By Leah Veldhuisen ’19
Ever wonder what it takes to turn a passion into a career? Anton Krupicka ’05, an ultra-runner, provides insight into his journey to success as a professional athlete as part of the “Just Curious Show.” He was one of the first people to make a career out of the curious sport of running more than 26.2 miles, usually much longer, in his case often 100-mile races, usually on trails in the middle of nowhere.
If you’ve ever wondered about how and why different people follow and succeed in various career paths, the “Just Curious Show” podcast is a perfect place to turn. The program, launched by Daniel Bedell, explores a variety of careers through conversations with people working in those areas. The most recent episode, and so far the show’s most popular, features Krupicka, who graduated CC in 2005 with a BA in philosophy and physics, and earned a BA in geology in 2006.
Bedell was compelled to start the podcast because he says he wanted to provide a substantive way of educating students about what it really takes to enter specific careers. He says “the media often only features people at the top of their game and only features the good parts of their lives and jobs.” Bedell hopes his podcast will counteract this lack of information, and educate students on “the good, the bad, the real, and the fake, so they can make the best choices possible for their future.”
Bedell says he was excited to profile Krupicka, someone often considered “one of the godfathers of pro ultra-running.” Bedell is also a runner himself and wondered what it would take to be a professional runner, especially since there often isn’t a lot of prize money. By featuring Krupicka, he was able to answer his own questions, as well as educate students on what it takes to be a professional athlete.
While at CC, Krupicka ran cross-country but didn’t consider himself a stand-out runner. That changed when, the summer after graduating from CC, he won the Leadville Trail 100 ultra-marathon. The Leadville 100 is a prestigious and difficult race, and winning so early in his ultra career was an impressive feat. Since then, he has gone on to win the Leadville 100 again and gained many sponsorships to make ultra-running his career.
Beyond his success in running, Krupicka says he is “someone who really is just a nerd of the sport he loves and is happy to talk about it in an honest way.
“Krupicka is quite grounded,” Bedell says, and “realizes he serves as a marketer for his sponsor companies and marketing pays his bills.” He isn’t above talking to people like Bedell about the nitty gritty aspects of his job and is a perfect example of someone who is making a career out of what he loves.
To hear about Krupicka’s experience at CC, and his life as a professional ultra-runner, listen to the “Professional Athlete” episode.