Grant Guise


Routeburn Classic Category:

Peak Performer

Location on earth of residence?
Albert Town, Wanaka.

Current work interest?
I really have no interest in work, so luckily I am self employed- I have an importing and distribution business- dealing in a bunch of great backcountry ski and trail running gear. I love doing this and it never really feels like work.

Favourite quote, motto or thoughts you try to life by?
I “Never trust a hippy”- NoFX. I am not sure I would live by that one, but it is worth keeping in the back of you mind.

Favourite local training track, grounds, area’s, parks etc?

I spent the last 5 years living in the Castle Hill basin in Canterbury and that area is an amazing trail/mountain running and ski touring play ground. Since moving to Wanaka I have had a pretty fun time exploring some new trails and peaks.

How long have you been a runner?

I had 3 older siblings growing up and was a cheeky little shit- so I had to run away from them from a pretty young age. But the first time I probably thought of myself as a “runner” runner, was when I was 12 and won a few local track races.

What do you love about trail running?

It sounds very cliché, but the freedom, and exploring. The people that make up the community in this sport make it really special also.

What type of running training do you do in the lead up to the Routeburn Classic?
A good mixture of ascending and descending, on steep, technical trails and also some fast running for the final kms from the Routeburn Flats to the finish. The final flat section of the race is often over looked- it is where you can make up lots of time/placings if you can run it strongly.

What advice would you give to a rookie / Routeburn virgin coming into the 2014 from a seasoned veteran of the event?

Be prepared to be Wowed- the Fiordland and Aspiring National Parks are pretty amazing. Also be prepared for any kind of weather. Of the 3 times I have run it I have had snow, heavy rain and warm temps. Get your fuelling and gear dialled in. And don’t sweat the small stuff (actually “don’t sweat the small stuff” is a good quote to live by….)

Any cross training, other sports you dabble in?
Mostly chasing my 2 ½ year old when she is trying to get away from me on her bike, while pushing my 8month old son in the pram, while wearing jandals. I also try to backcountry ski as much as possible during winter/spring.

How important are the other performance factors in your training. Namely fuel types consumed and periods parked up in recovery mode?
It is pretty important to fuel right, especially when tackling 30km’s of rugged mountain terrain. Just play around and find out what works for you. For a race like this I will have VFuel gels, 1 every 45mins or so and drink water when I feel like it, rather than on a set time. As far as recovery goes, I am a big fan of it! Maybe too big sometimes. I have no issue taking an unplanned day off if I feel I need it; it is all about listening to your body. Post race recovery is key also and I feel I have mastered this- do a little as possible, ideally while eating chocolate and a tasty beverage in hand.

What is it you love about the Routeburn Classic?
I guess a combination of some of my answers above-that freedom of trail running, but then combing it with a whole bunch of good, like minded people, in an amazing setting. And of course, Evan’s pre race meeting.

What advice can you offer a new comer to the event?
Just enjoy the day and roll with what ever the race throws your way. Trail Mountain running is all about adaptation- no 2 steps will be the same and there will be no constant like you might find in a road race. This is the best part and most likely why you’re running the Routeburn. Play to your strengths, but challenge your weakness.

Parting comments and thoughts?
I can’t wait to get back out on the Routeburn track. This race was what really inspired me to give mountain/trail running a go and that has lead to some pretty cool things. See you on the start line!