Celebrating 35 Years of Designing for the Outdoor Industry

Bryce Thatcher Interview with Running Warehouse “I had the opportunity to be interviewed by Running Warehouse. They are very supportive of UltrAspire products and my history.  It was really fun to look back over my long history in the running industry.” -Bryce Thatcher “If you aren’t already familiar with him, Bryce Thatcher has been one of the most prominent designers in the ultrarunning industry for the past 35 years. In 1985 he founded Ultimate Direction and began creating some of the original running packs. After building Ultimate Direction into the leading brand in... Read More

Darcy Piceu: Peaceful Powerful Warrior

Written by Melanie A. Madsen Thatcher “Be consistent, eat well, and keep moving forward.” -Darcy Piceu UltrAspire Elite Immortal Athlete, Darcy Picau has earned a place of one of the world’s great athletes. Darcy holds the OVERALL (male and female) record for the “Rocky Mountain Slam”, which includes the combined times of four of the toughest races in the world—the Bighorn 100, the Hardrock 100, the Leadville 100, and the Bear 100! A typical athlete would accord themselves fortunate to complete even 1 of these courses—let alone 4 in a single year with combined... Read More

History of Race Vests

Written by Bryce Thatcher- Developing of the first race vest. Though this category seems so mainstream, in the early days very few utilized the advantage of a race vest.   I had yet another magical day running in the Tushar Mountain’s located near Beaver Utah, which has become a regular training ground for me. Though more remote, and not as well known as the Wasatch and Uintah ranges (except by those who have ridden in the “Crusher Tusher”), the Tushar’s are a mountain runner’s mecca offering beautiful vistas, several summits, optimal training conditions including altitude,... Read More

The New Astral at Speedgoat 50k 2014

A Proving Ground for 2015 Astral By Bryce Thatcher As a father, I am extremely lucky and blessed. It is the happiest of dads who finds himself not only enjoying one of his favorite activities in the most beautiful of surroundings, but also gets to share the trail and the adventure with his children. It is the strangest of feelings to realize that they have completely surpassed you in skill, talent and ability! This past weekend was super special for me. My daughter Hannah “Nanny Goat”, my son, Joshua, and I all participated in the Speedgoat 50K near Salt Lake City, Utah. It was my son... Read More

Expect the Unexpected: Performing Despite Setbacks

Each year I set specific performing goals for all aspects of my life that include major physical challenges over and above regular training. Since my time must be divided between roles as a father of 5, a husband and a company president, this leaves time for only 3 or 4 major events in a year, so each is of immense importance to me. The True Grit Epic 50-mile mountain bike race, a mostly single track and very technical race that incorporates several individual trail loops, was my first event of the year. My preparations were extensive. I repeatedly rehearsed sections of the course,... Read More

Ode to the Isomeric 8oz – Liza Howard

I am on a “need to know basis” with the details of my schedule these days.  If information isn’t immediately necessary for the conduct of my official duties as mother to a 6-year old and a new baby, I don’t have it.   Where am I running this weekend?  That’s “need to know” Saturday morning in the driveway. Dinner tonight? I’ll think about that at five. All this is to say that while I’d been enjoying the wonderful full catastrophe of motherhood, I hadn’t given my hydration plan for the Umstead 100-mile run much thought until the week before the race.  I’d be... Read More

HANDHELDS ARE NOT CREATED EQUAL – It’s All About Choice by: Bryce Thatcher

For years, running in the Grand Tetons, I carried a glass Mason® or Kerr® jar in my hand. This activity inspired, or perhaps compelled me to invent both the hand held hydration pack and the first screw top cap on a squeezable sports bottle.   Virtually every hand held created since I invented them in the 1980’s, is a copy or reiteration of my original invention or subsequent innovation. As the founder of Ultimate Direction and designer at Nathan for many years, I have designed most hand helds on the market, and they may all look suitable for the job intended, but as an inventor and... Read More

UltrAspire’s Alpha was named Trail Runner Gear of the Year: Best Unisex Hydration Pack for 2013

Ultraspire Alpha Pack (Gear of the Year 2013) Trail Runner Gear of the Year: Best Unisex Hydration Pack | $110 | www.ultraspire.com Trail Runner Mag says – “With the most innovative design we’ve seen in years, the Alpha pack solves the classic ultrarunner’s dilemma of having to take off your hydration pack to access anything inside. Magnetic closures on either side of the lower stash pocket let you easily reach its contents while wearing the pack. A two-liter reservoir rides low on your back for efficient carrying, while discreet side mesh pockets earn you ecofriendly points... Read More

Defining Legendary Status in the Ultra Kingdom

True legends are born of tall tales and feats barely within the conceivable realm of possibility, verging on the miraculous, yet tied to some actual event and/or location, believed with awe by many, and doubted by countless skeptics and unbelievers for the seemingly impossibility of duplication.   The stuff of legend is the stuff of dreams.  Legendary status is for those who metaphorically slay dragons, walk on the moon, or make first ascents of the highest mountains in the world.  For those who go where none have expected to go before, followed by the wonderment of whether any will... Read More

Fastest Known Times (FKTs) – Running Times Magazine interviews Bryce Thatcher

Running Times Magazine is running an article in their March 2013 issue which discusses the fervor surrounding the issue of Fastest Known Times (FKTs) and the debate about how to properly catalog and report such times. The article is entitled Records Not Races Is the pursuit of Fastest Known Times the future of competition? by: Adam Chase discusses the growing trend of setting FKTs and compares them to the more traditional practice of racing events. Bryce Thatcher, Ultraspire Founding Partner and Ultra Runner, known for holding the Grand Teton summit record for 29 years was asked what his... Read More

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