Joe Gray And His Route to the USA Running Circuit 2014

Posted by: Garden of Life on Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Podium @ USA 10mi Championships

So I recently found out that I'm currently ranked 10th in the USA on the Running Circuit. As you know many of the races are not my forte, however I wanted to try something new. Nothing better than competing with the most talented, objectively speaking, athletes in the Nation. You receive points each time you place in the top 10 at a National Championship in the circuit. I have now done that twice with a 4th Place at the Cross Country National Championships and this past weekend in Washington DC at the USA 10 Mile National Championships with a new personal best of 48:04 and a 7th Place finish. With that said, some may say "well you didn't win". I'd rather race where I receive a challenge and press myself to grow than go run some rinky dink race where there is nobody there to challenge me. For some maybe winning small races is important. For me, I like to race and If that means I don't win all the time so be it. I know I can go to sleep knowing I put an honest effort out there and ran with the best doing so. That's my rant for the day..(:

I was surprised with my fitness level to be able to run 10 miles considering I feel a little behind on my training due to some mishaps earlier last month but I strapped on my MIO ALPHA and laced up my SCOTT Sports Race Rockers and toed the line with some of the best guys in the Nation despite my negative thoughts. We came through the first miles fairly conservative, then the pace started to pick up drastically and I found myself around 10-13th place for the USA Championship.

The wind was starting to kick up as well (as we all knew it would). I found myself running in no mans land before making a solid move to break into the top 10 passing a few guys heading into the 8k mark. Made me a little nervous, but hey, I had nothing to lose! The last miles were slightly uphill and into the wind so I think that may have saved me a bit and I was able to hold on to my position outkicking a few of the International athletes in the process on the last climb! For a flat race, that was a decent sized hill and one that I could appreciate as a trail guy. As I approached the finish line, a sigh of relief and a surge of excitement as I catch a glimpse of a few familiar faces cheering me on. A good amount of my family made their way to the watch me race all the way in Washington DC! It was a hectic trip for them to make I'm certain as the race started at 7:30 AM so many of my family members woke up around 4AM, earlier than most of the runners. Very appreciative for their support!

Here is a post race interview with USATF.TV and Runners Space following my 48:04 10 mile!

In other news, I recently worked with Robbie Lawless aka RunTramp from the Irunfar Trail Running website. You can read that interview in depth below. I talk in depth about trail running, where off road running is heading and where its at today regarding elite level athletes, food, traveling across the world eating random foods and spending time in the Norwegian mountains, anti-doping and the steps we need to take to preserve the sport and slew of other things that will give you some insight as to who I am and my history with the beautiful art of running.

Since its been a while I will share a few things about the past week. Before the race I was able to visit my lovely Grandmother and Aunt in Baltimore. Even spent some time with my newly born Cousin and Uncle whom people think we look alike, what do you say?>>


Then to my surprise a big group of my family showed up not only for my race but also for dinner at another one of my Uncles' house! Moments like these are priceless. Had such a great trip and look forward to heading back East again!




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