Rob Krar has had an excellent season full of course records, astounding FKTs, and a second-place finish at Western States, his 100-mile debut. This weekend he’ll gave racing another go at the Ultra Race of Champions (UROC) 100k. In the following interview, Rob talks about what he’s been up to since Western States, how he came to join The North Face global team just in time for UROC, and whether this race suits his strengths.
[Editor’s Note: Enjoy our full UROC men’s preview with links to interviews of other favorites before following our live coverage of the 2013 UROC 100k this weekend.]
Rob Krar Pre-2013 UROC 100k Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here before the 2013 UROC with Rob Krar on a chilly day in Vail, Colorado.
Rob Krar: Indeed.
iRF: Are you going to rely on your Canadian roots a little bit?
Krar: Yeah, it will come in handy for this race for sure.
iRF: Where in Canada are you from originally?
Krar: I grew up in Hamilton, Ontario, which is close to Toronto, so southern Ontario, but we still got some pretty decent winter. So, yeah, I’m used to the weather.
iRF: You’ve trained through some snow and some cold.
Krar: Flagstaff gets a lot of snow. People think ‘it’s Arizona,’ but we’re at 7,000 feet and we have mountains, so there’s lots of snow all winter long.
iRF: Do you enjoy running in the snow?
Krar: Yeah, I do. I think it’s great. I would have preferred there was no snow tomorrow, but at the same time, I think it’s going to add another element to the race. I think it’s really exciting. It’s going to be absolutely beautiful up there tomorrow.
iRF: You really couldn’t ask for a more beautiful day—not even a hyperbole. It’s going to be blue sky with yellow aspens and white snow.
Krar: Yeah, it’s going to be incredible.
iRF: Off the charts. Off the charts—also the competition. You’ve got some big boys to race against this week.
iRF: Are you looking forward to it?
Krar: Oh, for sure. This will be the most competitive race I’ve ever run in the ultra scene. I’m just looking forward to it. I can’t wait.
iRF: How do you think your skill set matches up against the course here?
Krar: This course really plays into my strengths for sure—having the speed under my legs with the former road history and track history. It’s challenging, don’t get me wrong, but there’s a lot of runnable sections. The snow is going to mix things up. I feel really fit. My training has gone really well, so yeah, I think it could be a really great day tomorrow.
iRF: You ran really well at Western States; you were second there. What’s your summer looked like?
Krar: It’s been great. I took a long break after Western, close to a month.
iRF: Running at all during that?
Krar: Not for three weeks, and then I took a week of easy runs. I was able to mountain bike a bunch. Then I got a week in of training, and then I hit Transrockies which was fantastic.
iRF: You’ve run that before, right?
Krar: Yeah, that was my third time. I couldn’t have asked for anything better. It’s six days in these mountains, 120 miles.
iRF: Ends right here.
Krar: Ends right here. I felt great. I came out of it really healthy and just continued my training on. I had a really solid, consistent stretch leading into UROC, so I’m really excited about it.
iRF: Some years at Transrockies there have been super competitive races until the end. Was this like it this year? Was it more of a distance training?
Krar: Mike [Smith] and I won the race. We had some challenges from a couple teams, but it was a solid week of running I would say.
iRF: So you’re feeling like you’re as well prepared as you have been for any ultra?
Krar: Yeah, I’d say I’m the most prepared really. In between Leona Divide and Western wasn’t a whole lot of time. I wasn’t planning on doing a 100 miler, so I really didn’t change my training much leading into Western—no specific 100-mile training. So I had this on the books for awhile so I could do more specific hill workouts. I got a little more speedwork and tempo work in. So definitely the most prepared I’ve been for an ultra this far.
iRF: Another big change for this ultra—you just signed with The North Face yesterday? Congratulations.
Krar: I did. Thanks. I’m really excited about the opportunity.
iRF: Did that just come along over the summer after all your great runs?
Krar: Yeah, after Western I was talking to a couple companies. I felt really comfortable with The North Face and wrapped things up before UROC. It’s been really exciting. This last year and a half has been a whirlwind. It’s really hard to me to still believe at this point. I’m just really excited and thankful.
iRF: You can’t really go stealth in your bright green jersey tomorrow.
Krar: Yeah, it will be different apparel than I usually wear, but it’s comfortable stuff so I think it will be okay.
iRF: When it comes down to tomorrow, who do you think you’re going to be racing to the finish? Who’s with you?
Krar: I think there are a lot of great athletes up there. I think everybody knows who the favorites are. I’m really excited to race Kilian [Jornet]. He’s an inspiration and I think he’s one of the most remarkable athletes of our generation, if not history. I’m incredibly excited to toe the line with him.
iRF: Awesome. Best of luck out there.
Krar: Thank you. I appreciate it.
iRF: One bonus question. Toque or no toque tomorrow?
Krar: Toque for sure.
iRF: Gloves… maybe not a puffy.
Krar: No puffy, but I’ll have a couple layers on at the start for sure.
iRF: Alright. Stay warm.
Krar: Thank you.