The Altra King MT and Brandon Dase: Finding Podium Success at the North Face Endurance Challenge in Park City, UT

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Brandon Dase not only manages one of the best retail running stores in the country, but recently made his 50 mile race debut at the North Face Endurance Challenge Gore-Tex® 50 Mile Race, finishing 2nd to the legendary Rob Krar. Brandon raced in the Altra King MT, Altra’s all-new OCR/off road running shoe, and loved it! Read his awesome review of the Altra King MT and its stellar performance in the less than ideal race conditions up in Park City.

Q: Did the weather conditions affect your race and if so, how?

A: I don’t know why it works out this way but I have always raced well when the weather is poor. I ran my first marathon in a downpour for the first 20 miles and ended up 20 minutes faster than my goal. I saw the forecast for the race a few days out and didn’t know exactly what we were in for until I arrived race morning. I was excited when I got out of the car and saw what kind of day it was going to be.

Q: What was your strategy for the NF50 and why do you think it was successful?

A: It was my first 50 and I had a really satisfying and fun summer in the mountains. I felt like I was prepared but the strategy was to stay patient and let it unfold based on how my body was feeling. This worked really well. Sometimes I push when I should hold back and on this day I just felt really comfortable throughout. There were a couple times I got excited and was present enough to reel it back in and stay patient. The result was a very consistent effort.

Q: What made you decide to wear the King MT for the NF50?

A: I was initially going to run in the Lone Peak 3.0 but the more I ran in the Kings MT during training the more I liked the shoe. It fits my foot very well and I love how responsive the shoe is. I had a couple of really good runs up Mount Timpanogos in the King MTs that got me thinking about it for the 50. The weather on race day made the decision for me.

Photos Courtesy of Brandon Dase Photos Courtesy of Brandon Dase

Q: Were there specific features of the Altra King MT that made it ideal for racing conditions at the NF50?

A: The traction is fantastic. I love the TrailClawTM technology. The lugs are really grippy and I felt really solid in the mud, snow, and wetness. The upper is very light and drained well throughout the day. The mud didn’t stick to it so that was another bonus. I love the adjustable velcro midfoot strap, it really locks the foot in and makes tight turns and rocky descents feel solid and supported. The built-in rock plate is also a great feature. It adds some rigidity to the shoe and offers great protection too. All in all it was a perfect choice for race day in those conditions.

Q: How would you compare the King MT to other Altra trail shoes?

The King MT fills a gap in the Altra trail shoe line. It’s an aggressive, lightweight full-featured trail shoe with excellent traction. To me it fills a need in the European fell running style shoe. It’s more aggressive than the Lone Peak, but it’s also lighter and more responsive. It’s a very beefed up Superior, but retains that light responsiveness. If the Superior is Bruce Banner, then the King MT is the Incredible Hulk. All of the shoes in the Altra trail line are great and the King MT is an excellent addition to the line.

Q: What breadth of distances do you think the King MT is suited for?

A: I’ve run everything from 5 miles up to 53 miles and it’s been great!

Photos Courtesy of Brandon Dase Photos Courtesy of Brandon Dase

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The Altra King MT is Altra’s first off road, OCR running shoe designed to stand up to the demands of racing on muddy, grassy or any soft ground surface, it is available now at