|   Interviews

Dec 2023 - Meet Raphael Bonatto, a passionate 43-year-old sports enthusiast from Curitiba, Parańa, Brazil.

From soccer to ultramarathons, Raphael has since his first ultra in Argentina (100k) in 2006, he has conquered races like Brazil 135 miles (10x), Comrades and Badwater (twice each), and trails run in all distances. His passion for running knows no bounds. 

With a degree in Physical Education and a Masters in Exercise Physiology, he coaches and supervises 200 athletes, leading the Brazilian National Team of Trail and Mountain Runners. Beyond the tracks, he is a proud family man with a loving wife and three incredible kids—Giovana, Luca, and Cael.

2. Tell us about your hometown/where you mostly train. Is the terrain similar to where you run in Cambodia?

Nestled in the embrace of mountains and trails, Curitiba, my hometown, is a haven for adventure. While parks and tarmac roads grace the landscape, like in Cambodia, I am used to training a lot of ascent and descent, navigating over roots, overcoming obstacles, and single tracks. For me, the rugged and untamed paths are better.

3. What motivated you to take on the challenge of a 220km ultra marathon in Cambodia?

Embarking on this journey was not just about a race—it was a cultural experience. Picture this: immersing myself in a new country, where every aspect of life, from people’s behaviors, realities, life conditions, nature, weather… and so far away from Brazil! Literally it is on the other side of the world! 

What truly set this adventure apart was the support and information provided from GlobalLimits. Their comprehensive information and attention made a difference. Especially when you're thinking about leaving your family behind for an undiscovered adventure. It was a very good decision! 

4. How would you prepare differently for the race after actually doing it?

Completely different! Cambodia was my first stage race. I think I´ve taken so many things that I didn't need and forgot about important things that I really needed. I am from the south of Brazil, where it's cold and dry, maybe I should have gone to the north for a couple days to get used to those conditions. I suffered in the first three days of the race . I quickly realized it wasn't just about running. Adapting to the weather, managing rest, nutrition, hydration and recovery were game-changers. It was a crash course in the strategic dance between endurance and environment.

5. Can you share some of the most memorable moments or challenges you faced during the race?

For me it was the last day. After 5 days and more than 200K accomplished, the 6th day is in Siem Reap, a magical city with amazing temples, specially the Angkor Wat complex. I forgot about the race, I just wanted to film and take pictures, living 100% that moment.

6. Would the GlobalLimits race set-up be of interest to other Brazilian runners?

Sure, I will call for runners here in Brazil for this great opportunity to know the world doing what we love, experiencing running and culture.

7. Where do we see you racing next?

My next race will be january 11th, the Brazil 135 miles (again). Planning to go to São Tomé 2024, maybe!!

Thank you for everything, was a great pleasure to be with you in Cambodia, cheers!