In October of 2014 at In Stride Physical Therapy & Rehab in Pacific Grove, CA, Leor Pantilat presented a mountain photography slideshow of his many adventures in the High Sierra and along the Big Sur Coast. Leor is a lawyer by trade, adventure runner by passion and the record holder for the fastest known time (assisted) for the John Muir Trail.
We were very happy to have Leor come speak at our clinic and share with us his photography of the beautiful landscapes that surround the area that we live in. Being in touch with nature is a very important piece to the puzzle of optimal health which we are constantly striving for at beinghealthy.tv. The sights and scents of nature can soothe and distract us from everyday stressors. Seeing the wild flowers, forests and beautiful pristine mountains connects us with the outdoors and the rhythm of life, rejuvenating us and disconnecting us from the more hectic parts of our lives for awhile. When we experience nature, time feels slower than it usually does in our fast paced regular world. And we all benefit from slowing down time occasionally.
In his lecture, Leor discussed:
- His recent fastest known time (FKT) on the John Muir Trail from Mount Whitney to Yosemite Valley (3d 7h 36m) and other FKTs in the High Sierra and WA state
- Training and preparation, including work/life balance, nutrition, injuries, the importance of stretching, etc.
- His inspiration to get into adventure running and what motivates him to explore remote and rugged places
His lecture helped us to get a true understanding of how many wonderful trails there are in this area, with some being more remote than others.
Interesting Facts About Leor’s trek on the John Muir Trail:
A lot of us at the talk were not only there to see Leor’s beautiful photography, but to also hear Leor’s story about how he broke the record for the John Muir Trail this year. Below is a few insights on his struggles, strategy and successes as he headed toward the record.
- Assisted: Leor had a crew of 9 people that joined him on sections of the run, brought in resupplies to remote parts of the trail, and set up spots for him to sleep. Leor thinks that next time he won’t need such a large crew, probably 5 to 6 would be sufficient.
- Head Light: Leor used the Petzl Myo RXP headlamp. It ran out of batteries and then he had to use the E-lite (an emergency light) to navigate, which slowed him down considerably as the trail is technical. His advice is always carry spare batteries!
- Food: Leor had a plan to eat bars of different varieties but that didn’t work out so well. What did work he found was chewy granola bars, Epic Bison bars, and chicken soup with rice/tuna at the sleep station in Reds Meadow – basically things that are easy to swallow. Things like powerbars, Clif bars and jerky proved difficult to eat after the first day.
- Sleep: Leor got maybe 2 hours the first night, 0 the second night (despite trying for an hour), and then 4 hours the last night. He basically found out that he needed a lot of caffeine and a lot of focus to just keep moving. Next time he plans to start at midnight, so he will only have to sleep twice. He will also be dialed in on nutrition and cut out some breaks that will add up to several hours.
The Bottom Line:
What I took from Leor’s talks is that there is so much beauty around us, that it is important to for us to get out, see it and enjoy it. His passion for the outdoors and his ability to have a work life balance is inspiring to many of us who know him. So, get out in nature and start truly enjoying the world that we live in, because it will make you happy and healthier.