Martin Gaffuri is making the trip all the way from Switzerland to run in the Golden Ultra this September. That's a long way to come for a first year event, so we asked Martin a few questions about what motivated him to apply for a scholarship to attend the Golden Ultra.
First of all, tell us a bit about yourself and how you got your start in running...
I'm Martin GAFFURI, but people call me Goat. The reason why remains unspoken but it sure is easier to pronounce for an English speaker.
I started running when I was 7 and ran my first XC race that same year. It was just what we did at our local running club. We'd show up there, run for fun, but also would get involved in the races to sport high and proud the colours of the CAMV (Club Athlétique de Mantes la Ville).
I had a 3 years break from running after I went to my business school in 2003. When I took a year off to work in product marketing at Salomon in 2006, I discovered mountain running, and after winning the Templier race in the Youth category, I got hooked.
In 2013 I finished 4th in the Skyrunner World Series in the Ultra category. I hope my most recognizable result is yet to come...
What does a typical day look like for you?
My typical day starts at 6am with a quick strength or core workout, a fruit shake, hop on my bike and off to work at 7.
I work as international communication and sports marketing manager at Scott Sports for the running division. I love it. Very active folks with a passion for sports deeply anchored in their DNA. Either a run or a bike ride will cut my work day in half.
I'm usually back home at 6pm and try and hit the local gym for a yoga or spinning session. It's more a social act than trying to fit in another workout in the day. I'm fairly new to this town and the odds of finding like minded people are better at the Gym than in a club...
I spend the rest of my evenings working on a side project I have been developing with two business partners. A startup called Twiinkly that lets users share photos into a single dedicated timeline to cover events live. It's a free app that can be downloaded for both iOS and android.
Let's be honest, I also spend days on weekends in bed watching movies and eating ice cream, it's all about balance!!
Where is your favourite place to run?
I have a few place that made me feel something special, but don't get the chance to run on often. As a matter of fact, they are spread all over the world, here are a few : the jaw dropping beauty of a secret loop in Sedona, the humbling depth of the Grand Canyon in Arizona, the almost scary isolation of trails in Queenstown in the South Island of New Zealand, rolling trails around Lake Tahoe, technical ones up fourteeners in Colorado. Running the Rockwall Traverse in Canada was quite the epic run too.
Sure I know and enjoy closer ones from home such as in the Chamonix valley or around the Annecy lake, but you know what they say, the mountain is always steeper on the other side of the fence. :-)
I guess beyond beautiful places to run in, to me the quality of the people who tag along, can turn a good run into an exceptional one.
What are you most excited about with the Golden Ultra?
The location and course are exciting and I look forward to discovering them. But I'm even more excited about the format. I have raced the TransRockies Run 6 years in a row and absolutely love the camaraderie between like minded people. After each stage, you get to hang out and chat with all the other participants, share stories, emotions and sometimes even more!!
What do you think will be the toughest day of the Golden Ultra, for you personally?
The "stage 4" will be the toughest (ed: a tribute to TransRockies Run infamous stage 7). Not only from the most likely hangover and banging headache, but also because we'll have to leave behind new friends and people who we will have shared beautiful emotions during the whole three days.
The rest will be bloody awesome, sexy sweaty, and tears of joy! I invite you all to get involved as I look forward to getting to share good times with you, the more the better!
The Golden Ultra is a three-day stage running race (or relay) in Golden, BC from September 18-20, 2015. Runners may participate in all three stages as a solo or as part of a relay, or may register for any single or combination of two stages separately.