How a hiker, scrambler, and trail runner brought his passions together

tomphoto2With less than two years of mountain and alpine running experience under his belt, Tom Amaral has made significant progress in a sport that many have never heard of.

What began as hiking, scrambling and training for ultra-marathons quickly transformed into the niche sport of alpine running.

It all began after a successful summer season in 2012 of scrambling and hiking. Amaral made a trip out to Healy Pass for his last training run before competing in the 50-kilometre Salomon Grizzly Ultra Marathon in Canmore, Alta.

Tom Amaral's story. Produced by Tera Swanson

"I think that one experience running out to Healy Pass sort of showed me that everything could come together at that point," Amaral said.

"So then I decided that I was going to start bagging peaks in my shorts and sneakers and running up to the top of them, all the ones with good trails, and then I just kept going with it until I was running mountains with no trails whatsoever," he said.

From completing two ultra-marathons, to completing the Canmore Triple Crown in one day, to setting a fastest known time on Mount Temple in August 2013, Amaral has forged new paths in alpine running and is still looking forward to completing new projects and goals throughout the winter and into next summer.

"I would like my mountain running to go a more alpine route, to involve more snow and ice and potentially alpine tools," Amaral said. "And it would be awesome if I could merge it even more with alpine climbing a bit."

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