Anton Krupicka, one of the world’s top ultra-distance mountain runners, has signed a new brand sponsorship deal. It’s not a huge news story, but it’s a sign of how Krupicka’s interests in mountain sports have expanded in recent years, and indicative of the growing trend of the merging of endurance sports and technical mountain pursuits.
In addition to being a top-tier ultra-distance runner, the 32-year-old Boulder resident—once an icon of the minimalist running movement—has also become adept at rock climbing, scrambling, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering, as well as, to some extent, endurance cycling.
The ironic twist is that Krupicka has rejoined the La Sportiva Mountain Running Team, the sponsor he was backed by when he burst on the scene after the first of his two Leadville 100 victories in 2006. While Krupicka served New Balance, his previous sponsor, quite well with top finishes in high-profile trail running finishes, this figures to be an even better situation for both Krupicka and La Sportiva. In addition to mountain running shoes and apparel, La Sportiva also makes rock climbing, mountaineering and backcountry skiing gear. It doesn’t hurt that La Sportiva’s North American office is based in Boulder, either.
Krupicka says he is looking forward to pursuing bigger mountain objectives this year that combine his passion for running, climbing and skiing to “create some epic speed link-ups in the coming seasons.”
“Anton is a true mountain athlete and we’re pleased to welcome him back to the La Sportiva family,” says Jonathan Lantz, president of La Sportiva North America. “He’s a natural fit with the La Sportiva program and will serve as the face of not only our Mountain Running footwear and apparel programs, but also represents La Sportiva’s commitment to moving quickly and efficiently through mountain terrain. We can’t wait to see what he accomplishes.”
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Krupicka has been running and racing since 1995. He ran his first marathon at 12, competed collegiately at Colorado College and there discovered the joy of long mountain endurance runs. In addition to being a two-time winner of the Leadville 100, he was also the U.S. 50-mile trail champion in 2009 and 2010, finished second at the 2010 Western States 100 and set several FKT (“Fastest Known Time”) records on trails. Although he was limited by injuries during the past two years, Krupicka won the Lavaredo Ultra Trail 120K in Italy in 2014 and placed sixth at the Transgrancanaria 127K race in Spain in May 2015.
“I’ve always admired the people and products that make up La Sportiva,” Krupicka said. “I’m delighted to come back to the team and pursue some ambitious challenges in the years ahead, including some FKT attempts that I’m still dreaming up. La Sportiva’s footwear and apparel is top notch and I’m excited to represent the brand in all that I do.”