Hillsound ambassador, trail running pro, and multi-championship winner Stevie Kremer will be flying across the Pacific Ocean to challenge herself in a 6,100m high, 20km long round-trip mountain race in China. She shares her thoughts and goals as she prepares to fly over and attempt to leave yet another mark in the ultra running world.
H: Hi Stevie! It’s been a while since our last interview. How has 2016 been so far for you?
S: So far so good! I spent the majority of the winter ski mountaineer racing and have recently competed in two trail running races in Colorado, which have been a positive welcome back to trail running, getting me excited for the season to come.
H: Some local races to warm up for the season! You’ll be running in China for this upcoming race – that’s exciting! Have you ever been to China?
S: Yes, I will be and yes I have run in China two other times, both in Hong Kong. Those were great experiences and who knew that there were such amazing mountains in Hong Kong. But this race will be completely different. We will be summiting a 20,000 foot mountain-something I’ve never come close to doing.
H: Tell us a bit more about the Red Bull Summit Quest.
S: This is a 20km round-trip race which will start at around 4800 meters and will top out at a little over 6100 meters (yikes!), then we will be coming right back down. This race will include a bit of running (if that’s possible) and transition to mountaineering with ropes as we reach the summit.
H: 20,000ft sounds absolutely daunting. How have you been preparing for this, mentally and physically?
S: Well I really don’t know how I’ve been preparing. There isn’t much I can do with the altitude because I don’t have mountains that go that high, so I’ve been trying to stay calm and just run up and down as best I can. The physical part is going decently, while the mental part isn’t going so well.
H: We are rooting for you! Even after so many great successes, how do you stay motivated to keep challenging yourself for more and to achieve harder goals?
S: I think races like the Red Bull Summit Quest are completely new experiences for me and therefore keep me excited about running on new mountains and have new challenges to work towards.
H: Tell us one ‘crazy’ dream, if you have one, related to your running career.
S: Winning the Red Bull Summit Quest!
H: Lastly, what is your ultimate goal for this race ahead?
S: To stay alive…at such a high altitude, I’m scared!
H: Thanks for your time Stevie! Everyone at Hillsound is rooting for you! Good luck and safe travels!
S: Thanks for everything Hillsound has done for me, especially keeping me running on ice and snow throughout the winter!!
Stevie has been training with the Trail Crampon Ultras in the colder seasons. She will be bringing along the Trail Crampon Pros for the Red Bull Summit Quest this summer. You can follow her adventures via her Instagram @StevieKremer and her Facebook.