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April 27, 2010

Greg Umsted

Written by Dena Evans
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66smallGreg is 46 years old, and with his wife, runs a commercial and residential fencing business in Cibolo, Texas (near San Antonio). Umsted has three kids, aged 10,8, and 6.  After growing up near Tacoma, Washington and attending Fife High School, Greg moved to the Houston area before eventually settling in Cibolo. Greg hit a Boston qualifying time in January’s Chevron Houston Marathon, and then recently completed the 114th Boston Marathon in 3:26, his third effort ever over 26.2 miles.


FNF: How did you start running?

GU: I started running as a kid in middle school and high school, running cross country and track. Was a state leader for a couple years and a school record holder in the hurdles (110h, 300h). I walked on at Houston Baptist and ran for about 2 months, but that was pretty much the end of my distance running career at that time…I do like distance running, and a friend of mine asked me if I wanted to run a marathon, so I ran Austin (February 2009) in 3:53, beat my friend, and thought maybe I could get better at this!

FNF: Who is your running role model?

GU: You know, I don’t have one! It used to be Edwin Moses. Right now, I admire this Hall kid [Ryan Hall]. I think he ran about four minutes in high school [4:02 1600m]. He’s a natural.

FNF: What has been your most memorable running / racing experience?

GU: Probably when I was injured in high school. It was my senior year, and I couldn’t run the state meet because I pulled a hamstring. I had another injury, a stress fracture in my tibia, that put me out in college. I’ll tell you what, though, I won’t forget Boston! But, I want to improve on that time, maybe run 3:15 before I turn 50.

FNF: What have you enjoyed about working with Focus-N-Fly?

GU: I really liked the choices you have, and that you set a goal and you can progress your workouts. I liked that. I also liked being able to choose what level I could wanted, depending on how much attention I felt I needed. [Greg trained for the Chevron Houston Marathon with a Bronze membership, then switched to Gold for his Boston buildup]. One day, I walked in from a trip to go skiing, and the phone rang. It was Tom, just asking about how my trip went, how I was feeling. I really liked that.

I also like the core training video. When you are on your own, you don’t have something to tell you how to do it, and this showed me. After a few times, I had it memorized, and that was really helpful.

FNF: What is one part of your racing routine you can’t do without (sleep, pre race meal, tie shoes certain way, other ritual)?

GU: I don’t really have any superstitions. I don’t listen to music, and I don’t run with anybody. Not because I don’t like running with people, but because there is nobody out here to run with me! I don’t like missing workouts, and I don’t like not hitting the right times in workouts. I guess that is kind of my hang-up!

FNF: What is your favorite place to go for a run?

GU: I used to love to run in Tacoma. Marine View Drive, just anywhere around our house was great. A lot of hills. I have fond memories of living there.

FNF: In the next year, what goals do you hope to accomplish?

GU: The one that I want to do is to run a 3:15 marathon. I ran a 1:38 half and I want to see if I can whittle that down. My next goal race is the San Antonio Half Marathon in November, and I would like to run somewhere around 1:30-32.

Last modified on October 10, 2010
Dena Evans

Dena Evans

Dena Evans joined runcoach in July, 2008 and has a wide range of experience working with athletes of all stripes- from youth to veteran division competitors, novice to international caliber athletes.

From 1999-2005, she served on the Stanford Track & Field/ Cross Country staff. Dena earned NCAA Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year honors in 2003 as Stanford won the NCAA Division I Championship. She was named Pac-10 Cross Country Coach of the Year in 2003-04, and West Regional Coach of the Year in 2004.

From 2006-08, she worked with the Bay Area Women’s Sports Initiative, helping to expand the after school fitness programs for elementary school aged girls to Mountain View, East Menlo Park, and Redwood City. She has also served both the Stanford Center on Ethics and the Stanford Center on the Legal Profession as a program coordinator.

Dena graduated from Stanford in 1996.

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