Robert Krar

Ultra Runner

Rob Krar’s passion for sport and the outdoors began at a young age growing up in the Canadian city of Hamilton, Ontario. His high school years found him participating in cross country, track, badminton, and water polo with summers spent on the triathlon circuit, twice representing Canada at the world championships.

Rob’s love for running brought him to the United States to attend Butler University as a middle distance specialist. Upon graduating he found his way west to Phoenix, AZ, lured by the endless sun and warm temperatures, taking a long break away from running.

Several years later and yearning for a return to a four-season home, he moved north to the mountain town of Flagstaff, AZ. Embraced by the mountains and the vibrant running scene, Rob expectantly found himself running and racing once again. He soon realized the roads were not his home and entered the 6-day TransRockies trail run with friend Mike Smith in 2009. This race proved fateful, leading to terrific highs—meeting his beautiful rock and ultimate partner Christina, and humbling lows—running to destruction, forced to undergo surgery to remove Haglund’s deformities from both heels in 2010.

The long recovery from surgery allowed him to find love and many new passions including fly-fishing, rock climbing, and ski mountaineering. Gradually, Rob found new peace on the trails and a healthier balance in life, prompting a return to racing in 2012.

Rob credits his fitness regimen of ski mountaineering to help him win and set a new course record in his first race back in nearly three years at the 2012 Moab Red Hot 33K, the first stop on the La Sportiva Mountain Cup which he would go on to win. Throughout his season, Rob continued to break barriers, setting a new “Fastest Known Time” (FKT) for the single crossing of the Grand Canyon in May 2012, traversing the north to south route in just over 2 hours and 51 minutes. Another highlight of his season was representing his home country of Canada at the World Mountain Running Championships in September in Temù, Italy.

Rob’s foray into ultra running began on a whim last November at the Bootlegger 25K/50K, opting for the longer distance at the last minute, “just to see what it would be like.” With a second place finish at the Bootlegger, a win and new course record a month later at the McDowell Mountain Frenzy 50K, he was encouraged to approach the 2013 season with his sights set on the longer distances. Another strong winter of ski mountaineering and another record setting win at the Moab Red Hot, this time in the 55K distance, set the tone for what is proving to be a breakout year in 2013.

Highlights include a record setting run at the Leona Divide 50M, breaking the prestigious Grand Canyon double crossing FKT (Fastest Know Time), and a successful initiation to the 100-mile distance with a second place finish at the Western States Endurance Run.

Rob’s return to competitive running and entrance into the world of ultra running has been a whirlwind and he looks forward to spending more time exploring the world on foot as a member of The North Face Global Team.

Hometown: Hamilton, Ontario—AKA “The Hammer”

Favorite Music: Folk & Bluegrass

Nicknames: No self-proclaimed nicknames but a few amusing ones I’ve recently heard include The Krarbarian, The Nordic Nightmare, and simply, The Bearded One.

Three Things I Always Pack: A cowboy hat, my pillow, BandAids

Words to live by/Personal Mantra: I’m a student of life and the following quote from Hermann Hesse sums it perfectly—“I am an experiment on the part of nature, a gamble within the unknown, perhaps for a new purpose, perhaps for nothing, and my only task is to allow this game on the part of the primeval depths to take its course, to feel its will within me and make it wholly mine.”

Favorite Book: The Monkey Wrench Gang Favorite Movie: Lost In Translation (Just what did Bob Harris whisper into Charlotte’s ear to end the movie?)

Nutrition: Plant-based—grains and greens

Proudest Sporting Moment: Overcoming the fears and doubts in my mind while deep in the Grand Canyon during my double-crossing Fastest Known Time.

My perfect evening: A tofu Po’ boy sandwich, an unfiltered Hefeweizen, a good flick with my partner Christina and our two feline friends sounds about right!

How I Relax: Casting a line in the Colorado River

Inspiration Within the Sport: The everyday runner who juggles their job, family and obligations; those who make living a healthy life and setting examples for others a top priority in their lives.

Weakness/Guilty Pleasure: Coffee and copious amounts of cereal

What I’m Passionate About: Anything that encourages people to get out and explore and lead a healthy lifestyle while treading lightly on our earth

Three Things People Should Know About Me:
1) I’ve been working the graveyard shift the past 12 years of my life.
2) Secretly, my favorite sport in high school was badminton. 3) I’m a quiet person by nature—you’ll often find me observing from a distance.

Most Humbling Moment: I can clearly remember the odd feeling of my body ceasing to function as my eyes caught their first glimpse of the finish line at the TransRockies trail run in 2009. I’d been training and racing for too long with a broken body, too stubborn to take a graceful step back. While others were celebrating the end of an incredible week in the mountains, I took a ride to the hospital and couldn’t walk. The hubris of thinking strength is working through pain at any cost had taken away one of the purest joys of my life. For the longest time after I honestly believed even a casual run come friends was a distant memory. It was close to three years later until I could slowly came back from the injury and the surgery that resulted. Realizing the fallacy of this thinking was truly humbling and I carry this lesson with me each day. I’m fortunate to now have a much more healthy and holistic approach to running and life.

  • Track personal records of 1:51:05 in the 800M and 3:44:55 in the 1500M
  • Half-marathon personal record of 1:05:56
  • 3-time TransRockies champion
  • 2012 La Sportiva Mountain Cup series champion
  • Fastest Known Time for both the single and double crossing of the Grand Canyon
  • 2012 and 2013 Moab Red Hot 55K champion and course record holder
  • 2013 Leona Divide win and course record time
  • 2013 Western States 100-mile second place finish