By: Andrea & Brian
Little known fact about Brian is that when he first moved to Seattle, his first job was at Vertical World Climbing Gym. At Vertical World, he met Jenny Uehisa, now Jenny Jurek, who was a regular there. Then through trail running and the Seattle Running Company, Brian got to know and run with Scott. Scott and Jenny now call Boulder home, and we recently connected with Jenny and Scott to see where their current adventures, both professional and personal, are taking them these days.
Q: How does life in Boulder compare to life in the PNW?
A: For starters, it’s a lot sunnier here and wow do our clothes dry fast! We do miss the Seattle culture, art, and music scene. No place is perfect, you just have to embrace everything. We loved our time in Seattle but we wanted to try something else. Jenny did her undergrad at CU Boulder and lived here for 5 years so she already knew she loved it. It is a lot more compact so we can be efficient by running or biking to the trails, crags, grocery store, etc. which means we spend a lot less time in a car. It’s a good life here, but we definitely miss the PNW, it’s a special place. We certainly have moments of nostalgia, and we even miss the rain. Who knows, maybe someday we’ll end up back there but for now we’re happy with our home and community in Boulder.
Q: When you come back to Seattle, what is the one thing you always make sure to do/visit?
A: (Jenny) Climb at Vertical World and eat at Chaco Canyon!
A: (Scott) Run through the Arboretum and Interlocken, and if I have time, I always like to hit Cougar and Tiger Mt.
Q: What are your running goals for 2014?
A: (Scott) Right now I’m most excited about doing some adventure runs that I’ve always wanted to do. I’m hoping to run another 24 hr race but I’m still deciding on the course. I’ll planning on doing a few 50k’s and 50m’s here and there as well.
A: (Jenny) It’s hard to plan races since we travel so much and my work schedule ebbs and flows. I enjoy popping into races whenever we travel, like a marathon in Poznan, Poland and more recently a mountain marathon in the Canary Islands. If we’re around, I’d like to do some local trail races in CO this summer but other than that, I’m more focused on my climbing goals in 2014.
Q: Jenny, how much are you climbing? And... do you have Scott climbing yet?
A: Lately I’ve been climbing 3 times a week, I’m excited to climb the Diamond this year and some other iconic lines I haven’t done yet. Scott’s just not into climbing, and that’s totally fine with me. I like having climbing be my thing, it’s my time to catch up with friends and have adventures with other people. He’s a good belayer, and he’s really supportive, that’s all the matters!
Q: How much time do you spend in the kitchen each day preparing food?
A: A lot! We like sharing meals with friends so we frequently have people over and make yummy food for them. I’d guess we average about 3 hours a day preparing food. It sounds like a lot, but it doesn’t feel like it.
Q: Can you explain what it's been like to have so much say in the design of Ultimate Direction product?
A: (Scott) I’ve been using UD products since I started racing in the 90’s, and I constantly think about ways to tweak/customize certain things for my needs so it’s been great to actually see my ideas implemented and produced. The UD team is strong, they listen to my feedback, and they’re really passionate about the sport.
Q: Scott, what is your favorite item in the Jenny Ultimate Direction line?
A: The whole line is great, I’m really proud of her. I remember all the late nights where she was working hard. The Vesta gets all the attention, it has so many well designed features and the colors are great, it looks good on the ladies. But I really like the Meow, it’s such a simple and clean waistbelt. As she explained to me, the simple products are the hardest to design.
Q: Jenny, what is your favorite item in the Scott Ultimate Direction line?
A: The Grip, it’s perfect. Sidenote: I came up with the name!
Q: What is a typical day in the Jurek family like? Or is there such a thing?
A: No day is typical, but we try to keep one day a week fairly consistent, and that’s Pancake Sunday. We work out in the morning and then make gluten free vegan pancakes and usually have friends over to join us. After brunch, we read through the NY Times, do domestic chores and get ready for the week ahead.
Q: Do you see yourselves designing a line of anything else? (climbing chalk bags, kitchen utensils, or travel neck pillows for example)
A: (Jenny) I have been designing technical apparel for years so it’s been nice to work on products lately. Other than the UD collection, I also recently designed some women’s sleeping bags and blankets for Therm-A-Rest. Of course, we always talk about designing our own line of products, some useful niche ultrarunning items, fast packing accessories and what not. But right now we’re busy with other things, so it will have to be later down the road.
Q: What was the neatest place you visited on the Eat & Run book tour and why?
A: (Jenny) Poland! I’d never been there before and it was beautiful! It was cool learning about how much running is growing in popularity, with men and women! We had great hosts who took us to all the best places to sample classic Polish dishes made vegan. We even went to a 100% raw vegan restaurant in Warsaw, the vegetarian lifestyle is catching on over there!
A: (Scott) Poland was definitely a highlight. I also like going to new places in the States like the Southeast, it’s cool to see the running history down there. I spoke at the first specialty running shop in the US in Atlanta. The running community is really inspiring.
Q. On an average day, how often does Born to Run come up?
A. It varies, it depends on where I am.
Q. Scott, do you have plans to write another book?
A. I definitely want to write another book; I’m still sorting it out on what the topic is going to be. I get a lot of requests for a full cook book, so I’m also interested in doing that at some point.
Q. If we visit Boulder, what is the one must do run?
A. You can’t go wrong anywhere in the foothills. One of my favorites is Bear Canyon. It has some nice switchbacks that are good if you’re not fully acclimatized and you can top out on the summit of Green Mountain. If you don’t want to climb as much, the Mesa Trail is a sure bet.
Q. Can you share any info about new stuff coming down the pike from Ultimate Direction?
A: There’s a lightweight, minimal fast pack coming out this summer and new soft flasks called the “Body Bottle” that just came out.
Q: How did your partnership with Ultimate Direction came about?
A: We’ve known Buzz Burrell for years through the ultrarunning community. When we moved to Boulder, we started hanging out with him more and when he got the job at UD, our friendship naturally progressed into a working collaboration which has been really fun and rewarding.
Q: We are writing these questions on a Friday evening (post dinner, kids in bed, with Moscow Mules). What is a typical Friday evening for you two?
A: We don’t have a Friday night routine, it’s always different. Tonight is Friday night and we just got back from pre-screening and giving feedback on climbing movies at the Sender Films office. Scott made pad thai for dinner, Jenny did the dishes and now we’re answering your questions while downloading the latest episode of Project Runway (a bad habit Jenny picked up in design school, but Scott secretly loves it too)!
HA! Andrea loves Project Runway too! We'll have to see if Brian can get into. Big thanks to Scott and Jenny for playing along. If you want to check out their line of Ultimate Direction hydration products, swing by and check out their display! It's good looking and highly functional products!