Ryan Ghelfi hits the ground running with Trails and Tarmac

Ryan Ghelfi hits the ground running with Trails and Tarmac


for the Siskiyou Hiker

23 MAY 2018 | ASHLAND, ORE. — Trails and Tarmac recently joined the ranks of 2018 business sponsors at the $1,000 level. Trails and Tarmac is a coaching service headed by Ryan Ghelfi, who has made a name for himself running long distance races all over the world.

Ghelfi started running at 16, and three years later broke the fastest known time (FKT) for running to the top of Yosemite’s Half Dome and back. That took him just over two and a half hours. Otherwise, he’s made a name for himself in the running circuit for the endeavors he takes on. He’s been sponsored by Nike, and now enjoys support from Hoka One One. He’s ran for 24 hours straight. Ghelfi is tall and tough looking. He’s built a reputation on running 100+ miles. He’s a Hercules of sorts. But he’s not into suffering.

“Consistency is king,” he says. “People feel good so they overdo it, push themselves too much.” Then they get sore, tired, and don’t go for a run the next day. As a coach, Ghelfi’s goal is rewire that process and get people on a sustainable regimen.

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“Mostly I’m telling people to slow down, not speed up,” he says. Advanced runners from around the world come to his cadre of coaches, who are also well known within the long distance running circuit. They include David Laney, Jenn Shelton, Camelia Mayfield, among others.

Ghelfi got into trail running “because of where it can take you,” he says. His consistent training helps him for power runs like circumventing Rainier’s Wonderland Trail. “That would take most people eight or nine days,” says Ghelfi. “I did it in one. Through running I can see more.”

Ghelfi’s business is popular among aspiring runners with lots of experience, but he sees an opportunity to inspire more people to run, and has a coaching track for new runners. He’s a millenial, and speaks altruistically about running. “We’ve got a problem in this country. Rethinking fitness and nutrition can help.”

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He knows beginners are afraid of running. “We start slow. You should be able to talk while you’re exercising,” he says. “And build up.” He repeats: Consistency is king. “I run every single day. If you want to get good at running, it’s a matter of sustainability, getting better and better, and having a long view.”

A long view is what lead Ghelfi to invest in our season with a $1,000 gift. Ghelfi became inspired by Siskiyou Mountain Club after working with one of our seasonal staffers on the Ashland and Woodlands Trails Association’s Wonderland Trail Project. “Nick Hodges worked so hard,” he says. “I want him out there working and doing this stuff. That’s why we gave.”

He has a passion for “America’s Wilderness Areas,” he says. “I want to run the Kalmiopsis loop later this year. I’ve been studying the map.” The route has a punishing elevation profile, and not a lot of water. He’s not nervous about it. “I can do a hell of a lot more because of running.” ###

Want to become a business sponsor? Email info@siskiyoumountainclub.org or call 541-708-2056 to discuss options.

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