I believe running has become a very important part of my life. It keeps me focused by becoming the sole purpose in my life, just as much as it keeps me disciplined and working hard towards upcoming events. The goal is different each time I run. Sometime I run just to get to the finish line, sometimes the victory becomes very important to me, and it’s also a great feeling to run with other people and share the camaraderie. I am more than 50 years of age, so my expectation is usually just to finish the hard races. At this stage for me, finishing is the same as winning.
I was born into a farming family in the Dhule district of Maharashtra and through my childhood and youth, I wasn’t involved with any major sport, except for the only consistent outdoor activity in life which was walking barefoot for long distances. My tryst with running started more than ten years ago in 2006 when I was in Mumbai for work and noticed an advertisement for a half marathon, that I then completed in under 3 hours. I did the same race twice the following years and managed good time in it as well, till I graduated to the full marathon in 2009 apart from participating in various other races in the country.
The downhill was really fun. The soil was so dry and full of tiny marble sort of stones, really slippery. I had to run carefully. I did scare some of the hikers who thought I would slip and fall and probably take them along rolling down the mountain. A couple of sections were so exposed and steep, it was beautiful and thrilling at the same time. I am sure it demanded courage and skills to navigate that section and have some decent speed as well.
My name is Guillaume Arthus, I’m 26 years old and I live and work in Paris. For me, running has become a form of discovery and exploration. I have been training very hard for the 480 km ultra, as this is the highlight of this season for me. I primarily run very long distances, on trails and mountain ranges, and I’ve been training throughout on reduced oxygen capacity, as I hope this will help me better at the altitude on the Manali-Leh highway.