Vasque Trailrunning Team Arise!

Vasque trail running teamVasque is once again sponsoring a trail running team! Phew. I’ve been excited to share that news since I first learn of it three months ago at the Outdoor Retailer show. In particular, I’ve been dieing to share the news that the team will include the woman who has probably been the foremost American ultrarunning ambassador over the past decade – Krissy Moehl. The most observant among you may have already noticed that Duncan Callahan and Vasque let the cat out of the bag about the team after Duncan won the Moab 100 in March. (Duncan’s Moab 100 blog post and Vasque’s press release) Other Vasque team members include Shiloh Mielke, Bryan Dayton, Debbie Livingston, and Dan Dehlin.

Vasque explains the team selection as follows:

These impressive endurance runners were hand-selected for their extraordinary athlete prowess, as well as their relentless dedication to the sport, trail preservation, and their respectable reputation locally, nationally, and even internationally. In addition to competing in major trail running events throughout the United States and abroad, the team members will serve as Vasque representatives and educators, product testers, clinic instructors, and as the face of Vasque’s biggest sponsorship initiative to date, the 2009 Vasque PROJECT.

If you need me to fill you in on who Krissy Moehl, is wake up and smell the dirt. She’s been the top or one of the top women’s ultrarunners every year for most of the past decade. (See Exhibit A: Hardrock 100 women’s course record; second fastest women’s Grand Slam of Ultrarunning – 2005?) I consider myself a decent ultrarunner and I’m guessing that Krissy has the upperhand in head-to-head racing. Besides being a great runner, Krissy was the public face of Montrail and then Nathan back when the Montrail/Patagonia or Nathan team was the shiznit. Krissy is currently one of two staff members at the Conservation Alliance – the organization that coordinates the outdoor industry’s conservation efforts.

Duncan Callahan is a relative newby on the ultra scene. However, it’s impossible to say he’s an unknown as he won the Leadville 100 last year. He also won the Moab 100 this year and placed second to ultra speedster (and iRunFar contributor) Kevin Sullivan at the Rocky Raccoon 50 mile earlier this year. Keep your eyes on Mr. Callahan for we certainly haven’t seen the last of him yet. Far from it!

In uncharacteristic fashion for iRunFar, I’ll let Vasque tell you about the rest of its athletes:

[Shiloh] Mielke, a world-class mountain runner, plans to compete in the Mount Washington Road Race, the Cranmore Hill Climb (also the U.S. Mountain Running Championship), and, if all goes according to plan, the World Mountain Running Championship in Campodolcina, Italy. Mielke also plans to cut time and improve his already event record at the Shut-In Ridge trail race in Asheville, North Carolina.

[Bryan] Dayton, training in the mountains of Colorado, will focus his season on the Pikes Peak Marathon as well as setting course records at the Leadville Marathon and ½ Marathon. Dayton set the course record at the difficult Leadville ½ Marathon last season. Dayton plans to also compete at the popular, but difficult StumpJump 50K in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where he also currently holds the course record.

[Debbie] Livingston, a well known athlete in not only the trail but fitness and yoga communities, will base her season around several events in the New England area, including the Northern Nipmuck Trail Race, the Mount Greylock Trail Race ½ Marathon, and the People’s Forest 10K in Barkhamsted, CT.

… Dan Dehlin, a Vasque sales representative in the upper Midwest. Dehlin took second place at last season’s Grand Island Trail Marathon in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and was the top finisher the previous two years. This year, Dehlin plans to not only compete in several high profile trail events such as the Free State 100k and Leadville 100 miler, but also host clinics to help broaden consumer knowledge around the sport and the product.

Not only is Vasque sponsoring a trail running team, it also looks like the company will be actively engaging athletes for feedback about its trail shoes. In fact, Vasque notes that “[t]he 2009 Vasque Trail Team begins its season in late April with a two-day retreat at company headquarters in Minnesota.”

After a couple years of stepping away from sponsoring athletes (though continuing to sponsor many races), it’s good to see Vasque back in the mix. Keep your eyes peeled for more info on other ultrarunning teams in the near future.

There are 8 comments

  1. Michael Valliant

    Good stuff, Goat! Glad to see Vasque back in the mix. What a great crew they've got in the mix. I can only imagine that Montrail has to miss Krissy as an ambassador, she's awesome.Will be curious to see what direction they take with their shoes. I dig the early Blur and the move into lighter shoe models. Haven't tried or heard anything much about the new Blur (IRF shoe review forthcoming? ;)

  2. Bryon Powell

    I can neither confirm nor deny the presence of a forthcoming Vasque Blur review (but I'd keep reading if I were you).

  3. randy s.

    with the exception of Krissy, i'm viewing the others as trail runners, yes, as mountain runners, yes, but as endurance runners? not too sure here. and in my opinion, Vasque really needs to improve their product before their event and athlete sponsorships will ever be very successful. i hear a lot of grumbling about Vasque trail running shoes…will be interesting to follow the progress

  4. Ultrarunning-Edge

    I have to agree with randy s. about the Vasque shoes. In fact should you decide to review them, you might want to contact me first.BTW congrats on a great job at MdS!

  5. scottlivingston

    I had to respond to "randy s." with a little fact update. Krissy does run long, but so does Deb. She has run 16 ultras in the past 24 months and was second to Jamie Donaldson at the Javelina Jundred last November. Is 100 miles too short for you to be considered an endurance athlete? How about 50 miles? As for this year, her program includes the birth of a 2nd child. She welcomes you to try that-I've been told it is painful…kind of like a 100. As for the shoes, I can't comment because I haven't run in them. However, I do hope that the product improves with the support of the team, and that the team improves with the support of Vasque.

  6. Bryon Powell

    Duncan is definitely an endurance runner these days. I look forward to him kicking my butt at the Leadville 100 this August… I just hope I'm on the far side of Hope Pass before I see him coming the other way!

  7. Scott Drum

    Not only does Duncan epitomize the mind and body of an endurance runner, he's one amazing endurance athlete…period! Case in point, he's the only person in the world to have won both the Leadville 100 Mile Run and 100 Mile Nordic ski race! Although the Nordic race is no longer an event, all the same expect Duncan to continue to turn heads as a pure endurance runner and athlete. He's also a stellar ambassador for Vasque and their line of shoes! He’s a true ‘student of the game.’ Nice to see the Vasque Project underway with a smart team selection.

  8. Bryon Powell

    Dr. Drum,Thanks for stopping by iRF. Hopefully, I'll get a chance to meet Duncan in person this summer. I hope our paths cross, as well, as I'd love to learn more about the Gunnison Endurance Project. You must be doing something very right with how well Ms. Nelson and Misters Callahan and Parr are running!-Bryon

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