Name: Cris Gutierrez
Age (at the time of first BQ): 25
Height (at the time of first BQ): 5’11
Weight (at the time of first BQ): 130
At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Erie Marathon
Tell us a little about the race. I had run competitively in college up until my last season of graduate school in 2016. I had moved to a new city and struggled to get back to running consistently aside from local pub runs. I swore I would never run a marathon; years of people asking me when I would run one had me turned off at the idea of it. Eventually some people at run club had convinced me to do it and with the help of a night of drinking and a cheap entry fee I signed up for Erie. I had no intention of running Boston. I figured I would get a qualifier but I would just run Erie to say I could qualify and that’s it.
Going into Erie I had peaked out at 80 miles a week with a 20 mile long run with the last 10 at 6:00’s. Then I got hurt a couple weeks into it and hoped that I could just muscle through it. Went out conservatively for 10 at 6:20 pace and cranked the pace down. Ended up with about a 4 minute negative split and ran 2:41:05, good for 8th. Could barely walk afterward and figured this would be the last time I did it. A couple days later signups for Boston opened up and I made the decision to sign up.
The training journey to Boston changed my perspective toward the distance and made me a better runner. I trained much harder going into this buildup and while I did get hurt coming into Boston I still managed a big PR, 2:34:46 good for top Ohio finisher in 2019. Boston broke me at 22 but I finished the race realizing that I had some potential at the distance and decided to pursue marathoning. I ran my 3rd marathon in October to PR again with a 2:30:25. I’m heading back to Boston this spring for some redemption. I’m working on staying healthy and trying to break deep under 2:30. Regardless if this ends up being my last Boston for the foreseeable future (I want to run the other majors) I credit Boston for reigniting my love of running and inspiring me to chase after a crazy goal to make a certain race in 2024.
How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? 12 Years
Did you run in college or high school? Yes
What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? 20,000
How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? 876
Approximately how many races did you run in that year? 1
Did you follow a canned program? If so, which one? If not, can you give us an idea of what your training philosophy was? no
Did you run with a running club or utilize a coach? Training philosophy was just to get to peak at 80 miles a week and complete a 20 miler with the last 10 at Goal Marathon Pace
Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how? No
Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? I cross trained when I got hurt. That’s basically it. Stationary bike.
Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? No.