Adam Campbell – Transvulcania 2013

Adam Campbell, Arc'teryx Transvulcania 2013 - copyright Ian Corless

Adam Campbell, Arc’teryx Transvulcania 2013 – copyright Ian Corless

Arc’teryx athlete Adam Campbell talks to Ian ahead of the 2013 Transvulcania La Palma. He discusses the race course, the competition and Arc’teryx.

Adam loves competition and revels the opportunity to race the best in the world. His running goals are to seek out interesting challenges in inspiring settings. A lifelong traveler and racer, Adam’s new belief is: if you are going to be suffering, you might as well suffer somewhere beautiful!

YouTube link HERE

Links:

  • Adam Campbell – HERE
  • Arc’teryx – HERE
  • Tranvulcania 2013 – HERE
  • Skyrunning – HERE

Adam Campbell – Interview

ARC'TERYX/Brian Goldstone

ARC’TERYX/Brian Goldstone

Arct’eryx  athlete Adam Campbell, gained much notoriety early in 2012 after securing a solid second place behind Julien Chorier in his first 100 mile race at Ultra Trail Mt Fuji in Japan. With high hopes, he moved into the 2012 season looking to race well at TNFUTMB and the Skyrunning calendar. However, injury issues and personal issues got in the way… I caught up with Adam in April ahead of the 2013 season and his first big race, Transvulcania on the island of La Palma.

IC Adam, the last time we spoke you mentioned that your background as a sportsperson came from triathlon.

AC: Yes, what was I thinking! All those accessories to clutter my life. Actually, triathlon was a big part of my life. I started in 97/98 and I made the junior Canadian National Team. It was a great honor to wear the Maple Leaf. It had a huge effect on me. At the same time, Simon Whitfield was world champion, so I had lots to tempt me into the sport. I decided to take the leap. I had an invite to live in Victoria, British Columbia and train. So, I packed in college and lived with Simon Whitfield, he took me under his wing. I trained with him for a few years and raced the world cup circuit. I had the goal of trying to make the Olympics in 2008.

IC: You couldn’t have had a better teacher! Simon Whitfield was the man to beat!

AC: Oh yeah. Amazing. Victoria had a wealth of talent… Lauri Boden, Greg Bennet, Peter Reid and Laura Bennet. I was spoilt with influences and inspiration from a whole host of the best triathletes. Canada was a mecca for the sport.

IC: You decided that your ability as triathlete was limited and you turned to run and run long!

AC: Sport is fair like that. I realized in 2006 I wouldn’t make the Olympics as a triathlete. I gave it a really good shot but I just wasn’t good enough. I lacked certain physical traits. I wasn’t explosive enough and my swimming was poor in comparison to the competition. I worked my butt off to make it happen but the whole time I enjoyed running the most. I loved it. It gave me the most satisfaction. Especially the long runs in woods and trails. The farther I went the better I became, so, it seemed a logical choice. We are all drawn to the things that we are good at. At the same time I was amazed about this guy I would read about in magazines, Scott Jurek. He looked incredible and he ran in incredible places. I have always been drawn to the mountains. I guess it is the challenge of pushing your self, would I have what it would take?

ARC'TERYX/Brian Goldstone

ARC’TERYX/Brian Goldstone

IC: 2007/2008 you qualified for the Canadian Mountain Running Team, was that a plan that you had put in place or did it happen by default?

AC: I actually qualified in my first ever trail race. I guess I was lucky. If I want to do something well, I always love to speak the best. So I sent Jonathan Wyatt an email and I asked him to coach me. He said yes! Unbelievable. He wrote me a plan for the Jungfrau marathon and I followed it to the ‘T’.

IC: It worked.

AC It sure did. Thanks to Jonathan. But it wasn’t planned. Initially I just enjoyed the process. I had speed and the rest clicked in place. As for ultra running, beyond 3 hours seemed nuts to me.

IC: It still does…

AC: Oh yeah!

ARC'TERYX/Brian Goldstone

ARC’TERYX/Brian Goldstone

IC: Mountain running races do tend to be a shorter distance. Of course the terrain is up and down but it is more like the ‘Sky’ distance of races. You need speed and agility. What was it that interested you to go longer? For many a marathon on a mountainous course  is far enough.

AC: I don’t know to be honest. Curiosity I guess. The longer I went the more I enjoyed it so I decided to race the longer races too. It had a strong appeal. The longer a run gets the more I get the opportunity to really know my body and my mind. I don’t have the ability to run a sub 4 min mile so this type of racing tests the participant in a different way. I was drawn to it.

IC: You have been noted and still have a reputation as a fast runner, even in the ultra circles you are noted as being fast. What combination of speed do you bring to ultra training?

AC: Well, that is all relative. No sub 2:04 marathons coming out of these legs!

IC: Well you say that but speed is becoming very important, particularly if we look at Sage Canaday and Max King. 

AC: For sure, speed is important. The terrain brings many changes and it is important to adapt. I do a couple of hard runs a week but it is more organic. Certainly less structured than when I was a triathlete. I have been in sport a long time and I have become more intuitive. I listen to my body. If I want to go hard I will and when I do I tend to go really hard. By contrast my easy days are easy. I have a long background in sport and that has benefits. I can apply that knowledge to what I do. I also talk with John Brown from the UK, he helps me with my planning and calendar. It’s critical now with the way races are going. You can’t be fast all year and race all year.

IC: One thing that crops up with ultra runners is the desire and need to get in lots of vertical. Do you bring that into your training?

ARC'TERYX/Brian Goldstone

ARC’TERYX/Brian Goldstone

AC: Absolutely. I never look at weekly mileage. I just log vertical. That is what is the most important for me, how much vertical and it’s huge how much strength comes from this. It creates a great foundation.

IC: Anton Krupicka and Kilian Jornet have the same approach. It’s all about going up. Kilian in particular just logs vertical ascent.

AC: Geoff Roes and Mike Wolfe amongst others do the same. I guess the Europeans do the same? No magic formula is required. It is all about being specific to the terrain and distances that I race.

IC: If we look back at your ultra career what would you consider a highlight?

AC: That is tough. I like to pick races that are in beautiful places or races with competitive fields. So, every race has been special. I guess UTMF in Japan last year… my first 100-mile race was special. I was 2nd behind Julien Chorier. I had a respectable race and it really challenged me. It took a huge physical and emotional toll on me as I raced very hard. Also my first ultra back in 2010, Chuckanut 50, that to me was awesome. Just being on the line to start was incredible. I was definitely scared going beyond a marathon distance!

IC: Most of us are Adam. The first time can be a worrying experience. You mentioned UTMF and we actually spoke last year not long after that race. I was interested in your training but also your equipment. You had specific needs which Arc’teryx helped with. I guess one of the benefits you have had is your location and the proximity to Arc’teryx HQ. They can manufacture and provide equipment for you usually within a couple of days?

AC: Incredible. I have been with Arc’teryx since 2007. I cold called them and my timing was perfect. I actually was suggesting making running apparel and luckily somebody in the design team had the same thought. I was lucky. I work closely with them and we are constantly developing more run specific apparel. They have the best materials and the highest quality. They have a no compromise approach, which is amazing. It can take ages to bring something to market. This is the price of quality. I test lots of products on the trail so I am lucky. 

IC: Your physique is unique. You are a small guy so I guess you have lots of custom clothing made?

AC: Oh yeah, I take take XS in Japan. Now that is small.

IC: That IS small

AC: Yep. I am lucky. I get custom clothes from Arc’teryx because I am very particular. I don’t like baggy clothes for running. It must fit and it must have no excess fabric. For UTMF I had some specific kit made. I wanted the most minimal gear possible. If I am not going to use it, I don’t want to carry it. I don’t want to carry an extra gram. It must be functional and suit the purpose it is intended for.

IC: In 2012 you spent time in Europe. You had planned to do TNFUTMB but you had some niggles which ultimately meant that TNFUTMB had to be taken out of your calendar. Do you have plans to go back to Chamonix and race the iconic 100 mile race?

AC: For sure. I love Chamonix. It’s an incredible town. I will be racing the Skyrunning Mont Blanc Marathon in summer and Arc’teryx are putting the Arc’teryx Alpine Academy together; a week of mountaineering so that will be incredible. I do a little climbing but I am really looking forward to working on my mountain skills.

IC: Mountain skills? So is this going to be climbing and everything related?

AC: Glazier travel, mountaineering and learning specific skills.

IC: Sounds awesome.

AC: It will be an amazing week.

IC: You mentioned Skyrunning, Arc’teryx are heavily involved in the series. It is going to be a great year for you, the team and the brand.

ARC'TERYX/Brian Goldstone

ARC’TERYX/Brian Goldstone

AC: I was gutted last year not to race in the Skyrunning series due to unjury. I like to race the best people on the best and most beautiful terrain. Skyrunning personify that!. They have done a brilliant job. Nothing like being recognized for personal achievement and Skyrunning offer this. It’s the vibe, the experience and yes, Arc’teryx are involved as a sponsor.

IC: Transvulcania kicks it off with a stacked field. I said in 2012 it was the race of the decade, but 2013 is equally impressive.

AC: It’s going to be great fun. Racing the best brings out the best in me and the field doesn’t get any better than at this race. I will be interested to see how I perform. I believe I have put the work in and I am in good shape.

IC: I presume you are doing the ultra series? You need three events to qualify but five in total are available, are you planning on the five?

AC: Jeez have you seen this 100 miler, Andorra, Ronda del Cims! It has massive appeal BUT boy I don’t know…. It took Miguel Heras 30 hours! That is a long time to be out on such a tough course. That race may end my summer. I would need plenty of recovery so I will have to see? I can’t recover like Kilian.

IC: It is all about balance and finding what works for you. You have to cherry pick and keep the balance.

AC: An incredible race but a little much for me at the moment.

IC: Tell me about your world record in 2012… some inspired idea to run a marathon in a business suit. What was that all about…?

AC: I had read an article on letsrun.com and I saw some guy had set a record in a suit in 3:25. I was sure I could run quicker. I was going through a divorce and I needed a distraction. I needed some fun and an escape. I wasn’t in a great place personally so that seemed a quirky thing to do. It was a good excuse to raise money for a charity also. I had a lot of fun. It was a great challenge… it was also really hot!

IC: Yes, running a marathon fast is a test but to run it in a shirt, tie, jacket and trousers… c’mon, what was the time?

AC 2:35! I started slow looking for 3 hours but after the first mile I rolled and I felt great. I hadn’t run in the suit before so it was all new to me. I actually negative split the race heavily 1:19 and 1:16 for the second half.

IC: Wow  – ridiculous.

AC: Yes, I guess, I surprised myself.

IC: What is your marathon PB?

AC: I haven’t really run marathons before. My first marathon was 2:29 in 2006. I don’t run too much road.

IC: You finished 2012 with San Francisco 50. You had a great race. Sage Canaday and your self at the front…  erm, who was to blame for going of course (laughs)?

AC: (laughs) Well I was leading but we were all together as a group. Nobody questioned the decision. It was foggy, dark, windy, raining and it was just hard. The route seemed correct and we all took responsibility.

IC: I am only joking. Sage does have a small reputation for going off course.

AC: The dude just runs way too quick!

IC: Yep, so fast he doesn’t see the markers. A great race for you though and a great boost for 2013.

AC: For sure, it’s good to be competitive and it is nice to have it in the bag. It had been a rough year so it was a good way to finish. I get confidence from racing and performing.

IC: 2013 comes around and you think about a new season and then I see you post a photo on facebook of your leg in plaster!

AC: It was dumb. These things happen. The day before I had seen my physio. He said, “Have you ever sprained your ankle?” I said no…. oh dear, fatal last words. I was 2.5 hours into a run and I slipped on a wet log. I went down hard and I had no option but to hike out. Really painful but I got great treatment and support. All is good, it flares up a little but I will be okay.

IC: And your recovery?

AC: I didn’t respect the recovery. I should have been a little more patient but we all learn.

IC: These things need time.

ARC'TERYX/Brian Goldstone

ARC’TERYX/Brian Goldstone

AC: Yes I tried to make up time. It never works; patience is key. I am good now, I have plenty of volume and I did cross country skiing and climbing to break things up, I have tried to save my legs a little, it is a long season. I want to be good in September and still have motivation.

IC: To finish off I would like to discuss the video ‘Silence’. I remember seeing it early on and it really switched for many people. It was a change, a breath of fresh air. It not only fulfills a running purpose but it was also a piece of art. Was it your idea?

AC: It came together by the people at the production company. I fitted the narrative perfectly and I was really keen to do it. Everything about it was perfect. When they pitched the story I said yes immediately. I could relate to it.

IC: It was a great movie. We all get stuck in our day-to-day lives. I am fortunate I think, I spend lots of time on a computer but my life evolves around running, mountains and races. I get my fix. I guess living where you do you can get on trails quickly… the film manages to get that perspective across

AC: Yes it was a fabulous. The entire production was top notch. I am really happy. The story struck a chord with so many. Canada is a great place for running. One moment in the office, the next on a beautiful local trail.

IC: You have a great local running group too.

AC: Oh yeah, Ellie Greenwood, Garry Robbins, Jason Loutitt and so on…

IC: Gary hasn’t tempted you to run Hurt 100?

AC: That race looks brutal. The time he ran in 2012 is seriously impressive.

IC: Particularly with Gary’s story; two years out of the sport with injury.

AC: Gary is a great guy. Great to see him back!

IC: Adam, it has been great to catch up. We will meet up at Transvulcania. As the season unfolds I guess we will see each other on a regular basis. It’s going to be great to see you on the circuit.

AC Looking forward to it. It is a privilege to compete. I don’t take that lightly. I consider myself extremely lucky. I will be prepared and I hope to race well. We shall see how I go.

IC Brilliant have a great 2013 season.

 Links

Episode 33 – Marathon des Sables and Adam Campbell

Ep33 Talk Ultra

 

This weeks show honours the injured and fallen at Boston Marathon. We have daily chat from the Marathon des Sables (Tobias Mews, Danny Kendall and Stuart Rae) bivouac and interviews with top placed Brits, Danny Kendall and Jo Meek. We interview Arc’teryx athlete, Adam Campbell. We discuss Mojo in Talk Training with Niandi Carmont, we have ‘A year in the life of…’ a Blog, Speedgoat, the News and ‘Up & Coming Races’.

00:00:44 Start
00:18:40 A year in the life of… with Amanda Hyatt. Amanda has been struggling with training and recently run the Brighton Marathon.
00:29:30 News from around the ultra world
00:35:40 MDS special from the bivouac with chat from Stuart Rae, Danny Kendall and Stuart Rae.
01:11:55 Back to the news
01:18:45 MDS special – after 28 editions of the race, Danny Kendall has surpassed James Cracknell and is now the highest ever placed Brit in the race.
01:35:40 MDS specialJo Meek entered the MDS several years ago and in 2012 got the nod that 2013 would be the year. With no experience of multi day racing, Jo wanted to finish the race but also perform to the best of her ability – she made the podium in 2nd place!
015215 BlogNick Cark always writes an in depth blog about his running HERE
01:52:55 Back to Karl
01:55:30 Talk Training – have you lost your Mojo? We discuss ways to get your mojo back with Niandi Carmont.
02:03:10 Interview – with Arc’teryx athlete Adam Campbell as he prepares for the 2013 season.

A former member of the Canadian National Triathlon and Duathlon teams, in 2006 Adam decided to shed the extra gear and rely solely on his running shoes to get around. He also decided to put down the stopwatch and set intervals and hit the trails.

Adam’s love for running began on the beaches of West Africa and Spain, where he spent his childhood running after soccer balls and chasing waves. It wasn’t until he moved to Canada in his late teens that he began running competitively. Adam’s love for all individual athletic challenges quickly saw him jump into the multi-sport world of triathlons and duathlons where he was renown for his running ability, which saw him win a national duathlon title.

However the drudgery and structure of training and racing for triathlons caught up with him and he began to seek out new challenges. After running the roads for a year, he jumped into his first trail race in 2007 and a new love was born. Adam qualified for the Canadian Mountain Running Team in his first trail race and continued to post the best ever finish by a Canadian at a Mountain Running World Championship at the Jungfrau Marathon, a gruelling 42k uphill run with 6000ft elevation gain from start to finish.

His running goals are to seek out interesting challenges in inspiring settings. A lifelong traveler and racer, Adam’s new belief is: if you are going to be suffering, you might as well suffer somewhere beautiful!

Occupation: Trail runner/law student (environmental, aboriginal, employment law)
Favourite Trail: anywhere I haven’t run before
Favourite Place to run: Soft & hilly terrain. Summer alpine runs
Favourite Race: Comfortably Numb, Whistler BC/ Jungfrau Marathon, Interlaken Switzerland
Favourite Distance: I will race anyone, anywhere…

02:33:20 A Meltzer Moment
02:36:20 Up & Coming Races
02:41:25 Close
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Arc’teryx announce team for Skyrunner World Series

Arc’teryx, the Canadian outdoor brand and ISF partner, announces their six-man team participating in the 2013 Skyrunner® World Series. 

Arc’teryx, the Canadian outdoor brand and ISF partner, announces their six-man team participating in the 2013 Skyrunner® World Series.  From the US, charismatic and eclectic runner Joe Grant is back for more and will race the Ultra Series starting with the Transvulcania Ultramarathon on May 11 where he placed 12th last year as well as a 2nd place at Hardrock 100 and a second place at the 350-mile long Iditarod Trail Invitational, the legendary Alaskan sled dog race.  He’s also aiming at the Sky Series’ new Ultraks 46K in Zermatt, Switzerland.

Adam Campbell

Adam Campbell

Canadian distance runner Adam Campbell, plagued with injury last year, has got big plans for the SWS Ultra Series and he’ll be toeing the line at Transvulcania with Grant in the first of the Series Ultra races which he describes as, “a global race series in some of the most iconic mountain settings and over some very rough and technical terrain”. The SWS in a nutshell.

Italy’s Nicola Golinelli will be tackling both the Sky and Vertical Series.  Last year, he chalked up two third places in the Vertical K and a fourth position at the Giir di Mont, Premana, Italy.  He will debut at the highly competitive Zegama-Aizkorri marathon on May 26 where he placed 5th in 2011.

Frenchman Didier Zago, like Golinelli, will aim for both Sky and Vertical races, starting off with the Cara Amón Vertical Kilometer® on May 18, site of the 2012 SkyGames® in northern Spain.

Tessa Hill

Tessa Hill

Briton Tessa Hill joins Zago in the two disciplines and skyrunning new comer Florian Reichert from Germany, will race the Sky Series, launching at Zegama.

An intensive season of highly competitive racing faces the runners, from the short steep Vertical Kilometers to the marathon distance Sky Series and the grueling Ultra Series.  With no less than five world champions competing, one thing is for sure – everyone will be racing for the love of it.  Champions or not, unquestionably the driving force behind every SWS participant lies their passion for running in the mountains.

Follow news on the athletes on Facebook and Twitter and www.arcteryx.com

Why do we run?

Why do we run? Arc’teryx athlete Adam Campbell tells his “why” in a story with no words.

Silence, Adam Campbell, Arcteryx, Arc'teryx

Surrounded by the noise of the city, a noise that can drown out our ability to fully listen to what our bodies are telling us, the video highlights how it can disconnect us from the places that we’re running in and although running becomes an escape – it isn’t always relaxing.

“The noise and bustle of a city often make my running feel tense and forced and I often feel like I’m trying to run away from it all,” said Campbell, one of Canada’s most renowned Ultra Runners.

“My greatest pleasures in running are those times when I’m not trying to run away, but rather, when I’m fully immersed in the moment. I find those moments when I’m running high in the mountains, when all I can hear are my footsteps on the trail, my breath and the sounds of nature around me. During these runs, I feel most in tune with my body and the places I’m running, making the act effortless and highly meditative. That quiet effort brings incredible inner peace and gives me a deep appreciation of the places I’m moving through,” Campbell said.

Directed by Austin Siadak (cinematographer & editor on The Gimp Monkeys) the film is shot on the streets of Vancouver and the high country around Whistler, Silence is the story of every runner, climber and skier who chases their passion rather than the modern world’s trappings.

It is an unusual way to depict the peace of running – via sound, but Austin was inspired after a run in Seattle trying to clear his head of his growing daily task list.

“I came up with the idea to tell a story about the challenge that so many of us face in trying to quiet the noise of city life and create silence in our lives.  I wanted to capture that shared experience, and it seemed natural and fitting to use sounds instead of words to tell that story.” Says Siadak.

Best with headphones – ARC’TERYX and Duct Tape Then Beer, present - Silence

Enjoy the film:

 

http://www.arcteryx.com/Video.aspx?EN&video=Silence

You can download a high res image of Adam HERE

S13_ARCTERYX_Endorphin (4)_Snapseed