Nathan Yanko Video Interview

There were some great performances at the 2010 Miwok 100k. We doff our cap to Anton Krupicka who won in 8:02:53 in what was likely the best Miwok debut ever and international ultrarunning superstar Kami Semick who defended her Miwok title. However, in our minds, the biggest surprise among the elite performances on the day was by La Sportiva runner Nathan Yanko. He ran smooth throughout the race and gradually worked his way up to finish in fourth. That’s a tremendous finish by a runner who you’re unlikely to have heard of unless you know coastal California racing or followed the HURT 100 this year. Well, sit back and spend a couple minutes getting to know this San Fransisco ultrarunner.

In this finish line video, we discuss his Miwok race and how he prepared for it, the La Sportiva and Hydrapak products he used during the race, and what race he’s focusing on next! Oh, and there’s bonus footage of Nathan explaining The Endurables, a Bay Area trail running group open to any one.

Anyone have any questions regarding Nathan’s running? We’ll do our best to get some answers for you.

[Disclosure: Yeah, La Sportiva supports our video production efforts and we thank them. We do not and would not thank them through embellishment. Do you often read hyperbole on iRunFar? No and you don’t here. This interview is sincere and based on our extensive knowledge of the runners and our observation of the race.]

[Editorial Note: We’ve revised our statement calling Nathan’s run “the most impressive elite performance on the day” to calling it “the biggest surprise.” It’s not often that such an unknown runner finishes top 5 at Miwok.]

There are 24 comments

  1. ed

    Like the interview. Nathan seems like a good guy and ran a great race but,

    You guys say he ran "the most impressive elite performance on the day". He came in 4th and knows the trail much better than the 3 guys that were in front of him. Did La Sportiva and Hydrapak get together and pay you to write that?

    1. Bryon Powell

      Ed, no, they did not. I was impressed while out on the course. Yes, three guys beat him, but Anton has crushed many races and likewise for Hal. Rod also had a great race. I wrote what I did about Nathan because (1) it was unquestionably a breakout race for him and (2) he also ran a very smart even race. He moved up consistently and others remarked at hope impressed they were by this.

      My word choice may not have been the best (it was after midnight this morning after a few long days), so I've slightly revised. I hope the sentence now more correctly communicates my idea.

  2. Michael Helton

    (No, I did not read the previous comment before I posted, even though my thoughts were nearly identical)

    Great interview, I love seeing these and Bryon does a great job. I had not heard of Nathan Yanko before today but he is now someone I will watch (I may even be at Burning River 100).

    He did run a great race; I do not want to take anything away from an excellent performance. However, I cannot understand how you could possibly say it was the best elite performance of the day. He placed 4th on a course he is intimitely familiar with…whereas Tony K crushed the win in his course debut (after a very long injury hiatus).

    La Sportiva is a great company and I am glad they are sponsoring this series and many others in the sport; but let's keep it real.

    1. Bryon Powell

      Michael, I've explained my position on Nathan's race, in part, above. My statement was relative and subjective. I believe I give Tony his due when I wrote that he had "what was likely the best Miwok debut ever." Tony was awesome… but he's also broken "untouchable" course records before like at the White River 50 last year. I was there watching that race and I feel it was a slightly better run than his day at Miwok.

      1. Michael Helton

        Thanks for clearing that up Bryon. Once again, awesome interview…can't find this type of information anywhere else.

  3. Michael Helton

    On a different note, I would like to hear how Nathan trains. I know ultra training is personal, but I always like to hear what the top athletes are doing for training and nutrition (other than "I run a lot").

  4. Meghan

    I don't wish to take anything away from Bryon and the work he does here, but I thought it might be helpful to point out that this interview was my idea. I at the same time also suggested an interview with a particular female top finisher, one with a pretty good story (I'm not giving away the story here because you might see it down the road a bit! :).

    I knew Bryon was planning to do a couple of interviews after the race, and I suggested to him what I thought were 2 good fast-runner stories on the day. I thought Nathan's story would be interesting simply because all of the other top 5 male finishers are well-known names in the sport.

    With this interview, Bryon just wanted the world to meet Nathan, a fast runner who most of us, until Saturday, knew little about. It's, in my opinion, unnecessary to focus with negativity on a few words that Bryon admits he chose without thinking much about in the wee hours of last night. More than that, it's downright rude to publicly assume/wonder if Bryon had an ulterior motive to promote certain iRunFar partners. Can you not see that iRunFar is the work of a person who possesses a passion for ultrarunning (As evidenced by the fact that he was willing to stay up late to get Nathan's video uploaded for fast race reporting.) and not someone who is in it for money (You probably have no idea how poor Bryon is, but please trust me that he is.)?

    It would be pretty cool if y'all just thanked Bryon and Nathan for sharing a good racing story and maybe inspiring y'all to get out and run today.

  5. derrick

    Great interview Bryon. I always enjoy learning more about people in our sport, especially the new up and coming stars that we may know little about.

    Seemed like Nathan did his homework on the course and was rewarded with an awesome race.

    Thanks for the race day updates too! It was great to follow along all day.

  6. Gary Robbins

    I don't care who sponsors who, Bryon was dead on in his assessment of the field. Anton is Anton, we expect him to win and crush course records. Hal is the poster boy of ultra running these days, and Rod has a very lengthy and impressive resume.

    I watched the top ten filter through the final aid stations to the finish line and no one looked even half as fresh and strong as Nathan did out there. This is why Bryon carries this very valid take on this weekends race.

    Congrats to all, and a great interview to watch. I think Nathan is going to light it up down at Burning River!


    1. Bryon Powell

      Thanks, Gary. I appreciate the support.

      Way to go for it out there on Saturday. You had a goal and went for it, which means running the razor's edge. Inevitably, that sometimes means falling on the wrong side in the end. Rest up and get back out there.

  7. ken michal

    Fantastic interview! Thanks, Bryon!

    I guarantee that you'll be hearing MUCH more from Nathan in the time to come… Just look at his track record with PCTR events. Besides being a smart and fast runner, he's one of the nicest and most supportive people out on the trails!!! He loves what he does out there and it really shows!

    For anyone in the Bay Area, here's the link to the Endurables: It really is a fantastic group of people and a great resource for all levels, from elite runners like Nathan to the back of the pack (me…). This week, the group is doing a nice 8 miler (or more if you want…) from Rock Springs.

    All Day!


    1. Bryon Powell

      Ditto what Ken said about Nathan being smart, nice, and supportive. In addition to being on heck of a great runner, he's an awesome person.

      If we're listing other great aspects of Nathan, he's also bakes amazing bread at the Tartine Bakery in San Fransisco. If you're an ultrarunner in town, be sure to swing by for some awesome basked goods. If you want Nathan's bread, in particular (he recently taught THE Michael Pollan how to bake bread!), bread is available only Wednesday through Sunday after 5 p.m. Note, you can call ahead to reserve a loaf or half loaf… and you should!

      Oh, and thanks for reminding me to include a link to The Endurables. That had been my intention all along! [Correction: Oops, I HAD already included a link to The Endurables! :-) ]

  8. Brian Myers

    Great interview Bryon! And thanks for the info on the baked goods/bread. I'll have to swing by and grab a loaf.


    San Francisco

  9. jenny

    great job! Awesome interview, bryon! really enjoyed it. keep up the good work! ( and keep listening to meghan) :o) totally intrigued by her hook for the female interview.. it would be great to see that in the days ahead!



  10. Rod Bien

    I have to sort of chuckle at all the people getting worked up about who ran the best "elite" race out there. I sure don't consider myself elite… especially when Tony and Hal are on the list. Nathan ran an amazing race and man, its Byron's website and he can have any opinion that he wants! Everyone is entitled to their own! I think Tony would be the first to say that he had far from a "perfect" day out there. I think the next three (2-4) would all say they had some of their best races in a while. Nathan and I ran about completely similar splits from the turnaround and I'm glad the race ended when it did because he probably would have reeled me in if there was one more climb. So, congrats to EVERYONE who raced out there; fast, slow, or somewhere in between. No one got a paycheck so its all in good fun!

    1. Bryon Powell

      Thanks, Rod. You had one of your best race in a couple years, wouldn't you agree? Heck, it was your best Miwok by over 13 minutes. Awesome race. Awesome season so far, too. Seventh at Way Too Cool is no joke.

      You can tell how excited you were about your race from the finish line photos. I'll send you one of those and one from the course.

      Congrats to you AND EVERYONE!

        1. Bryon Powell

          No worries, Rod. Happens more times than steps in a 100 miler. ;-)

          On a related note, sorry for mis-Tweeting your name during the race, Mr. Bein! Race course tweet has very low editorial standards.

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