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Emma Roca to Rock Otter

She is a biochemist, firefighter, athlete AND mother of three; tell us again how you don’t have time to train?

Thanks to Buff® South Africa, Buff® athlete Emma Roca is coming to rock the 2015 Otter African Trail Run, and will show South Africans a little bit about finding balance and living your passions.

Emma was born in Barcelona in 1973 and is now a married mother of three children with a degree in Biochemistry. She is also a professional fire fighter, specialising in search and rescue for the Grup de Rescat de la Generalitat de Catalunya (GRAE). Emma has taken part in triathlons, duathlons, mountain marathons, ski mountaineering and, adventure raids. Emma came 5th in Western States this year, and will likely change the women’s race at Otter 2015.

Emma admits she is only able to combine being a mother, a professional firefighter and an elite athlete by balancing her schedule minute to minute. She works hard at giving equal devotion to all of her life pillars; her Fa

ily, the Mountain, her Career.

As a rescue firefighter, it’s crucial for her to be at a top physical condition every day to be able to give 120% of herself in rescue situations. As a biochemist Emma knows about all the body reactions, and tries to live a healthy and balanced life in compliance with her daily energetic needs. She has finished her dissertation and is now working on her thesis on the physiological and biochemical profile of an ultra-distance athlete.

As a mother, and wife to accomplished athlete David, she gives and receives love in a unit much like any other nuclear family around the globe.

“My family has grown continuously since I met David more than 15 years ago. Three little persons have come to fill every minute of our days with happiness. The life quality we’ve achieved here is pure gold”.

With three young children as the main motor in her life, Emma applies a daily discipline that helps her achieve many personal and sporting goals. Time out? She finds peace in the mountain.

“The mountain is very useful to get to know yourself in the most natural and organic way possible. Since I was a little girl, I’ve always felt the need to walk alone in the mountains, to interact with nature and live it fully. Nature and the mountains that contain it, are the best place to find time for yourself, to think, even to isolate yourself….to discover new sensations and environments. On the other hand I’ve also lived the mountain as a personal challenge. All the events I’ve taken part in (mountain marathons, ski mountaineering, adventure raids, ski touring, vertical kilometers) have helped me overcome, find boundaries that other surroundings won’t allow me to find, and as a result feel satisfied after a great race, raid, climb or descent from a summit. I’ve felt proud of myself when I’ve been able to overcome distances, inclines, technical difficulties, running, cycling, rowing…or, for example, when I climbed and came down from el Aneto from Benasque in 5 hours. But all these achievements weren’t to demonstrate to others my capabilities and abilities, but to realize what my full potential is; the limitless spirit to overcome, and to feel the personal satisfaction of finishing a tough event. The mountain tests you, finds you, and therein you discover yourself.”

This will be Emma’s first trip to the Grail of Trail; the Otter African Trail Run. A 42km route along the iconic Tsitsikamma coastline hiking trail, the Otter offers a shorter distance than Emma may be used to, but varied and challenging terrain combined with breath taking views and indigenous flora and fauna.

Emma will share her story, Otter preparation and professional insight on the physiological and biochemical profile of an ultra-distance athlete as well as finding life balance at a Buff® hosted event at the Sports Science Institute of South Africa on 12 October 2015.

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