With 2015 coming to an end and my race season having wrapped up for the year I took a look back at my 6th year of distance running. As far as I can figure out (Garmin Connect was a HUGE help for this) I ran a total of 27 races, totaling 448 miles in a combined time of 2 days, 8 hours, 57 minutes and 3 seconds. That also comes out to about 1/4 of my total 2015 mileage, which is a little ridiculous. I have raced in 9 US states (HI, MA, NY, SC, NC, GA, FL, VA, MS), two other countries (Bermuda and Canada) and met more amazing people than I can count along the way. I set P.R.s in the 5k, 10k, 15k, half marathon, marathon, and 50k. All things considered it was a pretty freakin’ good year where racing was concerned but that is enough about me. It an even better year because of the relationships made and the people met along the way. I was trying to make a collage of all the people I met this year but all the pictures were too small so I settled for the obligatory “Look at how awesome I am” awards photo. I hope you are able to take a look at that picture and see the medal/awards from the race where we ran into each other and it brings back a good memory…
It would take me days to talk about all the races, events, people, and memories that have turned 2015 into the best year of my running career. If you are reading this more likely than not you played some role in my journey over the past 12 months…THANK YOU for being who you are and part of this running community. There are a few memories and events I would like to highlight from the past year:
Start on a High Note:
Bermuda Race Weekend (Jan 16-18 2015) was an incredible experience, great way to start the race season, and an event I look forward to competing in again in 2016. I went to Bermuda because of Natalie Dyrli, who I met at the 2014 Gasparilla Distance Classic, and will end up playing a pretty big role throughout the 2015 year. BDA Race Weekend really is a spectacular event with breathtaking scenery/courses, well organized races, crowd support, and highly competitive races. I didn’t run as well as I had hoped to in the marathon and will be looking for redemption in the 2016 edition. Aside from getting to spend time with Nat and build the beginning of our relationship I also met a few other incredible people in Bermuda…
- Bart Yasso: probably one of the most recognized personalities in running and the Chief Running Officer for Runner’s World. Bart is an incredibly easy person to talk to and listening to his stories and experiences is something I can do for hours. I saw Bart at several events during the year and he has become a big inspiration for me: his love of running and the people within it is unmatched.
- Geoffrey Smith: never in a million years would I guess I would hang out with a Boston Marathon Champion (’84 and ’85) let alone jump into a harbor with him. Geoff now lives in MA and is an active race director and running advocate.
- Brandon Fay: Brandon and Nat ran together during part of the half marathon and we met up with him later that night to celebrate. Talk about a cool dude. Brandon manages Trattoria Dell’Arte…a phenomenal restaurant in downtown NYC…and in his spare time runs a crap load of races. Not very many people have the energy level and enthusiasm for running (and food) that Brandon does.
Check out Bart (@bartyasso) Geoff (@geoffsmith11) and Brandon (@cookingwithbrandon) on Instagram for a better idea of just how cool these people are.
Being Cheap Pays Off.
To save money I often sleep in the back of my truck the night before races…and this year it seemed to be my lucky charm. All three marathons I won (Hilton Head, Tomoka, and Running for the Bay) came off of a night spent in my truck. I don’t know if I sleep better or it is just in my head now but that truck seems to help me out. I would have said you were crazy if you told me Runner’s World would ever write an article on me but that is exactly what happened after I won Hilton Head Island Marathon in my P.R. of 2:39. It was a pretty surreal experience to get that email asking for an interview.
I have really come to enjoy helping other runners achieve goals. Seeing their excitement and sense of accomplishment is inspiring and something I am very honored and proud to be a part of.
After finishing the Tomoka Marathon I headed back out to run my friend, Brooke, into the finish line. She is the person who told me about the race and I decided to run back out and help her finish those last few miles. It was so cool to get to run with her, help her get a new P.R., and oh by the way this was her 7th marathon in 7 months…
This year in Boston I paced a friend from my hometown of Warren, PA. Scott ran his first sub-3 race and a P.R. of 2:57. This was the first time I had been a personal pacer for someone and it was just an awesome experience. We easily fell into stride and kept a steady pace the entire race despite less than ideal (cold, rainy, windy) conditions. I am truly honored that Scott had enough faith in my running ability to ask me to pace him. It was great to catch up and celebrate with him, Lonnie (another Warranite), and their families. On aside note Warren somehow produces, in my opinion, a freakishly and disproportionately high number of endurance athletes relative to its size and demographics. This is something I have noticed over the years and will make a post on at some point…
Although I did not perform as well as I had hoped the experience of running 5 marathons in 5 states in 5 weeks was a very rewarding one. This really tested my endurance and mental toughness. However the coolest part of this experience was getting to spend the entire month with Nat. It means so much to me that she was willing to take a month off of work and come run around (literally) with me. She ran the NYC Marathon, and Savannah, Richmond, and Magnolia (where she ran a P.R.) half marathons. We had an incredible couple few weeks driving all over the place, meeting new people and old friends, running, and doing or best to recovery in the days in between races. November 2015 is a month that will always be with me and a memory I wouldn’t trade for the world.
My Family is Awesome
Throughout this entire journey the support of my family has been huge. Not only do they encourage me in all my crazy racing ideas but they were also very supportive of me leaving the Wildlife Biology profession (which I got my college degree in) to work for Palmetto Running Company. I don’t think many parents would be as encouraging of whatever path their children choose as Keith and Cindy are of my sisters and me.
2015 also saw my younger sister, Julie, become more interested in distance running. After completing her first marathon (that her husband Galen also ran) and a few halves we have decided to run the 2016 Richmond Marathon together. I am already excited about the opportunity to run with my little sister, especially at this race. In 2013 I paced my dad to his P.R. of 3:50 in his second marathon…at the age of 59….at Richmond
Running truly is part of the Price family: my mom and brother-in-law, Andrew, have also run marathons. The Only sane one left may be Laura. But not for long…I think a family marathon or half marathon is in the future!!
Thank you for being part of my journey and I look forward to an eventful 2016!