Thursday, August 10th, 2017
Basecamp Bellingham: Krissy Moehl – Ultramarathon
Todd Elsworth

In our Basecamp Bellingham series, we are sharing stories about talented local athletes who choose to call Bellingham “Home”

Krissy Moehl is a veteran elite ultramarathon runner, her home base is Bellingham, Washington. As a professional sponsored athlete, Krissy runs around the world for a living. In her 16 years in the industry, she has expanded her career beyond winning races and setting world records to become a race director, coach, sponsored athlete, public speaker, activist, non-profit board member and book author.

Krissy grew up just 20 miles south in Bow, Washington. After graduating from the University of Washington and working in Seattle, she has lived in Bend, Oregon and Boulder, Colorado. She recently moved back to the Pacific Northwest and chose to make Bellingham her permanent basecamp.

“I love the Northwest,” Krissy explained in our Basecamp Bellingham interview. “This is home, and this is where I know.” She strategically bought her house in Fairhaven so she could have immediate access to the trails of the Bellingham Greenways and connections with her beloved Chuckanut Mountains.

In the racing world, Krissy has participated in over 100 races including 55 female wins, and 2 other outright wins. Internationally honored as a 2 time Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc champion,  she also holds many fastest known times (FKT) for some epic domestic runs. In 2013, in our great state of Washington, she covered the rugged 93 miles of the Wonderland Trail with Darcy Africa around Mount Rainier- with a FKT of 22 hours, 22 minutes. In 2015, she conquered the 175 mile Tahoe Rim Trail with a women’s record supported run of 47 hours, 29 minutes.

Notwithstanding, Krissy also plays well with others.  She was a member of the winning 2015 Team USA World 50-Mile Championship for the IAU Trail World Championships in Annecy, France. These are just a few highlights. Check out her impressive list of race results.

Currently, Krissy is the Race Director of the local Chuckanut 50 K, hosted in Bellingham every March. The race is described by Krissy as, “a lollipop course. The first 10k and last 10k repeat on the Interurban Trail with smooth running to start and finish. The middle 30k is what this race is known for as you get to climb (5,000 ft), traverse and descend the famous Chuckanut Mountain Ridge amongst beautiful Pacific Northwest terrain.”

Fun Fact: Chuckanut 50 K, was the race that got her hooked on ultrarunning! In college, she was encouraged by her friend, Scott Jurek, to give it a shot. Needless to say, she won the women’s division her first go!

As a coach, Krissy focuses on working with people to train for their bucket-list races. She also travels to coach and inspire runners around the globe. Krissy has also created a branch of Boulder, Colorado-based Revolution Running in Bellingham for group training. She also offers personalized one-on-one coaching.

As a professional athlete, Krissy is sponsored by leading outdoor brands including Patagonia Trail Running, Vasque, Pro-Tec Athletics, Ultimate Direction, 1st Endurance, Julbo and Flora. Check out her Krissy Moehl Patagonia Trail Running Athlete page.

Krissy has become a dynamic speaker as a cheerleader for her sport. She shows it through her approach to a complete life. Get a sneak peek of her personality with the “Life in Motion: Learning Through Movement” TEDx Talk.

As an activist in 2014, she was one of three athletes in Patagonia’s Mile for Mile film project. According to Patagonia, “Thanks to the activism of ultrarunners Krissy Moehl, Jeff Browning and Luke Nelson, a great film by James Q Martin, donations from runners around the world, and a matching grant from Patagonia—the Mile for Mile campaign exceeded its goal and raised over $90,000. Conservacion Patagonica can now build over 50 miles of new trails in Patagonia Park, connecting locals and visitors from everywhere to this remarkable place.” Check out the Mile for Mile You Tube video.

Expanding into new territory, Krissy is the author of her new training guide “Running Your First Ultra: Customizable Training Plans for Your First 50K to 100-mile Race”. Check out an interview with Moehl about her book with UltraRunner Magazine’s Amy Clark on her new book, “Running Your First Ultra.”

What is most impressive about Krissy is how sweet and humble she is as a person. Her email signature simply reminds people, “as always… running,  Krissy.”

You can also follow her on Instagram @KrissyMoehl or Facebook @KrissyMoehl to stay tuned in to what she’s up to out there.


Q & A with Ultra Runner, Coach and Author Krissy Moehl

Do you have pre-race rituals?
I have a lot of nervousness and anxiety around racing. It’s all based around being excited. I try to focus it and prepare myself as much as I can. I also make spreadsheets, I color-code them, and some formulas to factor all of my race times.  Then I download it to give to all of my crew.  I try to prepare myself the best that I can, both through physical preparation and then with visualization.  And then some meditation, if I can get myself to calm down.

What do you take with you on your runs?
Beanie, gloves, jacket, UD pack, phone for photos and PD the pup. If I’m gone for over three hours, I bring a hydration pack. I’ll bring all chewy stuff like Trail Butter, blocks and bars. I always have to have poop bags, because I have a little dog. I always bring a jacket and a headlamp, because you never know what’s going to happen.

What are you most proud of as an athlete?
My passport. Looking through my passport, and seeing stamps from Tanzania and South Africa, France and Switzerland, Japan, China and Hong Kong. And as I say them they rattle off a different racing experience that I got to have. The fact my running has allowed me to explore the world.

Why do you love Bellingham?
 I love how real it is here. I love the level of realness in the people and the way that the community and town are set up. It just resonates with me. And the access to the mountains and the sea.

Where do you train in Bellingham?
I strategically bought my home on the Interurban Trail, so I can run into the North Chuckanuts any day of the week. And I’m trying, once the snow melts, to explore trails off the Mount Baker Highway.

Where is your favorite place to eat in Bellingham, and why? 
Ovn, because it’s a nice walk from my house.

What’s your favorite Bellingham beverage?
I LOVE the ginger ale at Stones Throw Brewing.

Where is your favorite place to grab a drink in Bellingham?
Stones Throw Brewery (in the Fairhaven neighborhood).

What super power would you have if you could have any?
If I could beam myself to travel.

What are three things we wouldn’t know about you?
– I love to cook for large groups of people. (I even just bought myself new pots and pans.)
– I moved here to be close to a family, to build a community.
– I moved 11 times in 11 years.

To learn more about running trails in the Bellingham region, see our running page

For an updated list of local running events and equipment see basecampbellingham.org.

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About the Author:

As the Executive Director of Recreation Northwest and the founder of the Bellingham Traverse and co-founder of Kulshan Quest Adventure Race, Todd promotes outdoor recreation and brings people together to enjoy, preserve and improve the places where we play. He enjoys biking, hiking, paddling, skiing and will try anything twice. Get connected at RecreationNorthwest.org.