In 2004, John Storkamp participated in his first ultramarathon. He then engrossed himself into the trail and ultrarunning community by volunteering at events and eventually taking the helm as race director. After a few years, he was directing several high profile events and due to the growing popularity of ultra trail running, he realized that if he were to continue to put on fun, safe, well-organized events, he needed to get more organized himself.
In January, 2012, John quit his day job as a Construction Project Manager and started his own Graphic Design and Web Development Company, Rocksteady Design along with Rocksteady Running, LLC., an event management company that currently produces the following Minnesota trail events:
The Zumbro Endurance Run (100MI, 50MI, 17MI) – April 12 & 13, 2013
Superior “Spring” Trail Races (25KM & 50KM) – May 18, 2013
Afton Trail Run (25KM & 50KM) – July 6, 2013
Endless Summer Trail Run Series (Various distances 7 miles or less) – May to August, 2013
Superior “Fall” Trail Races (100MI, 50MI, 26.2MI) – September 6 & 7, 2013
All of Rocksteady Running’s events have history behind them, but none more historic than the Superior 100 (part of the Superior “Fall” Trail Races) as this was one of the original 100 mile events dating back to 1990. “Back then, if you wanted to call yourself a 100 mile runner,” says John, “not only did you talk about Western States, Leadville, Hardrock and Wasatch, you needed to get Superior done as well.”
As Rocksteady Running moves into its second full year, John’s focus remains on the core elements that make an ultra trail event successful. One of those key elements, states John, is the ultrarunning community and its passion for the sport, “Our events are put on by trail and ultrarunners for trail and ultrarunners.” This is evident by the effort and hours of commitment of the event volunteers, many of which have been participating or supporting ultra trail events for over a decade.
John also puts a bit of himself into each of his events. If you have ever seen one of Rocksteady Running’s event shirts or beanies, you will know what we mean. As a professional graphic designer, John creates unique shirt imagery that can have a detailed tattoo ink look to it. By partnering with SweatVac, all Rocksteady Running images are dye-sublimated into the event shirt fabric allowing for full-detail and vibrant full-color imagery. Combine the sublimated imagery with SweatVac’s soft feeling and great fitting fabric, and the end result is a fantastic keepsake for participants to train, race and relax in long after the event.
“The final element to our success is not as tangible,” says John, “it’s a feeling or a vibe – our events have this and its palpable – once you have been…you will understand.” For anyone interested in experiencing the vibe at one of Rocksteady Running’s trail running events, check them out at www.rocksteadyrunning.com.