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Run for the Money

A marathon runner builds a rustic mountain retreat in record time.
by Candace Allen | Photos by Rocky Mountain Log Homes
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It’s a crisp, clear day in Hamilton, Montana, and Matt Guzik is doing what he does every day: training for another race to raise funds for his favorite charity. Some people might say the general manager of Stock Farm, an exclusive gated community designed with a Western flair, is obsessed because he ran 13 marathons in 13 months for charities. Passionate is a more accurate description for “Marathon Matt,” whose enthusiasm runs through all aspects of his life, including his hybrid log home built on 2-1/2 acres overlooking the Bitterroot Valley.

After Matt moved to Montana and built his first house, he unexpectedly got a terrific offer from a buyer. Plans for a new home quickly followed, with a goal of moving directly from one home to another. With help from his training buddy and architect Jeremy Oury of KIBO Group in Missoula, Montana, log provider Rocky Mountain Log Homes, and general contractor Kent Kearns of Kearns & Sons Building Contractors, the ambitious plan had a chance.

“Matt needed to get going in December,” Kent says. “That’s a hard time to build in Montana. Luckily, we had a little break in the weather and got the foundation in before it turned really cold.” Six months later, Matt moved in.

A Hybrid Home
The conventionally framed 3,200-square-foot home is sheathed in plywood and sided with rustic exterior log siding. Freestanding pillars and corner posts are custom log accents, and chinking adds authenticity. “It’s a hybrid,” Jeremy says. “It looks like a log home, but there isn’t a stacked log anywhere.”

Matt chose a hybrid home because it offers a good balance of wood, slate, textured walls and color.

A Place for Friends
An open layout lends itself to entertaining, and Matt’s home is a frequent gathering spot for friends. Guests are drawn first to the great room where floor-to-ceiling windows let in views of the snowcapped Bitterroot Mountains and a wood-burning fireplace angles into the vaulted ceiling.

In the expanded kitchen where guests often congregate, ten or more cooks can easily pitch in around the kitchen island and counter space. When dinner’s ready, friends can adjourn to the dining room.

Personal Space
During quieter moments, Matt retreats to his private master bedroom. After a strenuous bike ride or run, he soaks in his 7-foot-long claw-foot tub, or when Montana’s harsh winters settle in, he relaxes in the combination steam and water shower. Completing the upstairs are two guest bedrooms and an office.

A separate stairway leads to a combination fitness and entertainment room above the garage. On display are the medals, ribbons and memorabilia collected from marathons and triathlons.

Matt’s enthusiasm for his friends, community and log home burns brightly. “I would find it extremely difficult to go back to a regular framed home because of the feeling I get from this house,” he says. “This is my happy place.”

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