Capra is a genus of mammals, including several types of goats and Ibex. They are very agile, hardy, able to climb on bare rock, and survive in extreme alpine environments.
The human trail runner, also referred to as the mountain runner or alpine runner, is also very agile and hardy. They are often found scrambling on rocks, and find enjoyment running through mountain conditions other humans would find quite unpleasant.
The mountain goat and trail runner share many remarkable similarities.
The People Behind the Shoes
“This all started as a joke on a run and then we decided it was actually a really good idea.
We all have very different skill sets and we all complement each other really well,” Solana Klassen says, as she folds herself comfortably onto the black sofa facing the shoe wall of her new store, Capra Running in Squamish.
Capra Running is a specialty running store, featuring running shoes, clothing, nutrition, and gear like running packs and water bottles. Capra opened early in August this year and is perfectly outfitted to serve the growing trail running community in the Sea to Sky Corridor.
The team of three brings decades of running experience and is well suited for operating a running store together.
Mike Murphy has been a competitive athlete for most of his life, and ends up on the podium for many of the races he enters. He is a true mountain goat with a love of running in the alpine.
Tyler McGowan, a graphic designer by trade, has always made the outdoors his playground. From climbing and skiing, to raft and kayak guiding, and now trail running, he is no stranger to the backcountry.
Solana Klassen completes the team and brings with her a real gift for creating community.
Building the Community
Capra is committed to hosting community oriented events, such as the Turkey & Trails on Thanksgiving weekend at Alice Lake, that saw over 100 participants, and raised $950 for the Squamish Food Bank. Klassen advises the best way to get involved in the running community would be to check out the three weekly group runs that Capra offers, completely for free.
- Wake-ups with Mike Murphy on Tuesday morning at 9:30am. This workout is targeted to those looking for an intense interval workout on the trails, featuring hill and speed training.
- Wednesday mornings, from 9:30-11:30, it’s all about the ladies. Klassen leads 1.5-2 hour run keeping a conversational pace by power hiking the uphills and running the flats and downhills.
- The Timber & Tor crew run has shifted to Saturdays for the winter. Leaving the store at 8am, the group heads out for a conversational 2 hour run on the trails.
It’s all about getting women out of their comfort zone because so many women don’t believe they can do things,” Klassen says.
When she moved to Squamish, she opened a local chapter, but admits she has not had the time to really foster it. “So that’s something I really want to do through Capra, is foster the women’s specific trail running community.”
“Seeing people accomplish their goals is definitely my favourite thing about race directing. There are so many people that don’t necessarily think they can do it and they can,” says Klassen.
“A lot of people are afraid of trail running until they actually start trail running and realize that people hike and walk up hills!”
Klassen and her husband moved to Squamish last year, like many of us, for the lifestyle. “Squamish is such an active place already and has so much to offer, but it was kind of obvious what the holes were in the community. A running store, a real running hub, that was a big hole here,” Klassen states.
“Squamish has world class trails and world class mountains so it kinda just made sense. I wasn’t about to open a sushi store or a Costco… so, here we are!” She laughs.
Klassen loves that the pride of Squamish has really grown. “I don’t think five years ago anyone would have been like oh wow, you live in Squamish?! Now when you go to an out of town race and say I’m from Squamish, people are like that’s amazing! You are so lucky to live there! It has definitely gotten its name on the map.”
“The premise behind Capra is that we are all ultra marathon runners so we have taken all of these products out and tested them,” Klassen states. That’s the bonus of having actual runners fitting you. We have a lot of knowledge that is based on real experience.”
The same tried, tested and true mentality applies to all of the products carried in the store. “Our nutrition wall is one of the largest in town.”
Klassen says, “we want people to feel our passion for trail and mountain running. We want to show people that they can get out there and do the things that they don’t think they necessarily can.
This community has so many runners and we are creating that space for people to meet, that hub to connect and get to know each other.”
Capra Running is located on Tantalus Road, just north of Garibaldi Village Shopping Centre. Visit capra.run for details on weekly runs. They also have a Facebook group where runners can connect. https://www.facebook.com/