Pre-2011 TNF UTMB Interview with Topher Gaylord
Last year, he became the president of Montrail/Mountain Hardwear (not a bad gig if you’re a trail runner), but if you caught his ear out on the trails, he’d ask you which race you’re excited about running, bond with you over race you’ve both run, or chat about the latest running gear from all sorts of companies.
While running Montrail/Mountain Hardwear is pretty impressive, running UTMB SEVEN TIMES and running the complete tour around Mont Blanc 17 times to date might be even more impressive. Oh, and Topher’s not just finished UTMB, he was second in the inaugural race in 2003, sixth in 2005, 24th in 2007, eleventh in 2008, and 24th in 2009… but he’d never tell you that unless you asked him.
That said, Topher’s love of and ties to The North Face Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc go even deeper than running the race. Again he’d never tell you as much, but in his previous roll with The North Face he was an instrumental partner with Catherine and Michel Poletti, UTMB’s co-race directors, from before the race was ever run.
In the following interview, Tohper shares a bit about what makes UTMB so special, what he’s looking forward to this year, how Montrail runners Geoff Roes and Dakota Jones might stack up this year, and, since I had his ear, a bit of last minute advice for me!
Toph is, quite possibly, the most psyched and motivated human on the planet. A top ultra runner, Toph has actually placed second in the Ultra Tour du Mont Blanc, the race on the same course we would run. To say Toph travels a lot is an understatement, airport staff know him. To stay fit he has been known to actually run in airports, putting on his running clothes, and actually lapping the airport, inside and out.
From everything I’ve seen, Dan couldn’t be more correct about Topher being “the most psyched and motivated human on the planet.”