For Pain and Glory

Three things you need to know right away about Tony Krupicka:

First, the guy loves to run. Loves it. He cruises the trails above Colorado Springs three, four, even six hours a day, in all kinds of weather. He runs up and down mountains with more joy and less discernible effort than the average suburbanite waddling to the driveway to fetch the newspaper.

Second, this isn't a passing fancy. Now 24, Krupicka ran his first marathon when he was twelve. He's since racked up close to 40,000 miles, all of it meticulously recorded in his journals or his blog. Last year he ran 5,412 miles, for an average of 104 miles a week — but that's not quite right, since he was sidelined for almost five months of 2007 with two major injuries. When healthy, he averages 180 miles a week.

Third, it's a tricky business, pushing the human body beyond accepted limits of endurance. Hard-core distance runners say it isn't about competition or breaking records — and yet it is. For all his mileage, Krupicka didn't discover what he was capable of, or just how miserable he could feel, until he entered his first 100-mile race two summers ago...

So begins Alan Prendergast's April 10 feature story "Ultrarunning Gets Younger – and Faster" about ultrarunner Tony Krupicka. Another thing you should know about Krupicka and ultrarunning, as covered in this story, is that Krupicka is part of a new breed of younger ultrarunners who have recently broken onto the scene of what has traditionally been the sport of older professionals who run insane distances as a hobby. But Krupicka more or less defines this new, younger breed of runner, and has even prompted the production of a new documentary by Colorado production company Negative Split Productions called Indulgence: 1000 Miles Under the Colorado Sky, which chronicles the lengths to which Krupicka goes in his ultrarunning training. You can view the trailer for the film above.

Krupicka also chronicles his training regimen and the races in which he competes on his blog, Riding the Wind. In his posts he's generally effusive about each of the courses he runs, his competitive and life philosophy and of course, for a man who runs 180 miles a week when he's healthy, incredibly talkative about running. He keeps a "Week Log" of workouts -- the miles run, times in which they are run, and whether or not he runs his favorite Colorado trails in shoes or goes au natural. Ouch.

Below, check out more footage of Krupicka running and for more information about ultrarunning in general, see

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Sean Cronin