Andy Brett ’03 was sporting a tattered Gilmour shirt, gearing up for his run.
It’s the same way the former Gilmour cross country star had set out on countless other runs. But this one was different, bigger, colder.
It was, after all, in Antarctica. And with it, Brett’s two-year quest to run a marathon on each of the seven continents came to a triumphant second-place conclusion.
Brett’s journey began in Switzerland in May 2013. It included an ultra-marathon through Australia’s Blue Mountains, a 75K in Kenya, a 50K in the Philippines, and a photo finish alongside a horse in Patagonia.
As Brett braced for the chill of Antarctica, he knew he was seasoned enough to withstand the course’s toughest moments. He had the Blue Mountains to thank for that.
“I was running, and you just know you’re going to hit a hill and lose all the momentum you built up,” he recalls of the grueling Australia ultra-marathon. “So it’s important to have this internal force that will empower you to build momentum again. I know that drive is down in me now.”
Brett’s “seven marathons on seven continents” goal was born from his love of travel. His longtime job as a freelance software developer allowed him to travel often and work from anywhere. Ultimately, his tech skills garnered the attention of one of his clients, Move Loot, who hired him full-time at its San Francisco headquarters one year ago.
Brett is lead mobile engineer for Move Loot, an app and website that allows relocating people to buy and sell furniture on consignment. “We’re trying to keep furniture out of landfills and off of the curb with a ‘free’ sign on it,” Brett says. “Also, if you go the Move Loot route you can obtain name-brand furniture more affordably.”
Whether Brett is building apps or furniture (his weekend hobby), “it has to have a degree of quality to it,” he says. “It’s important that I can look at my product and stand behind it and say, ‘Yes, I built that and a lot of people are using it now.’”
What are some things you’ve built at home?
I built my bed. I’m working on a dresser later today. When you finish it, you have more than an object. You have this story of all these decisions you made in creating it, and you have an explanation for why it is the way it is.
You have four siblings, all of whom run. What does family mean to you?
They’re the people who don’t care how strange you are because they’re strange, too.
Which innovator inspires you?
Where’s your favorite place to run?
So many! The Marin Headlands near San Francisco; Forest Park in Portland, Oregon; and the Blue Mountains, to name a few.
You haven’t lived until you’ve_____.
Jumped in the ocean with your clothes on