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Gary Grobman – Back on track

by Don

The following is a brief profile of one of the interviewees. The complete interview and insights will be published in the upcoming book
Gary Out on the Roads
Gary Out on the Roads

Gary Grobman is a 56 year old runner from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania who played sand lot baseball in his youth, ran track in high school, and was back-up place kicker on his college football team. Gary, who is a college professor and author, re-discovered track and field when he was asked to give seminars to staff members of the USATF, which is the national governing body for track and field. He had to register for the conference in order to hold the seminars, and once a member, started getting the mailings and newsletters. From these, Gary found out about the Mid-Atlantic Track Championship meet, being held near where he lived. He got inspired to run the 5K, entered, and took second place. At that same meet he also had his first and last encounter with the 3000 meter steeplechase, where he thought he might drown. Gary has sworn off the steeplechase, unless lifeguards are on duty and he’s allowed to wear a floatation device..

In the late 1970’s and 1980’s, Gary had a successful road racing career, and despite having a scary episode with his heart at the 2005 Boston Marathon, he rediscovered his love for track and field. Gary is currently training for the National Senior Games in Palo Alto, California, where he hopes to win at least one gold medal.


Motivated by a comment that Rich Davis made to me in an interview, I called my high school cross-country coach and thanked him for shaping my life in such a significant way. I told him what I have accomplished and what I am up to now. I told him that I credit him with introducing me to being an athlete, and the impact that it had on my life. I also told him that he taught me how to dream, set goals, try hard, and celebrate. He was very appreciative of my call and the timing could not have been better. He had retired and was in the process of relocating in the next month. If I had waited a month, I probably would have had a very hard time finding him. So I urge you all to do the same and call someone who changed your life for the better and tell them. Do it now bacause you never know whether today could be your last chance.

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