Best known for finishing 7th at the 2008 Olympic Marathon trials in a PR of 2:14:56. I am currently an 8th grade math teacher at the Tenney Middle School in Methuen Ma.  I live and train in North Andover, MA. I am married and live with my wonderful wife, Melissa, and our beloved brittany spaniel, Uta.

  I started running regularly in Elementary School because I wanted to win my school's annual gym class mile.  Which I did maybe once but mostly I lost even though I was the only one training for it.

  I attended Narragansett Regional Jr./Sr. High school in Templeton, MA. I ran cross country in 7th grade then played basketball and didn't do track in the spring mostly because it wasn't as fun as Cross Country had been. I got my head right the next fall and ran all three seasons, xc, indoor and outdoor, from that point on.  I earned my first varsity letter in outdoor track in 8th grade.  I actually did this by doubling mile, 300m hurdles in most meets.  We had a good distance program but had no long hurdlers so this gave me a chance to earn extra points.  You needed to average 3 points per meet or win a race to get your letter. I was only earning 1 point in most races in the mile by getting third behind two teammates who were better than me.   They both doubled back for the 800 and then there were three guys better than me in the two mile and they doubled back for the 800 as well.   At the end of my first full year of running I had managed to run around 18mins for a xc 5k, 5:18 for a mile and 11:20 for two miles.

  That summer myself and most of my teammates committed ourselves to training together all summer.  It was nothing impressive, 4 nights a week we ran together and then on Friday night we played a couple hours of very competitive Ultimate Frisbee.  The results were huge for me and the team.  I ended up running well under 17 for an xc 5k and finishing in the top 50 at the D2 Massachusetts all state championship in Cross Country which our team won. On the track I would run 4:57 and 10:20.

  Over the next few years I would enjoy running with some of the best friends I have ever had.  We would win another state championship and finish runner up another time.  In my senior year most of my teammates had graduated and I enjoyed my year a lot less. I ended up with a best finish at the Mass D2 Cross Country all state meet of 10th.  I had bests of 15:58 for an xc 5k, 4:32 for the mile and 9:47 for 2 miles.

  In the fall of 1999 I walked on to then division 2 UMass Lowell.  I had during my senior year in HS started running much higher mileage and it was starting to pay off.  During cross country I was mostly the top runner on our struggling team and I managed a 25:59 cross country 8k.  I opened the indoor season with an 8:59 3k.

  Then I started a stretch of injuries that would define my college experience.  They were due mostly to my realization that I could run much better with very high mileage combined with my feeling that if more was good a lot more must be great as well as my natural stubbornness.  Over the next three years I would learn a lot of hard lessons and only compete in two out of 9 full seasons.  I would get to compete in my first NCAA d2 national championship, which meant my first ride on a plane. I would during short breaks in injury I would manage to run 8:49 for 3k and 15:22 for 5k.  Finally I was able to stay healthy during my senior year and my first year of grad school.  Actually managing to get back to consistently aggressive training during the later.  I would manage to win the NCAA d2 Northeast Regional Meet in cross country and to run 8:20, 14:31 and 30:55.

  As I finished up my grad degree I began coaching myself with the idea of seeing how good I could be now that I was healthy again and the thought of targeting an Olympic Trials Marathon qualifier of 2:22.  I would be during this time and in some degree or another still am advised by my second college coach Gary Gardner.

  I struggled initially but eventually stumbled on the training information made available online by Renato Canova and this lead to a huge breakthrough in the winter of 2005/2006 during which I would drop my half marathon PB from 1:07:38 to 1:03:44, my 8k best from 24:06 to 23:26 and run a debut marathon of 2:15:28.

  At this point I began running for Saucony.  I would also receive a Road Scholar award from the RRCA.  In 2007 I finished 7th at the Olympic Marathon Trials in 2:14:56.  It was the best race I had run to date but already I was in trouble.  Earlier that year I had started to lose control of my right leg during long hard efforts.  The problem had forced me to stop for a moment at the trials and had slowed me a good bit in the final 10k of that race but it would quickly get worse and soon after I would find myself unable to run effectively for distances over 10k.

  I would in the following years have some success.  I qualified for two USATF Indoor National championships in the 3k which I am particularly proud of given my 400m lifetime best of 58.8.  I was selected to and competed in the 2009 IAAF World outdoor championships in the marathon.

  Overall however it was a story of a losing battle with the coordination in my leg.  Eventually things go to the point where I could not run longer than 9 miles at any effort without losing control of the leg and I couldn't run fast for more than a couple miles.  A low back surgery in January of 2011 stopped the bleeding and got me back to doing 10k races and up to 15 mile training runs without trouble and having some good days where I got though half marathons without issue.

  In 2012 I lost my shoe contact and began teaching full time middle school math in Haverhill, Ma. I have continued to train hard, generally over 100 miles a week and have made some progress in reversing my coordination loss but have not as of yet been able to return to competitive marathoning.

No comments: