Suunto World Vertical Week is not all about big data. Behind all the statistics are many personal adventures and unique stories. Here are our three #verticalweek photo contest winners – and their stories.
Kat Schjei, California, USA
Feeling inspired by @suunto #verticalweek ; in the last seven days I have climbed over 5,000 feet either wearing this adventurous toddler, or pushing him in the stroller. It isn't easy, but I thrive on the challenge and seek more adventures with my sidekick every day. 🗻 #verticalweek #noexcuses #motherrunner #BAMR #BAMRbassador #runitfast #irunhesleeps #saltymountainmamas #getsalty #trailrunner #ultrarunners #trailchix #lasthorse #r4twc #running4thosewhocant #nomeatathlete #ultrarunner
“I live in Southern California but have lived all over the US. I'm a mom of three small kids and work as a nurse at the children's hospital, but that doesn't stop me from exploring and climbing as much as possible.
I'm currently training for my fourth 100-mile race, the Tahoe Rim Trail 100, which is located on some of my favorite peaks to climb. My Vertical Week was fun! I strapped my youngest son on my back and we climbed around 1500 feet a day, which is a crazy hard strength workout with his added weight. He loves taking in the sights as much as I do, and I know this is great race training because the added weight feels like double the distance.
I'm very much an advocate for getting kids outside; my three have learned to fall in love with the beauty that is rewarded when you put effort into a steep climb. I live my life to lead them and other families by example.”
Anna Persson, Norway
“I came to Norway 12 years ago. A summer job made me come here and nature has kept me here. The nature of Rauma in Romsdalen, Norway is spectacular with its many high and steep mountains by the sea. The mountains are in my backyard so I can walk to them from my front door.
My favorite training mountain in winter time is 1439-meter-high Kyrkjetaket – and the mountains around it. I often climb it two or three times before I go to work in the afternoon. The same mountain feels different every day. Snow and weather conditions may vary from day to day but when I`m at the top, it’s always the same; magical, wonderful feeling of freedom.
My #verticalweek was pretty hectic because of work. I also caught a cold. Luckily the snow and weather conditions were perfect this week so it was easy for me to do some vertical meters every day.”
Hannes Gehring, Colorado, USA
It’s been nearly 7 months since I’ve raced. Following my last race I found myself fighting demons, questioning and challenging my dreams and pursuits in ultra-running. I ballooned from a race weight of 168 to 206 lbs by mid December. It has been snail-crawl back to fitness but my focus has never been more deliberate. Yesterday’s 24 miles and 7,000 feet of climbing capped the week at 100 miles and 20k of vertical gain and felt like an unleashing of a few months worth of frustration, angst, and doubt. Sometimes following your passion, your crazy, and your heart is the only way to dig out of that hole you’re in. I’ve been digging for a few months. I’m back and there’s a fire 🔥🔥🔥coursing through my veins. (📷 Yesterday circa my 41,288th step 📸captured here by ninja photographer @itsmarincita) #uphillswagger
“Last March I decided to pursue ultra-running full time and moved into my truck with my two rescue dogs. They are the reason I found mountains; once I had rescued my first dog he led me to trails and helped me find my passion in mountain running.
Suunto's Vertical week went great for me. I was fortunate enough to climb over 20,000 vertical feet and cover over 100 miles, including a summit of the 14,035' Mt. Sherman here in Colorado.
I think any climb that gains 4,000 feet or more feels like a really burly climb. Typically, for my big days I aim for over 10,000 feet of uphill climbing. The steeper the better as far as I am concerned!
Ultra-running is my biggest passion (other than my dogs). So, my biggest motivation when a climb gets tough is that I want to do this professionally at the highest level. It keeps me humble and hungry grinding up a steep trail, knowing my dreams are lofty, but attainable – if I just keep pushing up that hill. Plus, my dogs make every climb look like it's a cake walk and that's a humbling motivator as well!”
And a big thank you to everyone who participated in Suunto World Vertical Week and shared photos and stories. Happy adventures to you all – both in the ups and downs!