“I’m on my way up. 5-10 years ago, I would have been lying to say that. The goals then were to survive. Try and survive through cancer as a teen, the unexpected loss of a parent a year later, the transition to college, working in residential direct care (Yes, I’m still missing hair from having it pulled), almost losing a leg to gangrene (Yes, there’s a ridiculous story with that), and finding my way. It was amongst the surviving that I found running. Running became the one aspect I could somewhat control amidst the chaos in my life. The downside to running was that it birthed some intense fears for personal safety (for instance, being followed on bikes while running, being verbally harassed, etc.), which then led me to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ). Running and BJJ created the perfect micro-environment to begin to see my life differently, despite being very yin and yang for what they provided me. I’m a work in progress. I’ve already come so far, and I know I will get closer to figuring out a rhythm. One strength I’ve developed and relied on through it all, is to continue to forge ahead despite the detours. But most recently, I’ve been learning that only I can allow myself to be free. Onward and upward. Watch me fly.”- HOKA fan Natalie Nibler
Natalie is wearing the Clayton 2 – Oiselle.
Photographer Myke Hermsmeyer was lucky enough to follow HOKA Athlete Jim Walmsley through his course record-smashing win at Gorge Waterfalls 100k. Myke shares the Gorge 100k course through his eyes.
“Chasing waterfalls in the a Columbia River Gorge. I’ve lived in Montana for 10 years and somehow never got the chance to properly visit my PNW neighbors. It may not have the treeless dramatic peaks and vistas found elsewhere in the west, but the beauty of the lush and temperate rainforest is surreal. In another life I probably would have wound up in Oregon instead of Montana and hopefully I can find an excuse to get back to this gorgeous corner of the country soon. Jim punched his Golden Ticket running solo all day way up front taking down the course record by over 45 minutes in 8:20:29, about an hour in front of 2nd. The course had a couple small reroutes (less than .5 overall difference) but snow, downed logs and muddy bypasses slowed things down. Time to get to work on that sub-14 hour.”
“I am an identical twin and for the past 22 years of my life, my twin and I did everything together. Being a twin is a relationship that is hard to explain because I’ll never be close to someone like I am to her. If someone knows me, they also know Michelle. We have never spent more than a few days apart. When it came time to continue my track career, I had to move away from Michele. It’s hard to adjust to a new lifestyle without her, and I now find myself explaining to people who Michelle even is, which is so bizarre to me. Even though I don’t live with Michelle anymore, I know she will always be there for me.” – HOKA Athlete Stephanie Van Pelt
Stephanie’s favorite shoe is the Clifton 3.
“Always set big goals. Too often people tip toe around their goals not wanting to sound too bold and look foolish if they fail. I say be bold and look foolish. Who cares?”- HOKA Athlete Kellyn Taylor
“Beer is a kind of ‘work hard, play hard’ culture for a lot of runners. Running is a very demanding sport, both physically and mentally, so it is extra rewarding to be able to kick back and relax after a hard race or long run. A post-race beer is a nice reward and celebration for a lot of hard work. It can also bring runners of different cultures and backgrounds together as a social activity after a competition. Breweries often sponsor races and traveling to run in new places lends itself well to trying new foods and different types of beer to go with those meals and geographical areas.”- HOKA Athlete Sage Canaday
Sage is wearing the Hupana.