Goran Lesjak is a familiar name in Croatia but probably unheard of abroad. This could change soon… 🙂
Goran is currently the best ultra trail runner that Croatia has and probably the best we had. After winning the Velebit Ultra Trail (the most prestigious 100 km race in Croatia) for the third time, he is off to new challenges… Now he prepares for Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, an unofficial world championship in ultra trail running. Most of us who had a chance to run UTMB went there with a single thought: “I just want to finish!” 🙂 There are few that had some personal challenges (e.g. under 30 hours) but Goran… He wants to be good. He wants to race against the best. I think he can. We’ll see…
If I didn’t know anything about his races, wins, paces, I would still admire him. He works as a biology teacher in a local elementary school . He’s a father of three kids (age 5 to 11) and supports his wife in her running career (support is obviously mutual). As he lives in a small village near Samobor (close to Zagreb), he has a chunk of land where he grows and take care of fruits and vegetables for his own needs. I do not know where he finds time for all that. He is humble, people loving and approachable. If you are fast enough to run along him (or he slows down :)), he’ll be happy to share some stories with you. If you don’t catch him during the race, you can do it after/before.
Today he opened an athlete profile on Facebook where we can peak into his sport life, read his thoughts and share our opinions… I think a lot of us could learn from Goran. I am happy that our paths crossed, that I know him as a friend, and that now he is willing to share a part of himself with the general audience.
As for the top trail running community, don’t say we haven’t warned you about him… 😉