The 40 year old Ultra Trail Runner from Lithuania has had a very highlighted career in the sport to date. He only took to the sport 12 years ago as a means to help him cope with PTSD after his military mission in Iraq.
Eventually he wanted to run longer and further, pushing himself to be better and stronger. That's where he found an even greater love for the sport and saw himself becoming one of the best on the Ultra Trail World Tour Circuit. He became overall champion of the Ultra Trail World Tour circuit in 2016, while last year he completed the almost impossible feat of the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning.
Gediminas's best results
Ultra Trail World Tour 2014 3nd | (172km Grand Raid Reunion (FRA), (2014),4th Time 27:24:54,119km Lavaredo Ultra Trail (ITA) (2014), 3rd Time 13:01:22)
Ultra Trail World Tour 2015 2nd | (178km Ultra Trail Mt.Fuji (JPN) (2015), 1st Time 20:40:58, 127km Transgrancanaria (ESP)(2015), 1st Time 14:23:37 NEW RECORD)
Ultra Trail World Tour 2016 champion | (170km Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (FRA), 2nd Time 22:26:05, 119km Lavaredo Ultra Trail (ITA) (2016), 2nd Time 12:23:06)
2019 Grand Slam of Ultrarunning champion | (100 miles Wasatch Front (USA), 1st Time 20:55:31, 100miles Vermont Endurance Race (USA), 1st Time 16:01:49)
"Compressport was one of the first companies who put their trust and belief in me while I was a totally unknown runner from flatlands, mysterious Lithuania".
Gediminas Grinius, Pro Trail Runner
Why did you choose running…tell us your ´story´
I have never been a huge fan of running, though reluctantly did it as part of my physical fitness preparation program to enter the Military Academy and as a supplement to my passion for Martial Arts. However, the distances have never been longer than 10km.
After graduating from the Military Academy I found a sport called Military Pentathlon and one of the 5 disciplines in it, not surprisingly, was 8km of running. Though I started to practice running more, I wasn't hooked on running and enjoyed the other disciplines of Pentathlon like swimming with obstacles or shooting.
In 2007 my military career took me to Iraq and being in extreme danger with daily rocket and mine attacks, I tried to find something that calmed me down and reduced my stress level. So I started running! First it was small steps and at the longest, 10km runs around the base which were 1kmx1km wide with some interruptions as attacks in between. Not all my military comrades were as lucky as me. I saw badly injured soldiers, some of whom didn't make it, buildings which were set on fire, shells landing into the baths while I was taking a shower and just by luck not detonating at the last minute, attacks which last from 5 to 60min. That was my world for 7x months while Gintare was back home pregnant with Danielius and with a young Dovydas. So, after my mission was over I returned to Lithuania, but all these experiences returned with me: screams, smells of smoke, fear, noise of explosions; were all still with me and engraved in me. I wasn't the same as before and I felt it. I wanted to fix whatever didn't work anymore in me. I didn't trust anyone and tried to find a solution on my own and here running came as the teacher and as a healer which freed me from my demons and showed the way which I am currently living.
What is the most important race you took part in and why?
2014 Lavaredo Ultra Trail, as it was my first try in the Ultra Trail World Tour. It was a great experience topping the podium (3rd place) after Anton Krupicka & Mike Foote (the guys about whom I read in glossy magazines, who I learned from and used their tips for racing) I built my confidence as a mountain runner which led me to further success.
Biggest goal to achieve in the sport?
Longevity... as I want to stay in the sport as long as possible rather than spark bright for a short time.
Compressport was one of the first companies who put their trust and belief in me while I was a totally unknown runner from flatlands, mysterious Lithuania. On the other hand, I was a believer in compression garments as a performance exchanger which speeds up recovery and hence allows me to enjoy running longer.
Favorite Compressport Product and Why?
Has to be the Full Socks in all forms. It was the very first product I tried and I am still multi purposely using it till now: for recovery, training, racing and traveling.
Finally, some additional secret/interesting extra facts about you...
I am not a morning person, so I have to skip many training runs with my friends who are larks or have no "licences" from their wives to run later in the day :)