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Field Journal

Live Slow, Stay Fast

Inspiration
Live Slow, Stay Fast
 

Ultrarunner and artistic visionary, Patrick Stangbye, reflects on his fast and slow adventures with Klättermusen.

Ultrarunner and artistic visionary, Patrick Stangbye, grew up in the suburbs of Oslo, surrounded by Norwegian forests, fjords, and mountains. Now in the city, he commits to a life of essentialism: the practice of focusing only on what really matters. Here he reflects on his passion for movement and helping urban adventurers to connect with the outdoors.

Some 600 runners assemble in the narrow cobbled streets, marking the start line of Zegama-Aizkorri. This challenging course makes a 42km loop of the mountains surrounding Zegama, a town in northern Spain, with a total elevation gain of 5,472m (16,300ft).

The gun sounds and spectators cheer, clapping and singing for every runner as they pass. With views from the mountain ridge of Aizkorribut, the landscapes help me to find forward momentum and a flow within the workload.

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At 32 years old, I have discovered I am not made to stand still. I need to be moving physically and mentally in all areas of my life: running to cycling, apparel to food, scent to art.

I grew up close to nature in the suburbs of Oslo, Norway, surrounded by forests, fjords, and mountains. There’s a restorative element to being outside: it can reduce anger, fear, and stress. Managing these emotions can leave you feeling calm and balanced.

Now I live in the city, where many people have no access to nature whatsoever – whether that’s because of a lack of transport, time, or money. The outdoors can completely change your outlook on life, and I want to share that with as many people as possible, regardless of where they live.

I sit, tired and salty with a cold can of Radler to quench my thirst. My quads and calves feel tight from the steep climbs and fast descents on sandstone paths. As I recover under a beech tree on a worn-out bench, I think about how grateful I am to be here, deeply immersed in the sport that captures the true reality of racing and why I love it.

My ethos, ‘live slow, stay fast,’ relates to essentialism – the deliberate practice of saying no and focusing on what truly matters. It helps me to prioritise and understand what’s really important. Actively unsubscribing from the busyness in the city allows me to rest, reflect, and reconnect so I can stay fast and push boundaries when racing in the mountains.

In June this year, I led a group of urban adventurers and friends of Klättermusen to the fjords and mountains in Norway. Some were avid hikers and outdoorsy people; others were more into fashion and wearing Klättermusen in the city.

Running is the best way to explore a new city. Starting from Ålesund, a port town in the West Coast, we took in the panoramic views of Ålesund’s art nouveau architecture, the surrounding archipelago and fjords from the Mount Aksla lookout.

Energised on endorphins, we packed up kit from Klättermusen’s latest SS22 collection – a curated assortment of baselayers, shorts, trousers, and caps designed for fast paced activities – and headed into the foot of Vardefjellet to start our ascent.

The outdoors is a leveller that requires a team mentality. If one person has a bad day, the whole group will feel it too. The most important part of being a mountain guide is to keep people safe and comfortable, to communicate, listen, and care about the group as a whole.

 
Live Slow, Stay Fast Live Slow, Stay Fast
 

The right kit is an essential part of keeping people safe. Even in the summer, you might have temperatures close to zero at night in the mountains. Good kit needs to be packable, lightweight, waterproof, and insulated. No matter the season, you will always want to be able to transport both heat and moisture. These are the factors I consider the most.

As a friend of Klättermusen, I was brought on to create a lookbook that interprets Klättermusen’s SS22 collection and puts into context my two worlds of high paced activities and creativity.

The Norwegian Woods lookbook connects different environments through movement, presence and bonds. My inspiration comes from the spaces we occupy, whether in nature or architecture, and I often draw upon my musical taste, the art I appreciate, even the food I’ve eaten in restaurants.

The colours of this season’s offering are close to my heart, and set the tone for the casting and locations. When cityscapes are portrayed by modernist painters, they embrace the freedom that the abstraction gives. I wanted to show this freedom exists in movement and gear that performs.

We reached the summit at around 6.00pm. Moments like these can be fleeting when racing, but here we reflected on the ground we’d covered with anticipation of the evening to come. With no phone signal and no place to go (or anywhere we’d rather be), we prepared a dinner of fresh mountain trout with a creamy sauce and potatoes.

Slowing down is more of a mentality than anything visible in every action. I especially feel this way with food. You can keep a jacket for a few hundred years and a painting for a thousand years. But food happens here, right now. As evening sets in, the temperatures began to fall with a beautiful sunset. There are good views in the valley, but nothing compares to the view at the top of a mountain.

To me, movement and the outdoors are intrinsically linked. We are far more connected to people and the planet when we spend time moving outdoors. Racing is a celebration of what’s possible when we combine the two. Whether slowing down over good food and meaningful conversation or staying fast when running in the mountains, I hope to continue to connect and share experiences outside in nature.


The Norwegian Woods lookbook is focused on lightweight and waterproof protective pieces, designed for a range of fast-paced activities. To shop the collection, please visit: klattermusen.com and follow them on Instagram @klattermusen
Website // klattermusen.com

Find Patrick Stangbye on Instagram @patrickstangbye
Photography by Johannes Rummelhoff // @johannesr
Written by Harriet Osborne // @harrietosborne

 

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