I had an opportunity to track down and ask David Kalal a few questions about his various Ultra/ Survival/ OCR Runner skills and asked his to answer this pop quiz:
1. How many years have you been running? For fitness since around 2002. Competitively since 2010.
2. What is the most defining moment for you while running or in a racing event? It actually occurred during the 2012 SERE Maritime Challenge while I was belly crawling across the beach pulling a raft being filled with sand by the Instructors while they were screaming at us to go harder and faster.
3. What is your preferred choice of event? I enjoy Spartan races as well as Ultra-marathons. Overall, I prefer competitive events over “challenges.” I enjoy longer distances over shorter ones. And will always choose trails over the road (I’ve never entered a road race of any type).
4. What is the worst thing to happen to you in an event? Fighting off hypothermia while wrapped in a survival blanket “trapped” on the top of a volcano in Nicaragua.
5. What is the strangest thing that happened to you while in an event or on a run? Well, there was that time I got lost and ended up at the Playboy Mansion. Wait…that was just a dream…
6. What is on your music playlist while you run? Do you have a motivational “thing” you do? A mixture of rock, rap, EDM, 80s, and Trip Hop. I’m not overly “froo froo” so I avoid motivational “things” in general. I enjoy running and exercising and I’ve come to understand over the past 25 years that “bad days” are part of the game.
7. Can you finish the following:
i. I can’t stand it when it’s over-crowded at an event?
ii. If it’s not a competitive event, then what’s the use in doing it?
iii. I do this for the personal satisfaction, health benefits, and serotonin.
iv. I like to DNF when I hit a wall, and feel like I can’t go on. LoL, more seriously though I engage in a lot of self-talk, try to use humor, and break the rest of the event/race down into smaller mental pieces.
v. Have you ever tried magnetic compression gear? Don’t, that stuff is total bullshit!
vi. Stupidest thing I ever did in a run was manage my nutrition poorly at my first 50 miler. I finished the event and spent the rest of the night in the bathroom exploding at both ends.
vii. My secret ingredient to a dominating run is secret and probably illegal in Canada…
8. What the worst injury you’ve ever had from running or an event? I sustained a stress fracture in my foot from transitioning to minimal shoes too rapidly in 2011. This caused me to miss both the 1st SERE Challenge and the 1st FyA Survival Run in Nicaragua.
9. What would stop you from ever doing another event? Depends, if it was poorly run. If it was on a “bucket list” and I completed it. Or if was simply “meh”. I thought the North Face 50 mile was “meh” despite being well run. I trained in much prettier scenery leading up to it and was somewhat disappointed on race day.
10. Can you tell me a time when you felt like everything was going your way, and you could do no wrong? What happened? Where were you? How did it end up? After a horrible showing on Saturday in the NJ Spartan Super I took off more slowly on Sunday and, after being passed my most of my “cohort”, ended up feeling great and passing every single one of them during the course of the event.
11. How do you prepare leading up to an event? Taper the week before (depending on the magnitude of the event), pack and re-pack all my gear, and drink beer.
12. If they made a movie about you, who would play you, where would it take place and how would it end? Brad Pitt (duh), In South America, it would end with him dropping out of the event and, for cinematic purposes, subsequently being eaten alive by giant tarantulas.
13. Can you please give me 3 quotes that sum you and your running up the best?
“Come what, come may, time and hour run through the roughest day” (Macbeth)
Hmmmm, can’t think of any others. Like I said, I’m not into “motivational” stuff.
14. If you could give any tip to a new runner in your area of running expertise, what would they be? Learn to run minimally, but transition to it VERY slowly and do your homework!
15. Stupidest thing I ever did in a run was getting into running! That shit is hard!!
Thanks David, keep up the awesome my friend!