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Wilmington News Journal Article 6/11/08

Tex was featured in this article in the June 11, 2008 Wilmington News Journal.

Tex is originally from Michigan and 2008 Delaware Marathon was his first 26.2 mile race. He finished 6th overall, 1st in his age group, 1st Delaware resident, and 1st first time marathoner.

reprinted below with permission

NewsJournal article featuring Tex
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New Delawarean off to fast start

Local running clubs help Gee prepare for strong marathon debut

The News Journal

When Austin Gee moved to Delaware in January to begin a teaching internship at the Ashland Nature Center near Hockessin, the former college cross country team captain felt the urge to resume running.

He needed a target -- something to train for -- and quickly learned about the Delaware Marathon on May 18. It would be his first crack at the 26.2-mile distance.

Not knowing anyone outside of Ashland, where he also lives, Gee also coveted running partners. A Google search led him to the Pike Creek Valley Running Club and its Delcastle Recreation Area midweek group runs and the Delaware Running Club's weekend, not-for-the-faint-of-heart excursions over the hilly terrain in the Greenville area.

It didn't take long for Gee, 23, to feel at home. He made friends, many of them from the Pike Creek-offshoot Rebel Runners contingent. He made progress, which included finishing his first half-marathon, March's Caesar Rodney, in 1 hour, 27 minutes and then clocking a 1:20:06 in the April 12 Ocean City (Md.) Half-Marathon, which he lost by two seconds.

And, in that Delaware Marathon at the Wilmington Riverfront, he made haste. Gee placed sixth overall, and first among First State runners, in 2:50:36. Now, the Ann Arbor, Mich., native and Albion (Mich.) College graduate is trying to decide which fall marathon to enter as he prepares for next April's Boston Marathon, for which he is now qualified.

Were you a runner in high school and college?
"I didn't run until college. I played soccer in high school. I tried out for soccer at Albion and didn't make it. But the soccer coach talked to the cross country coach and I got an e-mail from the cross country coach saying, 'Do you want to run?' My first run was a 5-miler, and it was rough. But we'd had to run two miles in under 12 minutes for soccer and I had run that really well, and during tryouts I was all over the field. I was a midfielder, so I thought [cross country] would be a good fit."

What got you going here in Delaware?
"I hadn't run last fall when I was student-teaching. I was sitting in the house when I got here thinking, I have to get back into running. I missed being in that kind of shape. I picked the Delaware Marathon. Once I decided to run a marathon, I needed people to run with and motivate me and who would wait for me when I was rolling out of bed."

How did finding the Pike Creek and Delaware Running Club groups help you?
"That was a joy. That's something I really liked about cross country in college -- your friends were your running buddies. That turned out to be the case here, too. All my friends here were the runners. Everybody was very welcome and open. I think they were glad to see some new blood. I'd be with the Pike Creek group one night, the Rebel Runners another night and the Delaware Running Club, I ran with them a lot. They're quick. It was really good to have that caliber of runner to train with. The Rebels, that was fun and relaxing. But I also had times when I was really pushing. I ran a lot of USA Track and Field road and trail races for the Pike Creek Valley Running Club. I did a lot of races but I also practiced running fast for a long period of time."

Did you feel prepared for the Delaware Marathon?
"I definitely felt prepared and I was amazed at how relaxed I felt. I was very confident in my ability to run. There are things you can't control, like the weather, so I didn't care about that. The day of the race, I was very relaxed. My family was in from Michigan, so that was great."

Did your marathon success surprise you?
"There was no expectation. I knew I was going to finish. It was amazing -- obviously, an unbelievable feeling of accomplishment. I was actually sad it was over after four or five months of training. It just felt amazing and I didn't expect to be placing that high. But I ran a time I thought I was capable of. To predict your marathon time, they say double your best half-marathon time, which for me is 1:20, and add 10 minutes, and that comes out to 2:50, which is what I ran. I don't know my own potential. I just ran a marathon and it was fun. Once you have that first one under your belt, you have those legs, you have that base, so you should get better. And I'm just 23, so I have a long way to go until I hit my peak if I stay healthy."

NewsJournal article featuring Tex
Austin Gee, who was the top Delaware finisher in the Delaware Marathon on May 18, goes for a training run at Delcastle Recreation Area on June 3.

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