Stories / June 2023

Dakota Jones and his NNormal journey

Heading to the Western States: 1,100 km cycling on Nevada’s roads and one mission

The iconic Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run took place a few weeks ago. NNormal was represented by Dakota Jones, who decided to travel to the starting line (in Olympic Valley) in a special way. In short: a week-long bicycle ride through Nevada’s incredible desert landscapes with one mission: to raise funds for climate action.

Enthusiasm, activism and motivation perfectly describe Dakota Jones’s attitude to everything he does. Right from when he joined NNormal we knew his adventures would not be ordinary stories, as he always goes that extra step when it comes to fighting for what he believes in. And he has done it again.

This time, the destination was the starting line of the Western States, a race that took place on June 25 in which he managed to complete the 100 miles in a time of 17:00:38. But his adventure began a week earlier, when he got on his bike for a 1,100 km ride from his home in Salt Lake City, Utah, to the Western States starting line in Olympic Valley, California.

Exploring Nevada’s landscapes

Dakota Jones had to take several roads on his journey to the starting line of the WS 100-Mile Endurance Run. But the one he spent most of his time on was Route 50 in Nevada. “It was a challenging experience and more beautiful than I could have ever imagined - 683 miles!” he said.

He says that this experience on his bike was not just training for the race a few days later. It also showed him how incredible and amazing the desert landscapes of Nevada can be. “It is an area of long, narrow mountain ranges, which I went pedalling through while enjoying a vast, open landscape. It is really beautiful.”

Check out all 7 days of Dakota’s bike ride on FATMAP below:

Target: climate action

When he decided to cycle to Olympic Valley, Dakota Jones’s main goal was to raise money for the Footprints Running foundation, which focuses on climate action. “If I had to choose between climate action and racing, I would choose Footprints Running every time. But I don’t have to make a decision because trail running brings it all together and makes climate action more feasible than we could have ever imagined,” explained the athlete and NNormal ambassador.

“Cycling to the Western States is a luxury I could enjoy because I have so many privileges in my life. Running 100 miles (160.9 km) is also a luxury: it is proof that my basic needs are met to the extent that I can invest great amounts of energy in something materially unnecessary. This journey was empowering and very meaningful to me, but it was never intended to represent a literal solution to climate change. Climate action is not about white men doing physically difficult things. It’s more about actions for our collective benefit, a succession of tasks that serve to protect people and resources in the long term,” Dakota Jones said after arriving in Olympic Valley.

The Kjerag shoe is a top-performance model created from a combination of NNormal's commitment to durability and extensive research. Designed for maximum performance in training and racing, it is a responsive, high-speed shoe that is comfortable and has extreme grip for runners like Dakota Jones. Energy return and grip were key features in a demanding race such as the Western States.

Western States, a race with half a century of history

The Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run is the oldest 100-mile (160.9 km) trail running race in the world. It starts in Olympic Valley, California, near the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics, and ends 100.2 miles (161.2 km) later in Auburn, California.

Since 1974, when the first Western States race was held, it has become one of the most internationally-renowned endurance events. With 49 years of history, this race has hosted some of the most exciting and legendary competitions in the history of trail running.

Discover Dakota’s full race route on FATMAP below:

The race started on June 24, 2023 in Olympic Valley (California) and finished 100.2 miles later in Auburn, California. Dakota Jones crossed the international lands of Niesmann, Washoe, and other neighbouring Indian towns, reaching more than 5,480 m+ and 7,010 m- before crossing the finishing line at the Placer Institute in Auburn. All this, in a time of 17:00:38.

Dakota’s outfit for
Western States

Discover his gears selection

Kjerag can adapt to a lot of different terrain at Western WS Race, snow and technical trail and we also get to run on a lot of smooth trails.”

Dakota Jones

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