my background as a middle-distance track racer (specializing in the 5K)…

Morgan Sjogren
7 min Read
Defending the Idea of Wilderness

The Secretary of the Interior arrived in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument midday on May 10, 2017. He came to perform an “assessment” of the monument—to see whether the current boundaries overstepped their task of protecting natural and cultural resources and spurring economic growth. It was raining, windy and cold, but hundreds of locals gathered at…

Paul Hendricks
7 min Read
A 140-Mile Backcountry Run to Old Faithful

I woke in a daze and waddled, still in my sleeping bag, bottom unzipped, feet out, toward the camp kitchen to greet the team. The morning was brisk and we’d gone light on clothes to save weight. My hands snuck out to grasp a cup of hot coffee. Two bull bison emerged in the mist…

Kt Miller
7 min Read
Running Up For Air: A Race Away from the Smog of Salt Lake City

Breathless, I reach out and high-five four smiling volunteers. Between gasps for air, I thank them for standing on the top of a peak in February to man the summit aid station. I turn and hastily trot down the steep snow steps that fall towards the valley below. Four, maybe five steps later the bottom…

Luke Nelson
6 min Read
The Worst Idea: A Sufferfest in the Wyoming Wilderness

“You don’t have to be crazy,” Ty likes to say, “but it helps.” I’ve stopped counting how many times over the years these words have described our harebrained outings. Right then, I was trying to focus on surviving the current one. Anything that actually resembled running had stopped hours ago. The sun was shining, but…

Luke Nelson
3 min Read
Do What You Love to Protect What You Love: Mile for Mile Campaign Surpasses Fundraising Goal

“Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul. ” – Edward Abbey Scale is a hard thing to get a handle on. We pour over maps to try to understand a landscape. Better yet, sometimes we get to fly over it, circling the valleys and mountains to get a real lay of the land.…

Kristine McDivitt Tompkins
6 min Read
Luke Nelson: Disaster Style on the Sierra High Route

By Luke Nelson There is something unnerving about waking up shivering. I rolled over and did a dozen or so push-ups in an attempt to get warm enough to fall back asleep. My commotion led to Cody pressing the light on his watch. “It’s almost 4 a.m.,” I mumbled. “I’ve been cold for a while,”…

Luke Nelson
6 min Read
Lost in the Sierra Nevada During a 50K

When I lived in Chicago I ran like there was no tomorrow. Sundays had me running long steady miles, Mondays were a set up for double-down Tuesdays, and Wednesday’s leg screaming repeats on the University of Illinois’s Circle Campus track provided the week’s endorphin highlight. A friend whom I trained with told me about ultramarathon…

Craig Holloway
3 min Read
I Dream of Running

By Greta Hyland I dream of running, not figuratively but literally. In my dreams it is effortless, exhilarating. When I wake from these dreams I feel pumped and want to jump out of bed and run—there have been times at night when I have. For a while, running was a nightmare. I got tired. My…

Greta Hyland
2 min Read
Patagonia Ambassadors Run the New Patagonia Park, Part 1: Arriving

The wind gusts, blowing spray from the water lapping on the banks of Lago General Carrera. Here I stand, eyes closed, feeling the cool mist on my sunburnt cheeks. When I open my eyes it’s still there, it feels like a dream, but it’s not—Patagonia spreads out all around me. I’ve long dreamt of seeing…

Luke Nelson
7 min Read
On Innovation and the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act

I started selling fleece for Patagonia in 1993, and for six years I worked in Washington D.C., Bozeman and Reno in various customer service functions. I had a blast, learned a ton about product and people and made a network of friends who are as important to me as my college cohorts. During this time,…

John Wallin
6 min Read
Winter Running

From my house, at 9,800 feet elevation in the Colorado Rockies, I have to run downhill first. Above is sealed under feet of unrunnable, soft, post-holing snow. So it’s downhill, passing beneath nine avalanche slidepaths on a snow-packed road, often in a howling, pushy wind that streams old snow around in phantoms. I wear neon…

Rhonda Claridge
4 min Read
With All Apologies to Krissy Moehl

I AM NOT A CROSSDRESSER! Okay, so running 50 kilometers in a skirt technically makes a man a crossdresser but I’m not compulsively one, the act was more spontaneous or, perhaps, situational. Robert and I had been discussing the upcoming Mt. Cheaha 50K – “The Race to The Top of Alabama” – and we’d arrived…

Kevin Alldredge
5 min Read
San Diego 100 Race Report: Course Record Run

Two weekends ago, I had the ridiculously good fortune to watch Patagonia Ultra Runner Jeff Browning put on a display of trail running zen mastery at the San Diego 100. One could not ask for a better experience and the fact that so many friends had gathered for the event made it all the sweeter.…

Jeff Browning
14 min Read
The Measure of a Mountain

  I remember the feeling more than the sound; a palpable ‘crack’ shattered through the bones of our house. At first we thought it was a car accident or maybe a gas explosion, but as we looked out the bay window to the north, we knew it was far worse… a mushroom cloud vigorously boiled…

Steve Graepel
5 min Read
The Ptarmigan Traverse

Scott scrambles up to Cache Col and drops his pack besides mine. We’ve been moving just over two hours since the trailhead and have stopped to get our first glimpse at the route before us. Our goal is the Ptarmigan Traverse – a 35-mile off-piste, haute route traversing the southern upheaval of the North Cascades.…

Steve Graepel
7 min Read
Time On His Feet – A Former Runner Looks Back

I ran my last ultra on a warm, spring day in Wisconsin five years ago.  The course was surprisingly tough – small roller coaster hills come at you like black flies. Crossing the finish line I didn’t feel the exhilaration that I normally do after a race. I chalked it up to burnout and decided…

Craig Holloway
5 min Read
A Runner’s Mother Takes Her Last Victory Lap

I arrived in Knoxville early afternoon on Wednesday to spend some time with my mother before the Rock Creek Stump Jump 50K in Chattanooga on Saturday (Oct. 1st). I picked up the rental car and drove to Manorhouse, her assisted living home. Mom has severe dementia and is physically frail, no longer capable of performing…

Kevin Alldredge
4 min Read
The Great Salmon Run – running the route of one of nature’s great migrations

Ty Draney, a member of the Patagonia Ultrarunning Team, and friend Luke Nelson recently completed the Great Salmon Run in partnership with Save our Wild Salmon. The pair were inspired to trace over 120 miles of the Snake River sockeye's migration route, motivated by facts like these: • Thirteen populations of salmon and steelhead are…

Ty Draney
3 min Read
Advice on Ultrarunning at 40 and Beyond

Maybe we're all getting old, or maybe just obsessed with trying not to, but Kelly Cordes' ongoing series about Fighting Forty makes today's post – from runner and guest-contributor, Liz Mosco – particularly appropriate. As a friend of patagonia, Liz has come to know some of the folks around here. She's a fan of those…

Liz Mosco
4 min Read
Patagonia Ambassadors Create Running Tradition with Japan’s Shinetsu 5 Mountains Race

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…

Krissy Moehl
3 min Read
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.…

The Dirtbag Diaries
4 min Read
After a Big Injury, Just a Five-Minute Run

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…

Kelly Cordes
3 min Read
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…

1 min Read
Krissy Moehl and Ellen Parker at the TransRockies Run

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…

3 min Read
Backyard Adventures: A Father’s Pioneer Range Trifecta

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…

Steve Graepel
6 min Read
Breakin’ Mama’s China at the Hardrock Hundred Mile Endurance Run

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…

Craig Holloway
3 min Read
Krissy Moehl Takes Firstst in Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc, Sets Course Record

[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…

2 min Read
Interview: Patagonia Employee Sets New Record on the Pacific Crest Trail

If you've ever called Patagonia's Customer Service line and asked a question about ultra-light hiking, then chances are good you've been referred to Adam Bradley. He's been working for Patagonia for years, during that time developing a reputation as one of the most fired-up, friendly, and knowledgeable customer service reps out there. He keeps his…

3 min Read
Backyard Adventures: A Shakedown in the Sawtooths

Central Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountain Range offer a stellar backyard for Steve Graepel’s adventures. A Boise resident, he wedges his endurance training around family and a full-time job. His Backyard Adventure gives us a glimpse at a beautiful section of country to be included in one of his bigger projects: connecting 1,200 miles across Idaho’s backcountry…

Steve Graepel
6 min Read
Backyard Adventures: Backpacking the Yoiyabe Crest Trails, Part 3

Today, we’ve got the final installment in Old School’s Toiyabe Trails series (previous posts: The morning after our unplanned layover day dawned clear andsunny, and while there was still a stiff breeze, it was nothing like the howlingwinds of the day before so we packed up and headed north. The TCT is splitneatly in half…

Old School
5 min Read
Backyard Adventures: Backpacking the Yoiyabe Crest Trails, Part 2

Welcome! We're pleased to bring you part two in this series. If you missed Part 1, no worries, you can find it right here.__________________ Nevada is smack-dab in the middle of the Basin and Range topography of the Great Basin so every mountain range is an islandpoking up out of a sagebrush sea. These ranges…

Old School
3 min Read
Backyard Adventures: Backpacking the Yoiyabe Crest Trails, Part 1

Mention Nevada to mostfolks and what comes to mind is LasVegas glam and desert heat. Truth be told, manyNevadans are more than willing to let you think that but for the record, with313 named mountain ranges, Nevada has moremountains than any state except Alaska.Since moving here five years ago, I have been trying to wean…

Old School
3 min Read
Pat Ambassador Krissy Moehl Posts New Record on Leona Divide 50

[Ed note: The following submission is from Patagonia Velocity and Performance Baselayer Designer, Jenny Uehisa. Together with Krissy Moehl, the duo are responsible for the design and development of many of the products found in Patagonia's line of running apparel.] I first met Krissy about 7 years ago when we shared a tiny workspace together…

Krissy Moehl
3 min Read
Confession of a Broken-Down Angeles Crest Pacer

Continuing with our impromptu theme of employees traversing long distances on foot, today’s post comes from Chuck Journey one of Patagonia’s I.T. wizards in Ventura: Brian looks at me: "You better be ready." He isn’t joking. We are at the Shortcut Saddle Aid Station, mile 59 of the annual Angeles Crest 100 Mile Endurance Run,…

Chuck Journey
5 min Read
Ultrainterview: Krissy Moehl Talks Hardrock 100

Patagonia wordsmith and former ultrarunner, Craig Holloway recently interviewed Patagonia ambassador, Krissy Moehl about her win at this year’s Hardrock 100 in Silverton, Colorado. Krissy is considered one of the top female ultramarathon runners in the country. Craig: Congratulations on setting the women’s course record (29:24) at the 2007 Hardrock 100. You were the first…

Craig Holloway
7 min Read
The Stench of a Runner’s World

I love sport. I love to sweat. I am addicted to endorphins. And the easiest way to get my fix is to run. I heard once that it takes 30 days to form a habit. So finally after all of my bemoaning I have got myself a running habit. It works out well, all you…

2 min Read
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