Prepping for the North Face Endurance Challenge with Ultrarunner, Rob Krar

Are you ready to take your run to the next level? North Face’s free endurance workouts at Millennium Park and Lincoln Park continue on to prepare you for one big event: the North Face Endurance Challenge presented by Gortex on October 3rd and 4th.  Located in the beautiful Kettle Moraine Park nearby Madison, Wisconsin, athletes (and semi athletes like us) have the chance to try their hands and feet at anywhere between a 5K and a 50 (WHEW!!) mile run.  North Face is bringing in top athletes/North Face ambassadors for the next few months to guest star and prep you for the race of your choice.

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This free training series kicks off with ultrarunner and 2x Western States Champion, Rob Krar. *The Western States Endurance Run is a 100-mile (161 km) ultramarathon the California Sierra Nevada mountains.

This Thursday, July 30th, Rob Krar will host the semi-weekly Mountain Athletics workout at Millennium Monument at 6:30 PM. More info on the free event and sign up, hosted by The North Face, here.

Rob will also be leading a run in the gorgeous and nature filled Waterfall Glen this Saturday, August 1st at 7 am.  Details and sign up here.

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Interview with Rob Krar

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K & M: From the newbie perspective, how did you get started in ultrarunning and what do you love about it?
Rob: Like so much of my more recent past, my introduction to ultrarunning happened quickly and unexpectedly. After returning from an injury and surgery I was sure would never allow me to walk comfortably again — let alone train and race again — I was determined to approach the opportunity with a new philosophy in order not to lose, again, something that means so much to me. Respecting rest and recovery, mind and body, and finding my peace alone on the trails is what I love most about ultra running.
K & M: How do you plan to continue to challenge yourself?
Rob: A large focus and goal for the year has been stepping out of my comfort zone and challenging myself in new ways — two ski mountaineering races over the winter in Colorado that found me wondering if I’d gotten in over my head, speaking of my struggles with depression at a medical conference ahead of the Western States Endurance Run, and have an ambitious race schedule for the second half of the year including racing the six day TransRockies Run stage race, the 106-mile Ultra Trail du Mont-Blanc in France, and the 100-mile Ultra-Trail Mt Fuji in Japan. I feel it’s important to challenge myself in ways beyond running to allow for a better balance in life.
K & M: Any tips for brand new runners?
Rob: Ultrarunning is incredibly rewarding. Start with shorter trail races and learn your strengths and weaknesses. Take your time moving up through the distances, always focused on maintaining strengths and improving on weaknesses heading into each race. Keep it fun and soak up the amazing energy that surrounds the ultrarunning community.
K & M: How do you keep things fresh?
Rob: If things get stale, fall back on an old activity from yesteryears — like badminton!
Big thanks to North Face for connecting us and Rob Krar for sharing!  We appreciate Rob’s humility over such amazing achievements and encouragement for people just starting out.
Wanna learn more about Rob?  Check out this fast article from Runner’s World and come join him this week.

Loving Summer in Chicago: Upcoming Fun, Food and Fitness Events

Ok so our weather still isn’t too summery but the events in Chicago are in full swing!  We wanted to share all the summer goodness with ya’ll instead of keeping it for ourselves.  Here’s just a few fun, free events to keep you fit and entertained this summer.

Bikini Blast Time

Looking to get your muscles tight for your new polka dot bikini (or speedo)?  Join the Old Town Purre Barre team for a grand opening party on Thursday, June 19th from 6-8 p.m.  Pure Barre gives clients a chance to sculpt and lengthen their muscles by alternating tiny shake inducing muscle movements with stretching sequences.  Believe us, you will tighten your problem areas and wonder why such little movements can be so sweat provoking.  The grand opening party will feature drinks, light snacks, raffles as well as retail and class specials so this would be a perfect opportunity to snag a deal and step to the barre.  See the Purre Barre website for class information and more details.

Pure Barre Old Town

1350 N. Wells Street, Suite 4

Chicago, IL 60610

oldtown@purebarre.com

312.642.2922

Free Parking in the Self Park lot behind Cobbler Square is available.

 

Getting in Touch with Nature

Are you a city kid with country dreams?  The North Face, the well known outdoor clothing brand, and our beloved Chicago Park District are doing outreach to help us urbanites learn to camp in under our unforgettable Chicago skyline.  Events may feature camping basics, fishing skills and  nature hikes, or even spooky campfire tales lead by Chicago Park District staff.  Visit the website to register and more information.  Registration is mandatory to attend.

There are several spots to learn and set your gear down throughout the summer:

  • July 26-27: Northerly Island
  • August 9-10: Garfield Park Conservatory
  • August 16-17: Calumet Park
  • September 13-14: Gompers Park
  • September 20-21: CCFP Bullfrog Lake
  • September 27-28: Northerly Island
  • October 11: Family Adventure Day

Activity Guides from North Face are also available to give you the low down on other fun park events.

http://exploreyourparks.com/pdf/Chicago_EYP_Download.pdf

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Relax and Recharge in the Burbs

Grab some mini massages, snacks, and behind the scenes tours (OH MY!)  of the brand new Massage Envy Spa Mount Prospect, at their Grand Opening event on Tuesday, June 17 from 5-6:30 p.m.  Email massageenvy@heronpr.com to RSVP to the event.  (Text modified from Heron PR)

Movies and More under the Stars

Chicago Park District continues to bring free Movies in the Parks until early fall and that includes our beloved Millennium Park every Tuesday evenings and one bonus movie on Sunday, June 29th.  Click here to search the nearest park in Chicago.  This year Chicago Park District will also showcase the first Chicago on Screen which will feature locally-produced independent, documentary and short films around Chicago.
Wanna snuggle with a Lion during your show?  Ok that might be dangerous, but you can get up close and personal with the animals of Lincoln Park zoo and then catch a flick afterwards with Zoovies!  General admission is free but you can upgrade to VIP package for snacks, drinks and surprises.
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Photo Credit: MLK Photographs

Summer Bites

Chicago’s most romantic restaurant Geja’s Café will celebrate its 49th Anniversary Sunday, June 29 through Friday, July 4.  Guests will receive 49% off all food bills and can take part in Geja’s 5th annual recipe contest and 4th annual poetry challenge during the 6-day anniversary celebration. Guests are encouraged to compose original poetry about their experiences at Geja’s over the years.  Aspiring fondue foodies are invited to submit an original dipping sauce to accompany Geja’s signature meats and seafood entrée.  The winners from each contest will win a dinner for 6 with selected premium wines.  For more information or to make a reservation, visit www.gejascafe.com.  (Text provided by Heron PR) 

 

 

    WHAT!! This dude runs 100 miles? You have to have respect for that. We got the chance to interview Rob through email before his visit to Chicago to find out what draws a person into ultrarunning.