Welcome to a blog series called “Why do you run?“. I hope to publish inspiring insights from runners I know, on why they started running and continue to do so.
Gannon has been running with Morrisville Run Club (MRC) for a while now. I believe he joined our crew when we were training for the Tobacco Road Marathon in 2018/2019. He likes to run a lot of miles along with his dog, Gunner.
Why did you start running?
I started running when I was fifteen on my High School Cross Country team. I’ve always played a lot of sports, Baseball, Wrestling, Tennis, Golf, and Rugby. The goal was always to win. I liked the social aspects of Cross Country, so I continued throughout High School where I pretty much left running behind me.
That was until the summer of 2016 when a friend and I talked about running a marathon over several beers. We made that a reality and completed our first marathon together in March of 2017.
We did not train well, and having never raced a distance further than 5K, the race was painful enough for us to retire. I got into weight lifting for a while, but that soon faded as I was working 10 hours a night on a 3rd shift.
At the end of 2019 I decided to take up running again. It’s the only form of adult competition that I have the time to do at the present moment. I just love to compete. Running is the purest form of sport. The ultimate test of mental and physical strength.
What keeps you motivated?
I am able to stay motivated by visualizing my goals and knowing that I can achieve them. Now I am deep in a financial commitment to run the Chicago Marathon, which is a lot when it falls in a wedding year.
I also have the best run partner in the world, in my dog, Gunner. He is always willing to go for a run no matter the weather or time of day. He never sends me a text and says, “not gonna make it today…” When he isn’t running he is bouncing off the walls, so it’s best for both of us.
What is the most important thing you’ve learnt as a runner?
I have to give credit to my running podcast, Marathon Talk. They’ve been doing the show for every week since 2010, I believe. I started listening from the beginning in 2019, and now I am about halfway through all of the episodes and up to date on the latest episodes. They are informative and entertaining. I like to listen to them at work or on a run, but the things they talk about sometimes need to be experienced in person.
I ran a half marathon in Virginia in June 30th of 2019 and it was a huge learning experience. I filled my bottle with a Gatorade water mix, instead of water at the beginning, which was undesirable. I also set off way too fast with a 7:05 first mile. It was in the upper 80s as far as temperature goes. I learned to really respect the heat and run on feel for the first half of a race.
If you couldn’t run, what would you do instead?
If I wasn’t running I would want to strap on some skates and join a local hockey league. I’ve never played, nor have I even ever skated, but I really really would like to play some day.
What’s your biggest running goal?
I really want to run all of the world majors currently that I am in marathon shape. The biggest challenge is getting that ever desirable Boston Qualifier.
Other goals include, to complete an IRONMAN and complete the Comrades Ultra in South Africa.
Follow Gannon on Instagram at @gtc138