The Moab 240 is a trail endurance run through some of the most stunningly beautiful and viciously harsh terrain. Runners must endure high altitudes, heat and cold extremes and 30,000 feet of ascent and descent over the course of 240 miles in 2-4 days.
It's the final event in the Triple Crown of 200's. While 250 athletes ran in this event, only a few had completed the Bigfoot 200 and Tahoe 200 in the previous two months and competed for the Triple Crown.
Mother Nature threw a curve ball by dumping over 2 feet of snow in the La Sal Mountains so the course had to be re-routed at the last moment adding another 5 miles. I mean, when you've run 238 miles, what's another 5 miles?
As runners prepared for the start of the race, the Kogalla canopy lit up by RA was a gathering place in the pre-dawn darkness. There was an air of anticipation and excitement as the race was about to begin.
Over the next several days and nights, these athletes demonstrated impressive endurance. There were 111 runners that crossed the finish line. Twenty three of them were 23 Triple Crown finishers.
Congratulations to them for an amazing accomplishment!
While Kogalla is new to the trail running world, RA is quickly becoming the trail light of choice. In each event we attended this year, there were more and more runners wearing RA. Of the 23 Triple Crown finishers at the Moab 240, 18 of them wore RA. Here is what some of them had to report...
Walt: "RA gets a lot of attention! I think over the course of one 20-mile loop, I had about 15-20 people comment directly on it, and another five or so specifically stop and ask me about it. I ran it at about 30% power attached to a Naked running belt. It ran all night, was extremely light weight, and provided ample light.
Probably the nicest thing about RA is that, because the light is distributed, you can have something be a lot brighter without blinding oncoming traffic with a single spot of light. I’ve never been so comfortable looking at the trail in front of me.My eyes could stay unfixed and relaxed, I could look around and never really had to strain, and I never got even a hint of motion sickness. Really, the more I use this thing the more I like it.”
Catra has run 268 ultra trail races and more than 100 of them have been 100 miles or more. Known affectionately as the Dirt Diva, she wrote a book titled "Reborn On The Run (My Journey From Addiction to UltraMarathons)".Kogalla light is that bright. I attach it to my Nathan waist belt and put the battery pack in my hydration vest.”
Bryce: "Hands down the brightest light I’ve ever used. The light was so clean and bright that my pacers turned off their headlamps. The clarity of the light made night running far less exhaustive to my eyes helping to combat mental exhaustion that can come from fading light with traditional headlamps.
Attaching it to my pack was simple, secure, and easy. To say it even more simply, the best light for night running, period."
Jessica: "This thing lit up the trail as if I were wearing vehicle headlights. I had planned to only wear the Kogalla RA for the first night of trail running but I was so impressed with how bright it was, I used the Kogalla RA for all nights of Moab 240. I only wished I had used it for The Tahoe 200 and Bigfoot 200. I found this gave me an advantage over the competition in that it allowed me to see extremely well, which was beneficial in sections with tough terrain. It provided me with better footing because I was able to see much further and clearer.
Additionally, I did not have to wear anything on my head. I strapped the Kogalla RA to the front of my pack and put the battery in my front pack pocket until needed. What was even cooler was that I had linked up with another runner wearing the Kogalla RA which really lit up the trail. When we came into the aid station, people were amazed with how bright our lights were. I am so impressed with the Kogalla RA, I will be wearing it for all my ultras from now on."
Jered: “I think this light is great. I have a history of migraines so I have never been able to wear a traditional headlamp on my head. I have always had to put them around my waist. That said, I've never been very impressed with headlamps in general as far as their output so I was really looking forward to giving this a shot. I was a bit nervous about the battery life and the battery weight, but neither of those proved to be an issue for me. I put the battery pack in my Naked brand waist belt and couldn't even tell it was there.
The light I set to a medium intensity just to be safe, and it would last an entire night with hardly touching the available power. The last night I even put it on full intensity just to mess around and had no problem. It was awesome. For functionality I was able to attach it to a triathlon bib belt using the supplied velcro and it was perfect. The field of view was great, I intentionally challenged it moving side to side just to see if it would live up to Rob's claims and it did. It made transitions at the aid stations less stressful not having to switch out headlamp batteries and it made the trails considerably easier to see and navigate which became ever more important with tired eyes looking for confidence markers. Overall I love the light.”
Jen: "RA is awesome. I found it immensely helpful with depth perception and the trail navigation as my eyes fatigued. I used it on the tricky-to-navigate sections where the trail disappears into the rock or is otherwise difficult to follow.
The light gave me the confidence to push ahead even without as many confidence markers for the course. It’s far too easy at night to second guess yourself whether you’ve missed a junction and with your light I was able to push ahead fully confident I was on the course. The light is awesome!!"
Stephanie: "I used the Kogalla light during the Moab 240 race and it is such a unique and amazing light system. Besides being the brightest person out there, I loved not having a light on my head that digs into my skin. The lights were easy to attach to my pack and would shine perfectly from my chest. The lights are adjustable in their brightness power but I noticed I had an easier time staying awake and alert when they were on their full brightness setting. That was helpful since we were out there for four nights straight.
The batteries were easy to charge and were ready to go each night. This is by far the easiest and best light system I have ever used and I have tried many lights during overnight races. Thank you for creating a system that is easier to carry, light, made to put on your pack, and very, very bright. I’m excited to have a well lit path for all my future races!"
Patrick: "I loved using the RA during Moab 240. It's SO bright!!! It’s very light and super easy to attach to my pack and position exactly where I want it. I really like how the wide beam lights up the entire trail. I found that it took much less mental energy to navigate technical terrain.
I even found that using it when I was feeling tired actually helped to wake me up! It really feels like mid-day even during the darkest hours of night. I've been recommending it to all my trail running friends."
Van ran over 51 marathons/ultras a year for three straight years. Now she averages about 30 a year because she runs more 100s and 200s. She's on schedule to reach 500 marathon/ultras next March and that's halfway to her lifetime goal.
Van: “I used my Kogalla RA the first night of the Moab 240. I attached it to my Nathan waist band. The light is great! Very bright and hands free. The bright setting was very nice for the technical trails and I used the low setting on less technical portions. I lost my hand held light on the last night and got lost. I would have fared better if I had worn my Kogalla RA that night.”
Phil: "This was my second Triple Crown and 9th 200 mile event. My pacer’s headlamp was inadequate to the terrain. I kept the Kogalla RA as my only light source and handed over my headlamp. When worn at the lower chest it gave me great surface contrast in technical terrain but still allowed me to see reflective markers. The ability to charge my watch and phone while still using the Kogalla light was very helpful.
The bounce free, wide angle field of vision allowed more natural and fluid head positions. I found myself looking around the illuminated field rather than having my head locked in position to spotlight the trail. This was noticeably more comfortable during the moonless 12 hour nights of the 2018 Moab 240. Bright enough to really appreciate the hallucinations during nights 3 and 4.”
Dion: "I wore the Kogalla light on the first night and was impressed with the brightness and most importantly the stability of the light on the bag whilst running, navigating rocks, climbing mountains etc.
The light really is a game changer to attacking a course confidently and safely with such brightness you would nearly think it was daylight running. I run a lot of events around the world and I’ll be wearing the light in all of them."
Nahila: "My experience with the lamp was excellent. The battery lasted way more than expected. Attaching the light on my back pack is very comfortable and it illuminates the way perfectly.
RA is lightweight and I put the battery in my back pack. I like being able to wear it on my chest even without a vest or pack."
Helgi is the founder of the Helgi Olafson Foundation which promotes exercise as medicine. He's a great example of what you can overcome through hard work and endurance. And that's a great lesson for anyone but especially those who engage in ultra trail runs.
Helgi: I donned my Kogalla LED light bar, which I kept fixed to the lower chest strap of my pack. It was like I was in my own bubble of daylight. I know I could definitely see a lot better with RA.
Most athletes in the Moab 240 get little if any sleep. Adam ran a 163 mile race in Massachusetts straight through with no sleep at all. I dozed off just typing this.
Adam: "The light was great and came in especially handy one night in Moab when a fellow runner's light went out and your powerful beam lit up the sky for both of us. A great use of the light was from the medical team who used it to better see as they taped up my feet that had become utterly destroyed from the tough mountain terrain."
And thanks to those Triple Crowners that shared their comments about wearing RA in these events.
Rob & Dick