Performing On Race Day

Posted: June 11, 2013 in Uncategorized

It is so gratifying to coach runners to compete consistently on race day and establish personal bests.  Race day performance is the ultimate validation of months of hard work and the effectiveness of a training program.

I ran my first in 1978 so my racing history spans 35 years.  When I ran my very first marathon in 1978 the Boston Marathon qualifying time was 3 hours…I ran 2:59:55 at the Richmond Newspapers Marathon in Virginia.

I’m certainly proud of my marathon PR of 2:33 which I ran 3 times on several courses during different years.  I’m proud of my Boston PR of 2:38 and having qualified for Boston at Boston in four consecutive decades.  I’m looking forward to making it 5 consecutive decades in 2014 0r 2015…depending on when I can get it.

But I am most proud of my consistency, longevity and ability to perform on race day…every time.  I have run 31 marathons with an average finishing time of 2:51.  My first 24 marathons were all sub-3 hour efforts.  Every time I showed up to race, regardless of distance, I performed to my ability on that day.

Here is a list of my PR’s at various distances:

  • 5K (16:05)
  • 5 miles (27:04)
  • 10K (32:25)
  • 10 miles (54:49)
  • Half-Marathon (1:12:12)
  • Marathon (2:33:13)
  • 50 Mile Trail Race (7:06:36)
  • 100K National Championships (8:41:47) 5th place
  • 107 miles (24 hour race)

I attribute my racing success to physical and mental preparation.  I trained smart and adequately prepared for every race.  I went to the starting line prepared for battle and I expected to run near or at the front.  What I lacked in physical ability, I made up with mental toughness.  I was willing to go deep into the well of pain and discomfort to maximize my performance.

This is the first time in 17 years of coaching that I’m focusing on my running and racing.  I’m looking forward to a half-marathon in September and two marathons in October.  In 2014 I am planning to run 100 miles in 24 hours on the track and then race ultra distance trail races.

It’s been nice to look back and reflect on my racing career.  But I’m far more interested in coaching and helping others to write their own racing history.  Nothing I have done will ever compare to what the runners I coach accomplish.

I would trade all that I’ve accomplished to help just one runner achieve more than they ever imagined!

  1. I LOVE reading this post, Rick!! I am in awe that you ran 24 consecutive marathons that were all sub-3:00 efforts…and an average of 2:51 for 31 marathons. Your consistency is astounding. But from what I know of you, it is actually not surprising. I know you are so dedicated with all aspects of your training — from running to stretching to strength training to nutrition to mental focus — and that is what differentiates you from others who have your same running ability but lack the consistency. I have learned SO MUCH from you and in six short months, you helped me achieve more than I ever imagined! I would imagine you will be part of a VERY select group if you can qualify for Boston in five consecutive decades.

    I know you are very humble and would prefer to talk about others’ successes but I am so happy to read about yours this time. You deserve to be celebrated! 🙂

    • Hello Kristen,

      Thank you so much for your kind words. More importantly, thank YOU for the opportunity to coach you. I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to get to know you and share our passion and love of running. I have been so impressed by your determination, dedication and discipline in every facet of running. It was an honor to play a small role in your incredible success and achievements the past 6 months.

      I look forward to remaining lifelong friends.


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