Patagonia and Rock/Creek Outfitters present a
John Stamstad Ultra-Marathon Slideshow
Friday, October 6, 2006
at the Vendor Fair and Carbo Supper before the StumpJump 50K
Rock/Creek Outfitters, 100 Tremont Street, Chattanooga, TN 37405
Patagonia and Rock/Creek Outfitters are proud to present John Stamstad, an extreme endurance athlete and sponsored Patagonia trail running ambassador. John will present a slideshow at Rock/Creek Outfitters’ Tremont Street location in downtown Chattanooga, TN, the night before the StumpJump 50K & 11 Mile Trail Race. John embodies the determination and commitment to the outdoors necessary for success in events such as the StumpJump 50K. He serves as an example to us all, and will undoubtably offer an impressive slideshow.
“I enjoy working with Patagonia because they are a leader in making clothing systems that work in the field under extreme conditions. My strongest contribution to this partnership is in product feedback and development. Some of my events and projects cross the line between Endurance and Alpine and put gear to the highest test. Crossing 300 miles in Alaska, or 100 miles in the desert, puts clothing to the ultimate test – if it will work under those conditions it will work for anyone, anywhere.” -John Stamstad
That’s an important fact, because as a kid, John wanted to be an explorer. “I knew that I wanted to explore. I remember feeling disappointed that I wasn’t born a couple hundred years earlier to be able to experience the undiscovered world first-hand.”
John knew he needed adventure in his life, but he just didn’t know how he was going to get it. “Luckily, I got to forge a few trails myself on a mountain bike and also explore the limits of my own endurance,” John says. “I was extremely fortunate to be at the forefront long distance mountain biking. It gave me the opportunity to do things that hadn’t been done before and explore the frontiers of a new sport.”
John has since moved on to long distance trail running and he’s trying to do more of the same exploring, just now with a pair of running shoes. “It’s not about the method of travel, it’s about the experience,” he says.
John is renown for pushing himself in his ultra endeavors. “I feel most alive when I am at my limit, not just physically but emotionally and intellectually as well,” he says. “There are times, such as crossing Rainy Pass in Alaska in a blizzard, where it took everything I had as a human to get across. But when I reach that point, when I have to be at my absolute best, I have to make good decisions, I have to use my head to navigate when there is no trail, I have to push myself physically to hilt, and control my emotions to not think about failure, at that critical point, I actually get energized. To me it is the most amazing feeling in the world.”
“I’ve ridden across Australia, biked from Canada to Mexico along the continental divide and cycled the length of the Iditarod trail – from Anchorage to Nome in winter. For now, I’ve traded my bike in for running shoes and I’m having fun checking out new trails, challenges and adventures. Whatever I do, I like to travel lightly and have as little support as possible. I like to keep it simple and pure – just me, the trail, and the wilderness.”
“I recently ran the White Rim Trail in Canyonlands National Park – 100 miles of desert – and did it self supported. I used a modified baby jogger and had to carry 50 pounds of water, plus food and gear. It took a total of 27 hours. I believe this is the first time anyone has run it without a support crew or aid.
“In 2005 I ran the Muir Trail unsupported. It’s 220 miles long (without crossing a road) with 50,000 ft of climbing. It’s a very gear critical endeavor – I needed to be totally prepared for anything the high mountains could throw at me, but I couldn’t afford to carry much weight.
“Currently, I’m looking at running the Tahoe Rim Trail, but the biggest problem now is the amount of snow. Some of those trails may not be completely open until September.”
“I think we need to educate people about the environment and bring it to their day to day world. Very few people are ‘anti-environment’ but most will never actively do anything to help it. Plenty of ‘pro-environment’ people throw seven Starbucks paper cups in the landfill every week. I think if people start small and care about the little things, then they will start to become more aware of the bigger issues facing our planet.
“For me, I’m looking for environmental causes that are important but not glamorous, that don’t get the volunteers and money and who need the help the most. If we all help a little, the results are huge.”
“Well, there are almost too many, but my favorites right now are the Houdini Jacket and Pants. They’re all I need to run in almost any weather, anywhere on the planet! And my DAS Parka – after you sleep in it a couple of times, you become bonded for life. And if I could only have one jacket, the Patagonia Down Sweater would be it”
Recommended Web Sites
www.frybrid.com – Link to diesel/vegetable oil hybrid vehicle technology site.
“I am a normal guy who thinks that doing ‘extreme’ things is actually a normal human activity to do. If you look at the last few thousand years, going for an all day trail run is more normal than say, drinking beer and watching football (though I do that too). Deep down I think we all feel the need to explore and generally when I explore the physical word it leads to an emotional adventure as well.”