A big welcome and thank you to Ryan Goebel, who was voted in as the new Central Maine Striders Vice President at the club's annual meeting in March. Get to know Ryan, in his own words, below. You also can join club members and officers at a monthly Striders meeting, typically held at 6 p.m. on the second Wednesday of the month. Check the club calendar for upcoming meetings.
I ran cross country and track in high school, but didn’t have what it takes to make a team at The University of Arizona where I went to college. Without the team competition, my running miles quickly dropped off to nothing. I would occasionally go through short periods of running, racing in local 5K’s, and even managed to grind out my first marathon finish a few weeks after graduating from Arizona. This trend (minus the marathon running) continued throughout my 20’s and much of my 30’s. The combination of being busy at work, poor training plans leading to running injuries, and other hobbies and interests always got in the way of me ever being competitive.
Then, a few years ago, I decided to get serious about running again with the simple goal of breaking 20 minutes in a 5K. A friend suggested I read 80/20 Running: Run Stronger and Race Faster By Training Slower by Matt Fitzgerald. Following the training plans in this book, I had my 5K time under 19 minutes and set my sights on running a marathon again.
The same friend said I could qualify for Boston, but I didn’t believe him. Last March, I laced up for my first marathon in 18 years at the Tobacco Road Marathon in North Carolina. Despite my nerves and stomach trying to get the best of me, I finished with a Boston-Qualifying time of 3:11:12, a huge improvement over my 3:52:38 in my only previous marathon attempt.
When I found myself moving to Waterville with my wife (who now works at Colby College), I probably spent too much time scouring the internet looking for Maine running clubs and races. But I discovered the Central Maine Striders, and soon after moving up last summer I ran in one of the Quarry Road Trail Races and attended a potluck and group run. Since then, I’ve improved upon my marathon time at the 2017 Chicago Marathon (2:58:21) and am currently running with the Dirigo RC master’s team in the USATF New England Road Race Grand Prix series.
As Vice President of the Central Maine Striders, I’m looking forward to organizing more group runs, increasing the number of active members, fostering a friendly spirit of competition, and trying to organize more Striders teams to race together.
I’m also really looking forward to running in more Maine and New England races, including my first Boston Marathon in a couple weeks.