Anton Krupicka is a mountain runner living in Boulder, CO. He is a two-time Leadville 100 champion (2006, 2007), and a two-time USATF 50 Mile Trail national champion and course record holder (2009, 2010). In 2010, Krupicka finished second in the prestigious Western States 100, a race captured in the film Unbreakable. After breaking his leg in 2011, Krupicka began to diversify his mountain endeavors. In addition to racing, he started pursuing remote summits, long traverses, and ambitious link-ups in a single-push style that requires a unique combination of mountain running fitness and technical climbing competence.
Question: Tony, describe your self in three words, if you can.
Obsession begets injury.
Question: I know you try to capitalize on daylight as much as possible. What did you do today?
A pertinent question since today was the first day of summer and longest day of the year! My buddy, Cordis, and I went up to Rocky Mountain National Park this morning, ran five uphill miles into an alpine cirque where we climbed two classic towers—the Petit Grepon and Sharkstooth—and then ran back down to the parking lot. Even though this outing comprised more than a dozen pitches of alpine rock, I have that circuit pretty dialed, so it only took a few hours, and I had plenty of time in the afternoon for my go-to: a backyard 33-mile loop of dirt roads and trails on my gravel grinder bike. Perfect summer day doing all of my favorite things!
Question: What is the most significant memory of your career?
I guess I would have to say the collective experience of traveling opportunites. Growing up in rural Nebraska, I never envisioned getting to visit so many different countries and experience so many different cultures.
My core passion will always be running, because my experience base in that laid the foundation for all of the other things I do in the mountains.
Question: As a runner with accomplishments in other endurance sports, what fires you up the most?
My core passion will always be running, because my experience base in that laid the foundation for all of the other things I do in the mountains. Running is so simple—all you need is a pair of shoes—and you can do it anywhere. I try to apply the same pursuit of a stripped down, elemental experience to the other sports I do—climbing, skiing, biking—but in these you're always encumbered at least a little bit by the gear or terrain that is required.
Question: Sounds like you've got a really solid program at home. Why Boulder?
The immediate access to outdoor adventure from an urban base is pretty unparalleled. This access, combined with a vibrant community of like-minded people who are always willing to rally for early mornings and big days, makes it my ideal home base.
Question: Your home was your main inspiration for your signature sock. Do you prefer home over anywhere else?
I spent plenty of years in my 20s living a fairly itinerant lifestyle, spending about half of each year living out of my truck. This was a great experience, but as I've matured, I've really grown to value the stability and familiarity of a home base. I also really enjoy having all the details of locals-only knowledge—I find that depth of connection to a place to be compelling and enriching.
Question: Aside from the designs, what is it about the Stance Run product that you favor?
I've always found the fit and compression of Stance's Run socks to be just right for my foot. They don't bunch up, they don't fall down, and I've never gotten a blister with them. That's exactly what I need in a sock!
Question: What's next?
Since it's summer, I'm very focused on alpine rock adventures: ridge traverses and big link-ups of technical routes. If my legs continue to improve in health over the summer, I'd love to jump in a late-season ultra.