With Stephanie Ehret and Peter Bakwin
“I think we met while drinking whisky out of a bottle and wrestling on the couch. I accidentally poured some in Peters eye.”
That was in the 10th grade – 37 years ago – and this ultra couple has been together ever since, celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary this last December.
Peter Bakwin is of course, the signature on the award-winning “PB Adventure Vest”. But he’s not on Facebook, ignores all social media, and never speaks of himself. So who is PB??
Peter Bakwin is the only person to run the Hardrock 100 – twice in a row. He’s won the Tuscarora 6-Day, is the former FKT holder on the Kokopelli Trail, Gannet Peak, and many others, has climbed Aconcagua twice, and is the first person to break 4 days on the John Muir Trail. He was the ideal person to create the Fastest Known Times website, and currently is four months into the “Longs Peak Project” – climbing Longs Peak by a different route each month over a year.
Thus, he was the perfect person to design an “Adventure Vest”. The vest that can go anywhere, and do anything. It will hold a small climbing rope or 1.5 gallons of water, has a special pocket for a GPS locator beacon, and still weighs less than a pound.
Sleek and sexy
Utterly reliable on any adventure — any distance, any terrain
So comfortable, yet always surprising me with hidden capacities and ability to adapt to new scenarios
Light but incredibly durable
Everything I could ever want
The only one I’ll ever need
The vest is pretty great too!
Stephanie is one of the “originals” – a core member of the legendary Montrail Patagonia Ultra Running Team that elevated the sport from total obscurity to … well, relative obscurity. But for the first time, made it cool. And good looking.
Stephanie won the 2003 Javelina 100 – Overall – along with three other Overall ultra wins. A month after a bronze medal in the 2004 World 24 Hour Championships, she was third at the Hardrock 100. She’s had four sub-24 hour finishes at the Leadville 100, been 3rd twice at the Western States 100, and has set 8 course records.
This is indeed the ultra couple.
“Steph was on the US Team for the 24 Hour World Championships in 2004. I didn’t want to go all the way to Czech Republic and not do anything so I entered it too. After 225kms of racing, we ended up 187 meters apart!”
Plus, they were both successful Cross-Country runners … they once raced across France, and the next year, completely across Germany.
From South America to Cinque Terre, Africa, Vietnam, and Tuscany. Last winter they hiked the entire South Island of New Zealand on the Te Aroroa Trail.
“No, ‘relationship reaping’. We had fun, played cards, made friends.”
“In our racing days we supported each other; now we do things together”.
“One of my favorite photos is Peter supporting me at Leadville. We were so intense back then. Could see it in our eyes. We owned the house in Leadville then, and trained all the time.”
“Now, it’s mostly us, good friends, and good trips! And Ned.” (Their loud cat).
Why do you love your PB?
“It’s very sleek, and I like having everything up front.”
But what do you think of the vest?
“This is my favorite pack to ever come down the pike. Extremely versatile – I can take it on an all day outing or use it as a running purse to do my errands. It’s so lightweight it doesn’t matter – I can just have my iPhone and water and credit card and it doesn’t matter.”
“Peter is the only person I never get bored of. He recently said he’s not sure if wants to go thru another lifetime with me – we think this is at least our second time around.. Sort of hurt my feelings.”
“Ultrarunning is of course seen as an endurance test, but relationships take tremendous stamina to work things out. The key to relationships is when there is a problem, find out what it is you’re supposed to learn from it. When there’s something you really love, you’re willing to adapt and change in ways you couldn’t do otherwise. What you love becomes fuel for what you need to do.”
“Yep, a hottie then and now…but he smiles more now.”