Parkite turns in strong half-marathon performance
Brad Osguthorpe, a 29-year-old Parkite, stepped up to the starting line at the 2013 USA Half Marathon Championships in Duluth, Minn., on June 22 surrounded by Olympians and other elite-level distance runners.
Osguthorpe, who graduated from Park City High School in 2002, said it was a humbling experience to compete with such great runners.
"Just to be at the starting line and you look over your shoulder and there’s an Olympian over here and an Olympian over there you have to keep your composure and discipline," he said. "It’s like, ‘Wow, I get to race against these guys?’ It’s like, if you’re a basketball fan, getting to play one-on-one with Michael Jordan."
But Osguthorpe still had a race to run, and he didn’t want to get too distracted.
"At first it was very nerve-wracking because you want to make sure you run your race," he said. "But at the same time you’re like, ‘Man, I want to try and compete with these guys.’"
He did just that, holding his own en route to a 64th-place finish in a pool of 193 runners. He crossed the finish line of the 13.1-mile race in 1 hour, 6 minutes and 45 seconds.
Following his strategy of not expending too much energy early in the race, Osguthorpe was sitting in 92nd place at the five-kilometer mark. He’d move up to 84th after 10 kilometers, 77th after 10 miles and 70th after 11.9 miles before finishing with a burst of speed and taking 64th place.
"You look at it and it’s like, ‘Oh wow, 64th place? That’s it?’" he said. "But at the same time, you look at the time and it’s like, ‘That’s a really good time.’"
Last year, Osguthorpe’s 1:06:45 would have put him in the top 40.
"It’s so humbling because there are so many talented runners out there and it’s amazing how deep USA distance running has gotten in the last five to 10 years," he said. "It’s getting deeper and deeper every year even."
U.S. Olympian Mohamed Trafeh won the race with a time of 1:01:16.3, followed closely by teammate Meb Keflezighi, who clocked in at 1:01:22.
Osguthorpe said he was glad he got a chance to run against Keflezighi, who he sees as a motivational figure.
"It was about two years ago when I met him at a book signing at a Las Vegas race I was doing," he said. "He was there signing autographs. I got an opportunity to meet him and got a chance to read his book such an inspirational guy. Everything he’s gone through and where he’s come from and his background and his work ethic he’s a really good person to look up to. Never did I think I’d have an opportunity to race against him someday."
It seems even more unlikely that Osguthorpe was at the Half Marathon Championships since he didn’t start long-distance running until after he graduated college.
Though he ran track at PCHS (in addition to playing football and basketball) and earned a scholarship to Weber State, where he ran mostly the 800 and 1,500-meter events, he had never attempted a half marathon until shortly after graduating.
"I started to really love and become obsessed with running after college," he said. "Eventually, probably three or four years after college, I started running a couple halfs. I had been running 5Ks and 10Ks and then it was like, ‘Let’s try a half sometime.’"
He said he wouldn’t have been able to get this far and wouldn’t have gotten a track scholarship to Weber State if it wasn’t for current PCHS track coach Jeff Wyant.
"He was very inspirational and very helpful in getting me where I am today because of his drive and commitment and his influence," Osguthorpe said. "I played football and basketball too, so track was on the back burners because I really loved those other sports. But he really pushed me and got me interested in track during my junior and senior years."
He also credits his wife, Jenny Osguthorpe, for helping him succeed.
"I’m very fortunate to have a very supportive cast behind me," he said. "My wife is very, very supportive. She’s always there when some of my workouts take longer than expected and I miss a couple hours of work or something she’s there to cover. And my boss is always willing to work with me during my training."
As for the future, Osguthorpe has a couple goals running a full marathon and improving his half marathon times.
"My half I’d like to get down to 1:05:00 or under," he said. "It might take a little while, but I think it’s a good place to start. There are so many guys right around that 1:07:00, 1:06:00 mark. Once you dip under 1:05:00, it gets pretty elite. That’s a huge goal."
And, once he’s ready, he’ll attempt a 26.2 miler.
"Eventually I’d like to try a marathon," he said. "I think I’d like to wait a year or two until I’m really ready for that distance though."
For now, he’ll keep sticking to his plan and his training. He’ll run the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in Las Vegas this fall.
"I’ve always had the motto, ‘Plan your race, race your plan,’" he said. "That just works with everything plan it out, have a game plan and then get after it. So much of running is patience, patience, patience. You have to be disciplined. It’s a delayed gratification. If you put in the hard work months before your race, it’s going to pay off in the end."
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