The BQ(Q) – Dale

Thanks dale for sharing your story!


Dale @dalepfrimmer



Age (at the time of first BQ):




Weight (at the time of first BQ):


At which marathon did you get your first BQ?

3:24:56 at Des Moines 2016

Tell us a little about the race.

It was hot and humid that AM, 60 degrees at the start. We first walked out of the hotel that AM, and I thought ‘oh my, this is going to be interesting’. It was my first time running Des Moines and I loved running on the blue track in the Drake Stadium. Seeing yourself on the big screen and there was a live band playing. I was smiling and humming Greg Kihn’s “They Don’t Write Like That Anymore” for a couple of miles after Drake! There was a killer hill at mile 24 that was brutal.

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ?

3 years

Did you run in college or high school?

I didn’t run in college or high school, but ran in the Army. Didn’t really run much after getting out of the Army though.

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ?


How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ?


Approximately how many races did you run in that year?

This was 3rd marathon of 2016, ran Los Angeles in February, day after the Olympic marathon trials, but it was very warm in LA that week. Ran Fargo in May and although I PRd, fell short of the BQ goal, fading over those last five miles.

Did you follow a canned program? If so, which one? If not, can you give us an idea of what your training philosophy was?

Yes, used the standard Hal Higdon Advanced 18 week plan (three 20 milers in the plan). Didn’t adjust the plan and tried to stick to it fairly closely.

Did you run with a running club or utilize a coach?

Yes, running with others was a huge help. Ran with a 5K group out of the local shoe store every Tuesday night and did group runs for the long runs on Saturday morning with the Rochester (MN) Track Club. Nice to have water stations set up and not have to carry extra on long runs. The social aspect of meeting on Saturday AMs, kept me motivated and helped pass the time.   

Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how?

Not much cross training, probably not even as much as I would have liked. I biked a little and did some yoga, but not as much of either as I would have liked.

Did speed work play a role or specific workouts play a role in your training? If so, how?

Not too much speed work in the plan, it rotated track workouts (800’s), tempo runs and hills. I think the one workout that felt like it was the ‘special sauce’ of the plan was during a planned 20 mile run, my running best friend and I pre-loaded 7 miles at a slow pace and then ran a local half marathon at race pace. I came away from that run brimming with confidence and ready to race.   

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ?

Things don’t have to go perfect to have a good race. It was hot and humid, I couldn’t get my music to work, I bumped my watch– so it was a half mile off, and my sun glasses kept fogging up with the humidity. It would have been easy to go down the negativity rabbit hole, but I stayed calm, stayed positive, and pushed it.

I’ve been thinking about something I heard on a recent Runners World podcast, is it better to under promise and over deliver or make a, as Jim Collins would call it, big hairy audacious goal (BHAG)? I had announced to enough friends and colleagues that I was going to BQ that after failing to reach that goal in the Twin Cities, LA, and Fargo, that it was going to happen in Des Moines.  

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