Rob Krar took second at last year’s Lake Sonoma 50 Mile and he’s back this year to try and improve upon that. In the following interview, Rob talks about what went wrong at last December’s TNF 50, what he’s been up to since then, and how he’s prepared differently for this year’s Lake Sonoma 50.
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Rob Krar Pre-2015 Lake Sonoma 50 Mile Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Rob Krar before the 2015 Lake Sonoma 50 Mile. How are you doing, Rob?
Rob Krar: I’m doing good.
iRunFar: You’re back for another go at this. You were second here last year. Does that get you fired up to come back to a race that you were close to winning but didn’t quite do it?
Krar: Yeah, I think so. This race really wasn’t on my plans for quite some time. I think it just fit in the schedule really well. Certainly, coming back to try and take another stab at having a good race is appealing to me for sure.
iRunFar: Is this a plan to get towards Western States?
Krar: Yeah, I definitely want to mix things up a little more this year. I think I’m going to race more than I have in previous years. I still tend to… when I race I want to race well. I would call this an “A” race for sure and one step on the way to Western for sure.
iRunFar: Going back to last year, you won Western States, Leadville, Run Rabbit Run. You were just cranking out there. Then The North Face 50 mile happened. What happened? You haven’t had a lot of races where you’ve kind of blown up like that. What happened?
Krar: Yeah, for sure. I think it really comes down to it was a long season. I was definitely lacking a certain amount of motivation in the fall to train. That’s always difficult to put in the miles and the efforts needed to race well. I was fighting through a bit of an injury, as well. Retrospect is always so crystal clear. I really wish I hadn’t raced it, but it was on my list of races early in the year, and I wanted to stick to it. Yeah, it was a tough race, but I learned a lot. I feel good and trainings well in the new season now.
iRunFar: Just late in the season, no major problems… you came out of it fine?
iRunFar: You took a little time off after Western States early in the year. Did you take some downtime after The North Face?
Krar: I took a lot of time. I literally did not put my shoes on for eight weeks after that. I kind of went straight into the ski-mountaineering season. Pretty much within a couple days I was on the mountain. I kind of just wrapped up the ski season a couple weeks ago with the Grand Traverse up in Colorado, which was a lot of fun. Yeah, so a lot of skiing, and then slowly transitioned back into the running over the past four or five weeks.
iRunFar: On the skiing side, you gave it much more of a go than you did last year. The previous winter you did some skiing, but you had some races on your calendar this year including the Elk Mountain Grand Traverse, which is kind of the big US ski tour race. It was quite a race this year. You partnered up with J. Marshall Thompson who has won it, and from talking to you before the race, you were maybe a bit intimidated? How would you say it? What were your thoughts going into the race?
Krar: Yeah, well the whole skimo season was amazing. I’ve been doing ski-mountaineering the past four seasons, and I wanted to do some racing this year. I partnered up with Mike Foote at the Power of Four. That kind of just fell into place. At first we weren’t going to do it, and then we ended up doing it. That kind of led into the Grand Traverse. Kind of out of nowhere Dynafit invited me to race with J. Marshall Thompson. I kind of thought I got the wrong email or they sent it to the wrong person, but I kind of jumped on the opportunity. It was amazing to partner up with someone with that much experience. In that race there’s a lot of strategy as well, so having a partner like that was key. It was great. It was totally out of my comfort zone. It was not quite as technical as the Power of Four, but still, I went down hard a couple times. You’ve always got to keep your fingers crossed going to those races. It was a lot of fun, and it’s definitely something I think I’m going to be doing more of next year.
iRunFar: Cool. On the running side, you have raced at least once so far. You ran the Red Hot Moab. Although you were mostly skiing, you still had a great race there. You took second to Alex Nichols, but I think in the third fastest time. I think it was only slower than one of your races and Alex. How did that feel? Was it a surprise?
Krar: It’s about where I thought I’d be. Definitely, I hadn’t done a ton of running. I’d just put on the shoes about a week before that race. I was really fit; ski-mountaineering is amazing for that. My legs were a little stale, and they didn’t feel great in the race. But I put in a really hard effort, and I was really happy with it.
iRunFar: How has your… you still had a little bit of skimo after that, but how has your running gone since you picked that back up?
Krar: Good. The body feels really great. Definitely, I have prepared for this race a little more than last year. I think the course surprised me a little with the short, tough hills. It’s really tough to get into a rhythm in this race. I’ve done some more specific hill training for this one, maybe not as many long runs as I would have liked to at this point. I feel pretty good. I don’t know what to expect. I want to go out there and put in a really hard effort. I think I’m capable of having a great race. We’ll see what happens in two days.
iRunFar: Who do you think you might be up there challenging you on Saturday?
Krar: I think there are a lot of guys that could have a great race out here. There are a lot of people I’m not too familiar with. It’s a crapshoot out there.
iRunFar: Max King obviously is in really good fitness after his run at the LA Marathon and was obviously in top shape last November at World 100ks.
Krar: Yeah, I think he’ll be up there for sure. Sounds like he might be a little tired coming off his marathon, but it’s Max King. He’s capable of just about anything. I will keep my eyes out for him for sure.
iRunFar: Have you made the transition to full-time professional runner at this point? I know that’s been in the works for awhile.
Krar: I suppose you can say that, yeah. I’ve taken a step away from my fulltime work as a pharmacist. Yeah, it’s kind of a new era for me. We’ll see where that takes me.
iRunFar: When did that happen?
Krar: Just a couple weeks ago.
iRunFar: How has that gone? I know at some point in the past year or year-and-a-half you talked about being a little worried about that because you had this structure and sort of a balance between having to work all these long shifts and then having a hard training block. How’s it been, like, you wake up in the morning, I gotta run today?
Krar: No, it’s been good so far. Again, it’s relatively new. I’ve got a lot of other projects and goals for the year, so I’m definitely keeping busy so far. I think that was one of my biggest worries—having enough to do during the day—but it’s not a problem so far. I’m really enjoying it.
iRunFar: Best of luck on Saturday and with your whole season.
Krar: Appreciate it.
iRunFar: Bonus question: We’re in California, and there’s some darn great beer around here. I know you have Wanderlust, but is there any beer you’re looking forward to drinking here in California?
Krar: I wouldn’t say any particular one, but I’m definitely up for experimenting. Let’s put it that way.
iRunFar: Alright. Let’s go find some. [Thank you, Brian Tinder.]