Denver, Colorado – September 10, 2019 – Altra celebrates Elite Athlete Gediminas Grinius “GG” on his Wasatch 100-mile victory last weekend in a time of 20 hours and 55 minutes. The race win culminated GG’s Grand Slam of Ultrarunning, which consisted of him racing four out of the five oldest and most prestigious 100-mile races over the course of four months. His journey began in June with Western States 100-mile where he placed 6th in a time of 15 hours, 43 minutes and 50 seconds. He followed that with winning the Vermont 100-mile in July with a time of 16 hours, 1 min and 49 seconds. In August, he took 7th overall at Leadville 100-mile in 19 hours, 22 minutes and 13 seconds and ended his journey on Saturday with the Wasatch 100-mile victory, which was over 49 minutes ahead of second place.
Gediminas is a serious ultra athlete. He started running as a way to cope with PTSD after an intense military mission in Iraq. Eventually, he found that he needed to run further and further to challenge his mind and body, and really push his limits. Born and raised in Lithuania, he now travels the world racing distances from 50k-100 mile and beyond. He has been ranked high in the Ultra Trail World Tour Rankings since 2014, moving from 3rd to 2nd to UTWT Champion in 2016 and 1st in 2017. In addition to racing, Gediminas shares his passion for running with people of all abilities and levels through his “Trail Running Factory” Running Camps.
“It was an incredible journey over the last four months,” said Gediminas. “It is hard to put it in words what running 400 miles does to you both mentally and physically. I got my very first win in a new continent with the Vermont 100-mile, and I absorbed the beautiful spirit of the running community across America. My family was with me throughout the entire adventure which was one of the biggest joys of my life, and my heart opened to a new chapter in my running journey.”
The Grand Slam of Ultrarunning is completed by only a few people each year. Entry is limited by lotteries at Western States and Wasatch. The idea of running the four oldest 100 mile trail runs in the country came from Fred Pilon of Ultrarunning Magazine back in 1985. He Called Steve Baugh who was the race director of the Wasatch Front 100 Mile Endurance Run at the time. Since Wasatch was the final race of the four it seemed natural for the Wasatch 100 to organize the Grand Slam and have awards in conjunction with Wasatch’s awards ceremony. Steve collaborated with John Grobben, current and long standing Wasatch 100 race director, and they came up with the name Grand Slam of Ultrarunning and established it in in cooperation with the race directors of the other races involved. The first Grand Slam award was given to Tom Green in 1986. The Wasatch 100 has continued organizing and managing the event since that time.
“We couldn’t be happier for GG”, said Emelie Ortiz, Altra athlete manager. “He has put so much grit and tenacity into this Grand Slam over the last four months, and he continues to inspire the Altra team. There were some really hard and dark moments for him over the course of 400 miles, and he persevered and overcame the hard parts to come out with a victory.”
Altra will launch the video of GG completing the Grand Slam at this year’s TRE and will later appear on all of Altra’s social media channels. Follow along to watch GG’s story @altraunning
Altra was founded in the backroom of a small specialty running store in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah. Since the beginning, the goal has been to create innovative and purposeful running shoes that help people run more naturally with fewer injuries. Altra’s unique Core3 includes a FootshapeTM toebox that allows the toes to relax and spread out naturally which enhances stability and encourages natural running form. Balanced Cushioning™ platform that positions the heel and forefoot at an equal distance from the ground, cultivating optimal alignment, better form and a low-impact landing. And, an innovative Fit4HerTM technology that builds shoes on female-specific platform, addressing the anatomical differences in men and women’s feet. Altra is on a mission to make a positive impact with every step for all humankind. Learn more at altrarunning.com and follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook #altrarunning #zerolimits