Peter Gilmore - the Unattached Underdog
The following feature story is based on an interview conducted by Keith Dowling for www.usatf.org.
Peter Gilmore headed to the 2005 Boston Marathon with a deep understanding of the solitude of the long distance runner. Without a sponsor and without training partners, the resident of San Mateo, California., trained alone and ultimately ran most of the hills between Hopkinton and Boston solo, a strategy dictated more by the weather rather than by design.
"I have no doubt that training alone helped. I didn't panic. It was more like "here we go again," mused Gilmore, who finished eighth at the 2004 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials. "It's a gamble either going out with the leaders or staying well off the pack; neither way is stupid or intelligent. I just wasn't going to let people dictate my pace. I was by myself the entire 26."
With a goal of running 5:03 pace Gilmore, 28, who works part-time as an elementary special education aid, relied on past experiences in warm races to revise his strategy in order to take advantage of those who were perhaps too aggressive. "It was in the 70's all the way to Heartbreak and then the sea breeze cooled it down into the 60's. I tried to get as much shade as I could even if it meant running in the gutter," he recalled afterward. "Maybe if I had gone out with leaders and held in there, I would have run a few minutes faster and finished sixth. Who knows? I've had times when that backfired on me at warmer road races than Boston. It affects me worse than other people."
Gilmore's patience started to pay off just after half way, when he started catching the huge pack in bunches after the hills. "You're hoping guys are going to come back. At the top of heartbreak, I saw [Ryan] Shay; it was cool to see the high seeded guys coming back to me. I got by them around 22, but boy, that last 5k was just -you know how the end of the marathon can get - it's painful."
Ultimately, it was a gamble that yielded a 10th place finish. Coupled with Alan Culpepper's 4th and Ryan Shay's 12th, it was the best U.S. showings since Plaatjes and Brantly went 6th and 9th in 1993.
Coached by the legendary Jack Daniels, Gilmore follows a plan with bulky mileage and longer workouts, "It's about as horrendous as can be and that's what I think I need right now," he relates.
"I've been experimenting with cutting back my mileage about seven or eight weeks before the marathon. At that stage I'm not training to get fitter but training to get race sharp. It's a slight shift in mental attitude. Instead of going from 130 to 140 miles a week and cutting that down the last month to 80 and 90, I'll cruise at 90 to 110 for six or seven weeks and then keep it there until the race. It's not so much a taper; it's just where I'm comfortable. I can run 100 miles per week with my eyes closed, get in a lot of racing at that mileage and still race effectively.
"It's a plan that could suit him well again if he is selected to represent the U.S. at the IAAF World Championships Marathon in August. "If they select me I'll be there. It's another quick turnaround between marathons but I have experience with that. I went from Chicago '03 to the Trials (4 months), then 21 miles of Twin Cities last fall and 8 weeks later I did the California International Marathon (CIM), where I finished second in a personal best of 2:14:02. Then CIM to Boston was a quick turnaround. I'll be all right."
USA Women's Masters 5 km Championships
The 2005 Freihofer's Run for Women will once again proudly host the USA Women's Masters 5K Championship. "We are inviting the top 40-and-over runners across the country to compete for the national championship," says event director George Regan. "We expect a fantastic field in all age groups and will announce those competitors soon."
In addition to the Freihofer's Run for Women 5K Fitness Run and USA Masters 5K Championship, the day's festivities will also include the 17th annual Freihofer's Community Walk (8:00-9:30am) - a fundraiser that has raised more than $1 million for area non-profit organizations since its inception. There is no entry fee to participate.
Concluding the day's festivities will be the 18th annual Freihofer's Kids' Run - one of the top 10 largest kids' runs in the nation. Held from 11:30am to 2pm on the Outdoor Plaza level, Empire State Plaza, the free event is open to children ages three to 13.
World Masters Athletics Championships-Early Entry Deadline is May 6
All masters USATF members are invited to participate in the XVI World Masters Athletics Championships as a member of the USA team. The championships, to be held in San Sebastian, Spain, from August 22 to September 3, 2005, bring together the world's best masters athletes for a full athletics program, including track, field, multi-events, cross-country, race walking and marathon. All participants are responsible for their own travel and expenses.
There are no qualifying standards for individual events, although relay team selection is based upon one's individual performances at the championships. Medals are awarded in five-year age categories, starting with the 35-to-39 age group, which is an unofficial category for men - the first official men's category is 40-to-44.
For additional information and a meet entry form, check out the USATF website - www.usatf.org, click on "Masters Athletics" and then on the World Masters Athletics Championships logo. Please note that entries must be received by May 6 to avoid late fees and entries close on June 17.
Additional competition opportunities for masters, including association, regional and US national championships can be found on the online USATF calendar.
ING New York City Marathon to offer sub-elite seeding program
For the second year the ING New York City Marathon will offer a sub-elite seeding program for both men and women. The approximate standards for gaining a spot in the program are 2:20-2:30 finish times for the men and 2:50 to 3:00 for the women. The sub-elites will get a special bus to the start, a dedicated warm-up area, preferred baggage handling, and an easy walk to the starting line from the south side of the Verrazano Narrows Bridge.
For More information contact David Monti, Professional Athletes Coordinator, New York Road Runners, email@example.com.
Additionally, applications will be accepted until midnight on May 1 to gain guaranteed entry for the 2005 ING New York City Marathon providing the time standards listed below are met. Times must be achieved between January 1, 2004, and May 1, 2005. The ages listed are as of race-day, Sunday, November 6.Open (Age 18-39):MEN - sub-2:50:00/1:21:00WOMEN - sub-3:18:00/1:34:00
MEN - sub-3:05:00/1:28:00
WOMEN - sub-3:33:00/1:42:00
MEN - sub-3:20:00/1:36:00
WOMEN - sub-3:48:00/1:49:00
MEN - sub-3:35:00/1:43:00
WOMEN - sub-4:03:00/1:56:00
For full instructions visit www.ingnycmarathon.org/entrantinfo/applyfor2005.html.
Long Distance Running Calendar
Upcoming Association Championships
May 1, 2005 - USATF Inland Northwest Assoc. 12 km Championships, Spokane, Washington
May 14, 2005 - Bank of the Ozarks Run For Their Lives 5 Km, Little Rock, Arkansas
May21, 2005 - USATF New England Association 12 km Championships, Bedford, New Hampshire
JUNE 5, 2005 - USATF New England Association 5km Championship, Lincoln, Rhode Island
Upcoming USARC Events
May 14, 2005 - USA 25 km Championships, Grand Rapids, Michigan
September 5, 2005- USA 20 km Championships, New Haven, Connecticut
September 11, 2005- USA 5 km Championships, Providence, Rhode Island
October 2, 2005- USA Marathon Championships Minneapolis, Minnesota
October 10, 2005- USA Women's 10 km Championship Boston, Massachusetts
November 5, 2005- USA Men's 10 km Championship Mobile, Alabama
Upcoming Team USA Events
May 30, 2005- Bolder Boulder International Team Challenge, Boulder, Colorado
Upcoming USA Masters Championships
June 4, 2005- USA Women's Masters 5 km Championships, Albany, New York
August 7, 2005- USA Masters 8 km Championships, Honolulu, Hawaii
September 25, 2005- USA Masters 10 km Championships, Paso Robles, California
Upcoming Mountain/Ultra/Trail Events
June 4, 2005- USA 10 km Trail Championships, Vail, Colorado
June 18-19, 2005- 2005 USA 100 Mile Trail Championships, Loudonville, Ohio
July 30, 2005- USA 50 Mile Trail Championships Crystal, Mountain, Washington
August 27, 2005- USA 50 km Trail Championships, San Francisco, California
October 15, 2005- USA 50 Mile Championships, Boalsburg, Pennsylvania
For more information on USATF Long Distance Running events and news visit www.usatf.org.