On April 21st and 22nd Running Warehouse had the privilege of hosting elite trail running athletes Stephanie Howe and Rob Krar for a promo shoot, a public Q&A event, and a community trail run. We want to start by thanking both of these admirable athletes as well as Brent Hollowell, the VP of Marketing for Nathan Hydration, for taking the time to interact with our local running community and sharing their knowledge, experiences, and a good number of laughs.
The Q&A event began with two short films about both Stephanie and Rob’s individual approaches to training and racing, after which both athletes fielded questions on topics that ranged from their favorite races (the consensus was the Western States 100-Miler) to what it’s like to stand on the start line before racing 100 miles (in a word: scary). On the whole, the honesty and thought given to each question provided an unexpectedly intimate view of each athlete’s thoughts on training and competition.
Later in the event, as a pre-written question would have it, both Stephanie and Rob took a moment to highlight the technologies and the amount of work that they put into designing the new VaporHowe and VaporKrar Race Vests as well as the VaporKrar Waistpack. As a testament to Nathan’s receptivity to input, Stephanie began by stating that “[Rob and I] have been involved in [these packs] from the very beginning … all the way to the final product … [and Nathan] took everything we wanted.” At a time when an athlete’s involvement in a personally branded product can be limited to a printed signature, it is rare to find products with such a high level of investment from the athletes. With these packs, the amount of feedback was so much that Rob explained, “I still can’t believe [Brent] didn’t tell [them] to take a hike about halfway through the process.” Whether the design team at Nathan had thoughts of abandoning the project wasn’t mentioned, but we do know that these packs are specifically tailored to facilitate trail running at the highest level. As Stephanie concluded, “one of the coolest things about working with Nathan was the ability to create something like this … something that I actually love.”
In addition to expanding on some of their positive experiences, both Stephanie and Rob were very open about the challenges that they face inside and outside of racing. Both have worked through injuries that they worried might be career-ending, and rather than portraying these experiences strictly as examples of their fortitude, each athlete remarked on how appreciative their time away from running has made them. Trail running is inherently challenging, but with those challenges comes a more intimate understanding of oneself. As Rob put it, “there [are] some parallels to those darkest places I have been in my depression … [with] feeling like I’m in the deepest darkest place with 50 miles to go in an ultra … it’s an odd experience but I kind of love that … being in control of that pain.”
Again, we want to extend our sincere thanks to Stephanie, Rob, and Brent for spending their time with us. It would be an understatement to say that we enjoyed having them, as some of us weren’t quite ready for them to leave …
Shop for the Nathan VaporKrar Waistpack
Enter the Giveaway
To share some of the hype that we’ve been experiencing, we are announcing a giveaway for some serious Howe and Krar related swag! There are two prizes to be won: the Howe package includes a Nathan running hat, a Nathan multi-use headband, a signed poster of Stephanie Howe, and your choice of either the Nathan VaporHowe 4L or 12L Race Vest; the Krar package includes a Nathan running hat, a Nathan multi-use headband, a signed poster of Rob Krar, and your choice of either the Nathan VaporKrar 4L or 12L Race Vest. To enter, please read the Giveaway Rules and complete the survey below. The giveaway will be open until 11:59 A.M. April 27th PST. Additionally, please note that each individual may only enter in the drawing for one of the above packages. The winners will be drawn at random.
This contest is closed. Thank you to all who participated!
Will has been running competitively since high school, and is currently running with the HOKA Aggies, a post-collegiate club here on the central coast of California. With a preference for the humorous and the verbose, he enjoys playing the wordsmith almost as much as his daily runs.