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Runner’s Spotlight-Gary Porter

9/20/13 under Team Running Strong MCM



1. Why did you start running?

I ran track in high school and then returned to running during graduate school in Colorado. Running was a good way to relieve the stress from working on my dissertation!

2. Best running memory?

My best running memory was qualifying for the Boston Marathon. It was at the Des Moines Marathon in 2009, with two seconds to spare!

3. What shoes do you run in?

I have run in a variety of shoes over the years, most recently Asics GT-2170. I am just breaking in a pair of the Saucony Guide, which will take me to the streets of DC in October.

4. Favorite & least favorite distances to run?

My favorite distance is my longest, the marathon. I seem to have been born with those slow-twitch muscle fibers! My least favorite is probably the 5K because I end up running a much faster pace than I normally do.

5. Do you have a running partner?

Yes, my wife Melissa and Polly, our four-legged runner. Polly helps with the interval training. She runs all out, stops to sniff, then runs hard again—not a bad way to train!

6. What is your favorite running accessory?

My Garmin GPS. It keeps me honest by tracking my elapsed time, miles run and average pace.

7. What is your favorite time of the day to run?

We normally run with Polly in the morning. It is a good way to start the day and helps to beat the summer heat.

8. What is the hottest or coldest weather you have ever ran in?

Ironically, the hottest/most humid weather was where we’ll will be running the Marine Corps Marathon (MCM)! But this was DC in August, not in the cooler weather of late October. Because we live in the Upper Midwest we have also run in twenty below weather.

9. Other exercises you love?

We do Pilates twice a week and enjoy occasional bike rides as well.

10. Do you bring an iPod with you, and if so, what's on it? What’s your power song?

I don’t listen to music while running. I prefer the solitude and use the time to daydream. Some of my best ideas for writing come to me during long runs! During races Melissa likes the diversion of her iPod, and Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” tops her playlist.

11. What are your current or future goals?

My long-term goal is to keep running for continued health and fitness. For now I am focused on training and fund raising for my tenth marathon, this year’s MCM.

12. Advice for new runners?

Don’t try to do too much too soon, listen to your body and more than anything else, Run Strong for the pure enjoyment of the sport.

13. Tell me about the most interesting thing you've ever seen while on a run.

While living in Montana, we had a mother coyote stalk us and our dog. We soon discovered that she was only protecting her den of pups and from then on we found a different running route!

14. What drew you to Team Running Strong?

We met Billy Mills last year at a race in Santa Fe and were inspired by his message. He has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of American Indian youth and we wanted to be part of Billy’s team.

15. What's your motivation?

The MCM has been known for years as the “People’s Marathon.” I am motivated by the chance to run this unique race in our nation’s capital and in the process Run Strong to raise money for this very worthy cause.

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