Logging Miles by Heath Larson

Posted February 28th, 2013 by Brian Hock

Note: I’ve come to know Heath Larson through only a handful of tweets on Twitter. I first saw one of his tweets posted on December 9, 2012 where he stated: “Simple Hydration is made for the traveling runner. Light, compact, effective.” It wasn’t until I saw his February 15, 2013 tweet that I realized just how much he travels and how much he loves his Simple Hydration Bottle. It was at this point that I reached out and asked if he could provide a brief paragraph about his experience with the Simple Hydration Bottle. His reply back was the following: “I will gladly do so. Might have a tough time keeping it down to just a paragraph though!” The following post is his unedited reply. Thanks Heath!

“My running was very simple; it was out of myself.” — Emil Zatopek, gold medalist, 1952 Olympics, 5000m, 10000m, marathon

It’s 3:45 A.M. An hour that many runners are all too familiar with. However, on this day, I am not headed out for a run, but to work. My profession involves extensive air travel, which of course means I am more than familiar with those dark morning hours that are only accompanied by distance runners, animals that want to eat trail runners, and people driving to the airport.

When packing for a 3 week business trip around the world, my brain is too foggy to be relied upon for remembering multiple pieces of a complex hydration system. Further, as any traveler knows, less is more. By packing just my Simple Hydration Bottle, my foggy mind is able to focus on not forgetting other important things, like my running shoes. What’s more, there’s still room for them!

During the lucky mornings when I do get to hit the trails for a pre-sunrise run, the last thing I have to worry about is my hydration system. I dress, fill my Simple bottle, tie my shoes, and head out the door. Any faster, and I’d be running before my alarm went off. The same goes for running into an aid station at any race from 1 mile to 50 miles. Every volunteer knows how to open and refill a bottle, which means less time spent fiddling, and more time spent running away from the competitors who are filling multiple bottles or still trying to explain how to fill their packs.

I’ve run with fluid strapped to my body in just about every way imaginable, and have the chafing to prove it. Why complicate things? Why worry about chafing? Why carry a half-gallon of water when you can carry less than half the weight in a Simple bottle (maybe 2, for you ultrarunners) and make it to the next aid station, or walk across the gym to refill after 90 minutes? Whether tying up my running shoes or zipping up my suitcase, my Simple Hydration bottle is coming along for the ride…no matter the distance.

Below is Heath’s Februray 15, 2013 tweet.

Simple 2 Love Feedback from Winners

Posted February 25th, 2013 by Brian Hock

A few months have passed since we had our “Simple 2 Love November Giveaway” on Facebook and we checked in with the winners to see how the Simple Hydration Water Bottle is working for them. We were able to reach 8 of the 17 winners through Facebook. We’re pleased to report that 7 of the 8 winners contacted loved their Simple Hydration Bottle. Here’s what those winners had to say:

Stacy Hafner Smith

I absolutely love it! I was skeptical at first…I was sure it would fall out during a run, but so far, so good! It’s never fallen out, and it’s incredibly comfortable, to the point I forget I’m carrying it! I’ve tried many different fuel belts, handheld bottles…this is by far the easiest and least cumbersome.

One thing’s for sure…it did not slow me down. I used it for a Turkey Trot 1/2 marathon back in November. I had a huge PR and I cut over 7 minutes off my time from just 6 weeks earlier! The bottle was the perfect size for that race. Thanks again!

Keith Rickett

I love my Simple Hydration bottle. It’s so easy to carry and I don’t even feel it while I run. My new problem is that I’m not drinking enough because I forget I have it with me. It’s even better than I thought it would be when I won it. I’m definitely going to get more for my longer runs and for my kids to start using also.

(Note: Keith did purchase additional bottles as mentioned.)

Angela Gillen

I LOVE this water bottle! The first time I used it I just carried it the whole way and it was so light weight and easy to hold that I didn’t even notice it. Lately it’s been pretty cold here (20 degrees and below running temps when I head out for my long runs), so instead of holding it I’ve been tucking it in the back of my pants. I ran 9 miles on Saturday and didn’t even feel the bottle – it was great!! Thank you so much for having the giveaway. I love my water bottle.

Maggie Gesue

I’ve been using the simple hydration bottle for the last few months, and keep going back to it run after run. It’s light weight, comfortable and even better — hands free. It doesn’t bounce, and fits well in many different types of running clothes; from thermal tights to shorts. It’s easy to hold and run with when drinking from it. In the early morning cold runs, I don’t have to worry about it freezing since I can easily pull my shirt or jacket over it.
What makes the Simple Hydration bottle even more versatile is that it doesn’t have to be limited by only wearing it in the pants waist belt. It fits easily on any pocket waist belt, hydration pack belt and even tucked into a side pocket for hiking.

Thaddeus Michael Sweet

I love my Simple Hydration bottle, although I don’t use it the way most do. I never really got used to carrying it with a belt or in the back of my shorts. I’m an ultrarunner and usually wear a vest by Nathan products, and have always used hand held bottles. After seeing the new Ultimate Direction packs with pockets to hold bottles in the front, I decided to try that with my Simple Hydration bottle. This has turned out to be one of the best experiments I’ve tried with running! I’ve found the bottle to be incredibly efficient and comfortable in my hand. While I’ve yet to use it in a race, it looks to carry the perfect amount of liquid to get me from one aid station to the next. My bottle has seen me through many 10+ mile training runs this winter, and will be a mainstay in my training and racing arsenal throughout the life of the bottle. Thank you Simple Hydration for a tremendous and innovative product!

Eric Ammon

I have only used it twice on the treadmill at physical therapy (unfortunately looks like I’m headed for surgery too – my hip area is just really screwy and that = no more ultras) I do like it and can’t wait to use it regularly…but regularly is a ways off. Keep running!

Eat, Run, Sail

I have used this Simple Hydration bottle on a couple of runs now, tucked in the back of my waistband. I love it! At first I thought it felt like it was pulling my capris down in the back… it wasn’t, and after I realized that, I forgot all about it. The only caution I have… don’t use COLD water! Ha!

Read her full review on her blog: http://eatrunsail.blogspot.ca/2012/11/testing-my-simple-hydration-bottle.html

We would like to thank all of the winners that did take the time to respond and send a photo along for this post.

Q&A with Ultra Elite Runner Catra Corbett

Posted February 18th, 2013 by Brian Hock

The last interview in our series of Simple Hydration Ultra Elite Runners is with Catra Corbett.

Q. Where do you live?
A. Fremont, California (USA)

Q. How did you get into ultra running?
A. I quit drugs and needed a new addiction.

Q. What about running do you love?
A. I love being free and using my body to take me through the wilderness to see beautiful places.

Q. Can you explain fastpacking for those runners who may not have a clue what it is?
A. Fastpacking is carrying a light weight pack with food, shelter and supplies and going out on extended multi-day runs alone in the wilderness. Sleeping on the ground and getting up each day running and hiking as far as you want. Each year I like challenging myself and I fast pack the 224 miles from Whitney portals to Yosemite valley on the John Muir trail.

Q. What are your personal bests (PBs) at various distances?
A. – Distance / Race / Time / Year
- 111 Miles / San Diego / 24 Hour / 1999
- 100 Miles / Umstead 100 / 22:05 / 2006
- 50 Miles / American River / 8:45 / 2002
- 50k / Fremont Fat Ass / 5:21 / 2013
- Marathon / Vineman / 3:45 / 1998

Q. What person in ultra running inspires you?
A. Kathy D’Onofrio won Western States 100 back in the 1980′s twice and has won multiple ultras over the years. She is my age and has been going strong since she was 20 years old. She is one of my favorite pacers and crew persons. She is positive and upbeat and always makes me smile.

Q. What is your favorite ultra race and why?
A. Hands down the HURT 100 in Hawaii. I have been to the start of that race every year since it started. I have finished the hundred 7 times and took the 100k option 5 times and had 1 DNF. The trail is the most technical course out there and you have to look down to find the next obstacle to run on, over or around. I go back each year because once you do that race you become part of the HURT family. It’s super hard and that’s why I love it!!  

Q. What race would you like to compete in one day?
A. Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB) – I would love to run in France!!

Q. What is a typical week of training in your life right now?
A. Monday-Wednesday 5-10m, Thursday 10-15m, Friday-Sunday 20-50m. I do 3 weight workouts crossfit style and 3 yoga sessions. Plus I also do core work everyday.

Q. How did you first hear about Simple Hydration?
A. My friends in France Juan Pradas and Nicolas Contrain. It’s funny it took the French guys to turn me on to an American company.

Q. What was your reaction to the bottle after your first run(s) using it?
A. I freaking loved it. I like the feel in my hand and I like how I can tuck them into the side of my Nathan hydration vest or packs. I’ve been having arm and shoulder issues and I’m always switching from hand to hand with my bottle now I don’t have to, if I don’t want to hold I can tuck it.

Q. What races do you have planned for the 2013 season?
Close encounters 12 hour run, Lake Chabot 50km, San Bruno mt. 50m
Razorback Ridge 100
Umstead 100, Ruth Anderson 100k
Miwok 100k, Ohlone 131
San Diego 100, Western States 100
Attempt the woman’s unsupported John Muir trail fast pack record 224 miles in under 6 1/2 days.
Angeles Crest 100, Run de vous 100
Bear 100, Headlands 100
Rio del lago 100, Javelina 100
Run d’ Amore 135, Quad. Dipsea 28m
I will squeeze in other races if I can

Q. Is there anything else you would like to add about yourself?
A. I love collecting tattoos – it’s an expression of who I am. I like to say I wear the art on my body instead of hanging in my house since no one would see it. I also have many piercings as I like the way it looks on me. I’m a raw vegan now fruitarian. I have been a vegan for almost 19 years. I have been clean and sober almost 19 years as well. It is the biggest accomplishment of my life.

I love running with my little dachshund Truman and he has run up to 14 miles and he’s good for 10 on the trails. He’s a rescue and I love him.

I want people to know you can do anything you set your mind to do. I am just like everyone else only I choose to set my mind high and push my limits and challenge myself.

Catra is also sponsored by:
- Hoka One One shoes
- MoeBen clothing and arm sleeves.

Follow Catra on her blog “Dirt Diva.”

Q&A with Ultra Elite Runner Damian Nathaniel

Posted February 15th, 2013 by Brian Hock

Q. Where do you live and train?
A. I recently moved back to Richmond, Indiana after a few years in Iowa City, Iowa.

Q. How did you get into ultra running?
A. I’ve always been intrigued by endurance. I remember as a kid in Cincinnati running around the block over and over again just to see how many times I could go. But more recently, I got back into it for a goal to chase and to get myself more active and fit. And once I discovered trails I was hooked.

Q. What about running do you love?
A. I really like to run but I LOVE running and exploring in the woods, the hills and nature. It provides the opportunity to get away from the hustle and bustle and noise that rules most of our everyday life. There is nothing better than a long, challenging effort in silence.

Q. What are your personal bests (PBs) at various distances?
A. – Distance / Race / Year / Time / Place
- 100 Mile / Mohican / 2012 / 20:24 / 2nd
- 50 Mile / Sunmart / 2008 / 8:23 / 24th
- 50k / Earthday / 2012 / 4:15 / 3rd

Q. What person in ultra running inspires you?
A. I’m certainly inspired by some great runners who are doing really impressive stuff on the trails and in the mountains and yet still being laid back and living simple lifestyles (Anton, Olson, Moehl, Foote, etc.) but at the risk of sounding cliche- I’m most inspired by many of the folks in the middle or back of the pack. I’ve been blessed to meet and get to know so many great people in this sport that inspire me to better myself on and off the trail. If I started giving examples we’d be here a while and I’d still end up kicking myself later for leaving some folks out.

Q. What is your favorite ultra race and why?
A. Mohican 100 in Loudonville, Ohio. Always will be. It was my first targeted race.

Q. What race would you like to compete in one day?
A. No question it’s the Leadville 100! Unfortunately, I’m always busy that time of August (I coach collegiate soccer). It’s been a decision of career vs. Leadville and career (barely) wins out. I’d also love to run Western States again. I loved my experience in 2010 there but it was bitter sweet as I was battling injury.

Q. What is a typical week of training in your life right now?
A. I train totally by feel now as opposed to what the heart rate monitor or weekly schedule dictates, where once I was far more routine oriented- I know that is sacrilege to many. I now just get out on a variety of trails most every day for an hour and a half to 3 hours. 50k and 50 mile races are thrown in there more for my 100 mile preparation than to compete. Once a week or so I do a more intentional run where I focus on climbing a ton, tempo work, or speed with leg turnover. I’m also not a huge fan of cold weather runs (it’s 2 degrees out now) so I have to make friends with the treadmill and I work on gaining running strength and flexibility (circuits, yoga, etc).

Q. How did you first hear about Simple Hydration?
A. I first heard about Simple Hydration while laying in bed reading a gear review (honestly can’t remember which one)…and while momentarily bummed because it was such an easy concept (“why didn’t I think of that”) I quickly was psyched to have an easier way to hydrate during longer efforts.

Q. What was your reaction to the bottle after your first run(s) using it?
A. It took me just a quick second to adjust my waistband and slide the bottle in but then it just “sits” nicely on your upper hip and waist. Again, it is such a simple concept you wonder why hadn’t this been done long ago!

Q. What races do you have planned for the 2013 season?
A. 2013. Hmm. I believe I will target Mohican 100 as my “A” race in June. The rest we will see how I feel when the weather breaks but I am likely to start out with 3 Days of Syllamo in the Ozarks of Arkansas and maybe Dances with Dirt in Gnaw Bone, Indiana. I’m sure given time and health I will want to try some others. I’m also drawn to going someplace new to just camp and explore new trails for a few days.

Q. Is there anything else you would like to add about yourself?
A. Off the trails most people know me as Shane Meridith—but I need more Damian time!!!! I hope to run into many of you this year.

Damian is also supported by:
- I’ve received some assistance and great support from aciskedesign and I would also like to thank Amy Decker, owner of A Therapeutic Touch of Richmond, Indiana for keeping me healthy over this last year, and to my incredibly supportive wife (Darcey) and family. Thanks everyone.

Photos of Damian Nathaniel are from the Earth Day 50K Race in Crystal Lake, Illinois (USA). Photo credit: Royal Hartwig.

Q&A with Ultra Elite Runner Sandi Nypaver

Posted February 13th, 2013 by Brian Hock

Q. Where do you live and train?
A. Buena Vista, Colorado

Q. How did you get into ultra running?
A. It’s a bit of a long story but I’ll try to make it short. In the summer of 2009, after two years of playing college basketball, by complete fate (my alarm didn’t go off on time that morning and I turned on the radio instead of listening to my normal cd) I heard the founders of Impossible2Possible talking about their first youth expedition. I went on their website and saw that the applications for the expedition were already due but I applied anyway. I ended up being chosen to be 1 of 5 youth ambassadors to go on the Baffin Island Expedition. On that expedition were amazing ultra runners, that served as guides, such as Ray Zahab, Marshall Ulrich and Jen Seggar to name a few. I instantly knew by talking to them that I was meant to be an ultra runner. I fell in love with where my feet could take me on that trip. I got back from the trip, quit my college basketball team, and started running.

Q. What about running do you love?
A. Everything! I love how strong it has made me mentally and how it has changed my life into something positive. I love that it can be my best friend or therapist, that it’s made me dream bigger, taken me to some of the most beautiful places on earth, and that it has led me to some wonderful people. I love the times when it makes me feel like I can fly. Running has helped to take me on the best adventures of my life.

Q. What are your personal bests (PBs) at various distances?
A. – Distance / Race / Year / Time / Place
- 50 mile / Ice Age 50 / 2011 / 7:30 / 1st
- 50 mile (Horton miles so actually more like 53) / Mountain Masochist / 2011 / 8:05 / 1st
- 50k / Devil Mountain / 2012 / 5:32 / 1st overall
- 30k / Snowshoe Race / 2013 / 4:04 / 1st overall (Course Record)

Q. What person in ultra running inspires you?
A. There are of course tons of elite runners out there who I admire (i.e. of course my speedy boyfriend Sage Canaday, superstar Krissy Moehl and long distance hero Ray Zahab), but no one will ever inspire me more than my twin sister Rachel. She has a “lions” heart in life and in running and it shows when she races. Every race she does she is going to do her absolute best, but she’s also going to get everyone else she meets out there to do their best too. I have a lot of respect for that.

Q. What is your favorite ultra race and why?
A. I really love all the races I have done in Virginia, but Promise Land 50k++ is just plain awesome. The locals are kind hearted but bad a$$es, most people camp out right at the race start, there’s Horton miles, and there’s always lots of fun and laughs at the finish line. The course has long climbs, waterfalls, great single track, breath taking mountain views and the best beauty spring has to offer.

Q. What race would you like to compete in one day?
A. Hardrock 100

Q. What is a typical week of training in your life right now?
A. Now is a little different because I’m giving myself a couple of weeks to just purely enjoy running and snowshoeing in the mountains. Typically, Mondays and Fridays are easy days for running but I do some weights and ab exercises. Tuesdays – Thursdays are decent length runs and I’ll throw in some type of speed workout one or two of those days. Weekends are for long runs! I also think running around with k-5th graders everyday at the Boys & Girls Club is great training!

Q. How did you first hear about Simple Hydration?
A. Facebook

Q. What was your reaction to the bottle after your first run(s) using it?
A. Right away I figured I’d give it a good test and tucked it in my shorts to do a long technical climb up to an alpine lake and then back down. I was skeptical of how it would do with me bouncing over rocks, especially on the downhill, but it worked great! I hate having to constantly adjust things when running, but I never had a problem with the bottle. The bottle will definitely be joining me on a lot of runs and mountain adventures.

Q. What races do you have planned for the 2013 season?
A. I’m not signed up for all these races yet but if all goes as planned (which things normally don’t) I’ll do the Run Through Time (Salida) Marathon, Desert Rats 50, Big Horn 100, Speedgoat 50k, Telluride Mountain Run and then either UROC 100k or Run Rabbit Run 100 in the fall.

Q. Is there anything else you would like to add about yourself.
A. “The only limitations we face are the ones we place upon ourselves.”

Sandi is also sponsored/supported by:
- Hammer Nutrition

Follow Sandi’s running on her blog “Running Wild: In Search of Happiness, Health and Helping Others.”

Q&A with Ultra Elite Runner Michael Ambrose

Posted February 11th, 2013 by Brian Hock

We kick off our first Q&A session with Simple Hydration Ultra Elite Runner Michael Ambrose.

Q. Where do you live and train?
A. Frisco, Colorado (USA)

Q. How did you get into ultra running?
A. I really got bored with trying to run hard on the roads, so I tried running on trails and was hooked. So after hitting the trails for a few months, it seemed that adding more miles was the natural progression. I also just love spending long days in the mountains.

Q. What about running do you love?
A. I love the freedom and simplicity.

Q. What are your personal bests (PBs) at various distances?
A. – Year / Race Distance / Time / Place
- 2012 / Umstead 100 / 21:37 / 29th Place
- 2011 / Stone Mill (50+) / 10:03 / 30th Place
- 2009 / The North Face Endurance Challenge 10k / 1st Place

Q. What person in ultra running inspires you?
A. I really like Krissy Mohel and Tony Krupicka’s approach to the sport. My good friend Jon Harrison from Leadville has certainly inspired me as well.

Q. What is your favorite ultra race and why?
A. I am really captivated by the Hardrock 100. But of the races I have run, The Umstead 100 miler because it was first 100.

Q. What race would you like to compete in one day?
A. Hardrock 100 or UTMB (France). The mountains seem so powerful.

Q. Please provide a typical week of training in your life right now?
A. I mix it up for sure. My body feels best in the 10-15 hour range of training. I like to run fast and I like to summit high peaks. Mainly, I try to have fun and enjoy the beautiful trails Colorado has to offer.

Q. How did you first hear about Simple Hydration?
A. Browsing the internet, searching for a simple, functional bottle that works for me.

Q. What was your reaction to the bottle after your first run(s) using it?
A. This makes perfect sense. I love it.

Q. What races do you have planned for the 2013 season?
A. Fruita 50, Collegiate Peaks 50, Leadville 100, UROC 100k. Maybe some trail marathons as well.

Q. Is there anything else you would like to tell us about yourself?
A. I am currently raising donations for a local food bank in Summit County, Colorado by summiting a local mountain 365 times this year.

Michael is also sponsored/supported by:
- Leadville Running Company Race Team
- Mont Bell Clothing

Follow Michael’s running on his blog Mountain Runnin’ Times.

Women’s Running Magazine – Favorite Things

Posted February 7th, 2013 by Brian Hock

The Simple Hydration Water Bottle appears in The March 2013 Issue of Women’s Running Magazine. The bottle appears under Coach Jenny’s Favorite Things.

The copy reads:
“An innovative shape puts a whole new spin on the basic bottle. Created by a runner tired of hand-helds and bulky belts, Simple Hydration’s model easily fits in your waistband, race belt or pocket. Position the bottle in the center of your lower back and you’ll hardly notice the extra weight as you pound the pavement. Bonus: It’s easy to clean and BPA-free. $20. simplehydration.com”

A big thanks to Coach Jenny and her continued support of the bottle. We appreciate her sharing the love of Simple Hydration with audience of Women’s Running Magazine.

More on:
- Women’s Running Magazine
- Coach Jenny

Simple Hydration’s Ultra Elite Runners

Posted February 6th, 2013 by Brian Hock

Over this past year the Simple Hydration Water Bottle has been embraced by the ultra running community. Many ultra runners sent messages saying they love the bottle and would like to help promote it. That help has ranged from Eric Schranz of Ultrarunner Podcast doing a review, runners taking part in a promo video to many runners simply sharing the bottle with their local running shop. It wasn’t until I received a message from Damian Nathaniel in November 2012 that made me realize I should tap into this community at a deeper level. Damian said that he was blown away by the bottle and would gladly help promote it. I called Damian and we talked about his love of ultra running and possibly putting together a team to help promote the bottle. From that point forward the team just came together as other runners used the Simple Hydration Water Bottle and loved it. While all of our team members are great runners they are even better people. So it’s a team built to run far, explore, have fun, do good and maybe even win a race.

I am pleased to introduce Simple Hydration’s Ultra Elite Runners.

Catra Corbett
Catra is an ultra veteran having run 88 hundred milers and just simply loves to run. It’s common for her to take a month off and attempt fastpacking speed records in the summer. She currently holds the 424 mile Yo Yo record on the John Muir Trail in the Sierra Nevada mountain range of California.

Damian Nathaniel
One could say Damian started his ultra running as a kid in Cincinnati running around his block over and over again to see how many times he could go. Once he found the trails he was hooked on ultras and has run many over the years. He most recently won the Mohican 100 miler in Loudonville, Ohio in 2011.

Sandi Nypaver
Sandi is relatively new to ultra running but made a great first impression by winning many east coast races such as the Ice Age 50 miler, Mohican 100 miler, Mountain Masochist 50 miler and Devil Mountain 50k. She moved to Colorado about a year ago to train in the mountains and take her running up a notch but her body needed that time to adjust to the altitude. It took time but her body has adjusted and she just won a 30k Snowshoe race in 4:04 where she set a course record.

Michael Ambrose
Mike is also relatively new to ultra running but has a ton of potential and moved from the east coast to Frisco, Colorado just so he could train in the mountains. He ran 21:37 last year at the Umstead 100-Mile Endurance Run near Raleigh, North Carolina. In between his training runs Mike is also summiting a local mountain 365 times this year to use his love of running to raise donations for a local food bank.

Over the next week I will be interviewing each runner to give you an idea of what drives them and to learn more about their love of running.