"High intensity--pain--makes you think twice about what you're doing," says Stamstad. "It takes an enormous amount of strength to win a two-hour mountain bike race, but no matter how hard you ride, you never get to the point where you say, 'God, I don't know if I can make it.' In longer races you always reach the point where it's easy to stop." Stamstad's secret seems to be that he eliminates the quit-or-not-to-quit argument altogether. "I just make the decision before the race that I'm going to finish, no matter what," he says. "That way, I never have to decide whether to quit, because it's just not an option. If you go into a race saying, 'If I get really tired, I'll just drop out,' no matter how mentally strong you are, you'll take the easy way out."
He's currently a Patagonia Company Ambassador for trail running.
I am a normal guy who thinks that doing ‘extreme’ things is actually a normal human activity to do. If you look at the last few thousand years, going for an all day trail run is more normal than say, drinking beer and watching football (though I do that too). Deep down I think we all feel the need to explore and generally when I explore the physical word it leads to an emotional adventure as well.