I grew up in the middle of the United States as an active kid but far from any mountain or ocean. When I was 18, I moved to Chicago for university and found myself navigating an endless concrete jungle, also far removed from nature. At age 25, I packed up my belongings, quit my 9 to 5 desk job and bought a one-way ticket to New Zealand. I planned to only stay for one year but here I am, three years later, living my best life, hiking, biking, climbing, exploring, investigating, playing and learning in the outdoors. I now call Wanaka home and the magnificent Southern Alps my backyard.
As a long time runner, I found a love for ultra running here in New Zealand, dabbling in endurance distances. My first race was the esteemed Kepler Challenge, a true Kiwi Classic. Last year, I tackled the challenging, but rewarding, Old Ghost Ultra, a grueling 85 km through the rugged West Coast Mountains. My running priorities and goals are ever-evolving as I learn more skills in the mountains. While maintaining my ultra running, I’m also prioritizing learning new alpine skills to ensure I can move efficiently and quickly through all mountain terrain, whether that be groomed running trails, jagged scrambly peaks, mountain bike tracks, or off-piste ski routes. I want to learn it all!
I’m a bit of a weekend warrior, fitting in my adventures around my full-time job but I make the most out of every drop of sunlight. I love photography and writing and share my adventures on my website, www.theadventureventure.com.
What are Erica's Marmot Favourites?
This piece has become a wardrobe staple for me. A lot of my adventures are high alpine, overnight missions that require a lot of gear suitable for all temperatures. I love the featherless hoody because it packs down to the size of a water bottle without compromising on performance. It’s as warm as a down jacket but still retains its warmth when the rains come in. The nylon holds up well to the rough rocky terrain and when I’ve put it through the ringer, I chuck it in the washing machine and air dry it and it’s ready for my next adventure.
This jacket is my go-to for light and fast missions, whether I’m out running on the trails or biking around town. It’s super lightweight and water-resistant and is the perfect running layer for winter days when the bite of the wind is just a bit too much.
Sports bras really get overlooked in most outdoor wardrobes but it’s crucial for me to have a well fitted, comfortable sports bra. In my first ever ultra, the combination of my running pack with a cheap sports bra left me with chaffing on my back so bad that I couldn’t comfortably shower for a week. The Layer Up Sportsbra fits like a dream and doesn’t rub at all. It’s a simple piece but it can absolutely make or break a race.