Chris Gray is a 6-star World Marathon major finisher, his journey goes back to 2012.
For many reasons in which he mentions below. Fast forward to 11 years later and Chris has caught himself capturing the ultimate prize of becoming a 6-star finisher. Berlin, Tokyo, NYCM, Boston, Chicago, and London. Chris gives us a peak as to how he got into marathoning, how running a 5k exploded into running marathons and getting that 6 star.
MSM: Lets chat about your why and how. What was it that got you into running? Were you always into sports before running?
Chris: I have been an athlete all my life playing all sports growing up, baseball, soccer, basketball, and football. I played high school basketball and football but decided not to play in college even after being recruited for basketball. I ended up playing intramural/recreation basketball and flag football in college. I continued to play after college in multiple leagues until the age of 40. I decided to "retire" from playing then because I had limited time due to my 2 daughters in AAU basketball and Travel soccer. Also, to prevent getting hurt at an old age. One of my last games I got poked in my eye bad and said that's it. So, to stay in shape, I decided to start running to stay in shape. I also did it for stress relief as I was going through a separation and ultimate divorce. The more I ran the better I felt. So 5K's turned into 10K's which turned into a 10 Milers then a Half Marathon. From there I set my sights on running my first full marathon which was Richmond in 2012 right after I turned 40.
MSM: There are marathons and then there are majors which have a different vibe all together. Take us through the feelings of running that first world major and crossing the finish on the last one. Also, when did you know that you wanted to capture all 6 marathon majors?
Chris: My first World Major Marathon was NYC 2015. It was an overwhelming experience! The anticipation of running 26.2 was mind boggling, exciting, and scary. The logistics of getting to Staten Island gave me a lot of time to think of the task at hand and get mentally prepared. I ran for Team For Kids Charity so we had our own bus and staging area at the start which made it easy to feel more comfortable. We even had a coach that gave us advice on the bus and in the corral tent. That helped give me the confidence to do the dang thing. Crossing the finish line was such an amazing feeling, I felt like I could do anything after that, including the Six Stars which I had just found out about at the NYC Expo.
MSM: We’ve spoken about the races and running the majors but what has this experience felt like to you, the journey, struggles and training. Give our readers some insight into what those feelings were like going from marathon to marathon, I'm sure each one has a different story and perspective.
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