Pacer Gary G. 

Hometown

Pittsburgh, PA  Churchill Area High School grad and a Penn State alum.

 

Current P.R.

3:04:31  Detroit 2009.  I need to find a faster race if am going to break the magical 3 hour mark.

Where were you born?

Braddock, PA

 

Number of marathons

15 Marathons (3 Bostons, 5 Pacing),

3 50K Ultras,

4 Ironmans,

Birthday

Thanksgiving….have you ever blown out a Birthday Turkey?

 

Favorite marathon

Boston, the crowds and the city are fantastic.  If you are wearing a finisher's medal on Patriots' Day, you are treated like a Rock Star.

Typical pace

Training 6:30-7:45. Marathon 7:00- 7:15

 

Favorite running music

'70s-'80s fast rock:  Boston, Eagles, Seger, Van Halen, Bon Jovi, Lenny Kravitz, Clapton.

Occupation

Engineer, Ford Motor Co

 

Favorite running food

Pre: Asian Salads and/or Thai vegetable curry

Race:  Non-caffinated Gu or Hammer Gel

Post Run: Chocolate Milk, God's Recovery Drink.

Any hobbies?

Triathlon competition and auto racing.  I need to juggle my priorities between training and racing my Formula Ford.

 

Who do you train with?

The wonderful running group at Running Fit in West Bloomfield, Michigan and with FAST: Ford Athletics Swim and Triathlon team.  Good athletes and better friends.

Favorite book, what are you reading now?

Favorite:  Out of This Furnace by Thomas Bell.  Currently reading:  Trizophrenia by Jef Mallot, It's Only a Mountain, by Rick and Dick Hoyt.

 

A quotation you like…

Never, Never, Never Give Up…Winston Churchill

Personal goals

Qualify for Team USA in Olympic or Sprint Triathlon.

Sub 3 hour marathon in the near future.

Recently met goal of a sub-11 hour Ironman.

 

 

 

 

 

Why do you run?

 

At first, I ran to prove something to myself and build my self confidence in high school.  Then I ran to prepare myself for my other competitive ventures.  Now I run for me, for the enjoyment, the decompression, and the social aspect of being with my training friends.  I still have the competitor within me, and I constantly gauge my training progress to reach the next level.

 

Describe your best marathon memory.

 

I finished my first Boston Marathon taking it easy and feeling good, and then everything got relatively quiet.  At that point, I realized that the real excitement is out on course and that I would rather still be there than in the finish corral.

 

Why do you pace?

 

I always feel that I need to give back to a sport that has given me so much.  I have done that with auto racing, and I want to do it with running and triathlon.  I think that a pacer can do a lot more to help someone achieve their goals than an aid station volunteer or a race official, so in some ways it comes down to a greater feeling of accomplishment, contribution, and satisfaction.

 

Tell us your best pacing experience.

 

I paced a good friend to a 1:37 half marathon to qualify her for a direct entry into the New York City Marathon.  I spent the final 5 miles breaking a path through the slower 10K walkers/runners so that she and another girl could sprint it out for 10th place female overall.  I really felt like I accomplished something that day.

 

Why should someone run in your pace group?

 

Consistency and motivation.  I can hold a steady pace that you can set your watch to and hold a varied conversation while doing it. There are parts of any course where you may want to move ahead of the group and parts that you might run slower than pace.  I will let you know where those places are and what the best plan might be for your abilities.  I plan on keeping everyone well informed on placement, pace, strategy, fluid and nutrition needs, and there will be lots of goal-specific encouragement, not just cheerleading.

 

Any tips for runners about to join your group?

 

Expect to hear a lot of talking.  I want to keep everyone loose and relaxed which will help later in the race.  This is supposed to be an enjoyable experience, not just a physical and mental grind. 

 

Anything else you’d like to share?

My greatest success in sports came not when I was studying the sport, but when I studied the psychology of sport.  The hardest part of endurance sports is overcoming the mental lows and staying focused on the task at hand. I excel at relaying these techniques to my charges to help them keep their goals in focus, whether those goals are time and/or speed driven, or measured in smiles per miles.

 

What philanthropic activities do you have?

I enjoy working with Habitat for Humanity when I can, but my real work is organizing the Formula SAE College Student Engineering Competition every year in Michigan.  The teams design, build, present, and compete in an open wheel race car which works into my auto racing and engineering background.

 
 

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