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Colleen O'Neil Thursday, 21 November 2013 11:54 TWEET COMMENTS 4

Trail Running's Power Couple - Page 2

Thomson and Kremer on the slopes.

So you weren’t always runners?
Stevie Kremer: In high school I ran indoor track, just to do something in the winter. Then in college, my friend and I ran a couple times a week avoid gaining the "college 15" ... which didn't totally work. But I only found out how much I loved running trails when I moved to Crested Butte.

J. Marshall Thomson: I basically started running four or five years ago to stay in shape for skiing and spend time with Stevie.

Can you tell us a bit about Karli Racing, the team you founded?
SK: Marshall actually started Karli Racing as a tribute to his best friend, Karl, who unexpectedly passed away in 2010. Karl loved the outdoors and Marshall wanted to create something in his memory.

JMT: “Karli” (Karl) Pfister was one of my best friends. He inspired me to just have fun and enjoy life every day, and I wanted to honor that gift. Since lots of events ask if you’re sponsored or part of a team, I decided that Karli Racing would be my “team.”

What are your training schedules like?
SK: I get up early to run before teaching while Marshall makes breakfast. Marshall works nights at Maxwell’s Steak House in Crested Butte, so he runs or skis during the day. Sometimes our schedules line up and we can get out together, which is a serious workout for me to keep up with him! In the winter we ski as much as we can.

Neither of us has a “training routine” per se. We just really love just being outside.

Is it difficult to fit your careers into your athletic lives?
SK: I think it’s important to have a focus completely outside of athletics. In my case, it’s my stellar second-grade class at Crested Butte Community School. If I have a bad race, I always have 22 little whipper snappers waiting for me at school!

JMT: Stevie is much better than I am at this. It just comes down to scheduling and training at less-than-ideal times and conditions. Our employers have been really understanding.

How did the two of you negotiate Stevie's year in Italy? Was it hard to stay motivated without a constant training partner?
SK: Marshall has known that I've wanted to live and work abroad. I tried to convince him to join me, but I knew he had his life to live in Crested Butte. I definitely missed our daily skis together and traveling for races, but knew it was only a year. Luckily were able to meet up in various places throughout the winter to ski and spend time together.

JMT: It was hard, especially in the winter. I really missed my 20-below morning skis with her.

What's your favorite thing to do together, off-trail?
SK: If it's not enjoying the after-party of a race together; it's probably sitting on the couch in front of a fire, drinking wine or a beer while Marshall cooks.

JMT: Snuggle on the couch in front of a fire watching Law and Order: SVU or lift skiing at a resort.

You put out an amazing co-ed effort at the Elk Mountains Grand Traverse (a 40-mile backcountry ski race between Crested Butte and Aspen, Colorado) in 2011 as the first-place co-ed team and second-place team overall. Are there more duo races on your schedule?
SK: That race was really hard. Let's just say I was pretty excited to have arrived in Aspen in one piece! I really hope Marshall wants to partner up with me again this year.

JMT: I hope to race the Grand Traverse again with Stevie. She’s stronger than anyone I know, male or female  I honestly think that we could win it together. We’re also racing a multisport relay called the RockyMan in Brazil this year.

What are your goals for 2014?
SK: It would be awesome to do well in the Grand Traverse if we do it together this year. And we'd both love to have a fun and successful Colorado Mountain Skiing Cup (COSMIC) series and stay injury-free.

Do you have any advice for other competitive couples?
SK: It’s important to understand each other's needs, both emotionally and athletically. Marshall is more of a "distance" runner and enjoys longer runs, whereas I prefer somewhat shorter runs and sometimes two shorter runs in a day. Compromising is extremely important.

JMT: Be understanding about the other’s schedule and training. Our schedules—whether they be work, training, racing or social—are never ideal. Most importantly, in partner races I always let Stevie cross the line first!


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