Gary Morgans

garymorgansGary, thanks for sitting down with us. Do you mind if we record this?

Not at all.

When did you begin running, and why?

In junior high (this was before they invented middle school). I enjoyed playing sports, but the only sport I was any good at was running. So, like Forrest, I ran.

Did you run track in high school or college?

Yes, all 15 years. I ran the 100 and 220, and, when forced, the 440. It was a storied time, because you could set a school record that would never be broken once they switched to meters.

What happened after that?

I ran track in high school and college because I enjoyed racing against the other teams. Once that stopped, I quit. I picked it up again 25 years later to lose weight, and switched to distance running. It was then I learned the secret of the runner’s high.

How did you find out about DCRRC?

I think my neighbor Dick Rhoads told me about it about fifteen years ago. Dick is currently leading in the men’s 80+ Bunion Derby standings. While that age division is a long way away for some of us, I think all DCRRC members would hope to still be running – indeed, racing – into their 80s.

What are you training for right now?

Boston, October 2021.

What is the toughest run or race in which you have participated?

Boston, April 2012. I learned that day that it’s not smart to race a marathon when it’s in the 90s.

What is your favorite route in the area?

I have two favorite routes:

1. From Iwo Jima, across the Key Bridge, down to the Mall, and out to and around RFK. RFK is looking a little rough these days; I saw Templeton there the last time I visited.  He looked healthy.

2. From Iwo Jima, across the Key Bridge, and up the C&O Canal Towpath, as far as I feel like going that day.  I’ve seen deer, herons, duck families, turtles, fish, snakes and lizards, and, most importantly, very few bikes. I think there are eagles, too, but I didn’t see them because I’m always looking down so I don’t trip.

What race day traditions do you have?

Your readers would prefer I not share. Next question.

What is your favorite post-race meal?

Beer, preferably free from the post-race beer truck.

What is your proudest running moment?

Being nominated by an adoring fan as runner of the month is number one. My second proudest is winning the 440 running against Union College. The guy I was running against was regionally ranked, and it was Parents’ Weekend, so there were people in the stands. And I just looked him up; he’s now the track coach at Carleton, and his bio says he was a college All-American in the decathlon when I ran against him. Meanwhile, I was a good sprinter, but a so-so quarter miler. The Union College track was odd-shaped, and I figured that if I took the lead at the first turn, which as a sprinter I thought I could do, the turns were too tight for him to pass on the outside, so I could slow down in the curves and save some gas and then sprint the straights. It worked. Coming off the last curve it was a death march for both of us, with an actual crowd cheering (for him), but I held him off.  That one day, it’s just the way we were.

Do you have any runner’s tricks to share?

Yes. All runners love to talk about their running, so it’s a great ice-breaker. If I am going to meet a new client, co-worker, or UPS driver, I look them up on Athlinks. If they are a runner, I share that mutual interest to break the ice. It has a 95% chance of success – almost as good as bend and snap.

Do you have a life outside of running?

Hmm, you sound skeptical. My main focus has been my kids, work and running. The kids have all flown the coop, and I recently retired. So no.

Finally, we always ask this question: What is the best running joke your children played on you?

See the attached letter, which I received in an official-looking Boston Marathon envelope about two weeks before the race – right around April Fools Day. For about a half hour, I was convinced I was now a spectator, all because I had stopped for a sip of Hamm’s beer at mile 25 and lost twenty seconds. This is what happens when your birthday is April 1….


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The DC Road Runners Club is a member of the Road Runners Club of America and is also affiliated with USA Track & Field. We provide a year-round schedule of running events that offer everyone a chance to participate regardless of age, gender, or athletic ability.