Grand Rapids Marathon champion Justin Gillette not slowing down after 17th race in 2011
Provided by Grand Rapids Press
GRAND RAPIDS -- Justin Gillette won his 35th marathon Sunday morning in Grand Rapids, but he maintained afterward that it stinks to be him.
"You don’t want to be me. You don’t want to be me," muttered Gillette, leaning over a chainlink fence and gasping for air moments after crossing the finish line on Winter Street.
So why is Gillette putting himself through 22 marathons this year?
"I don’t know. I don’t know," he said.
Gillette, 28 and a native of Goshen, Ind., took top honors in the eighth annual Metro Health Grand Rapids Marathon in 2 hours, 27 minutes, 44.78 seconds. It was the first time he had entered the race, which began and ended at the Downtown YMCA, and he said he wants to come back and break the course record of 2:26.46, set by Ryan Greutman in 2008.
Sunday was Gillette’s sixth marathon in seven weeks, and he said he was simply too tired to try for any record. Before finishing fourth in Scranton, Pa., last weekend, Gillette had won eight consecutive marathons and has won 11 of the 17 marathons he has entered this year.
Asked what hurts, Gillette said everything.
"I can’t tell you what hurts because if I tell you what hurts and it gets into the newspaper, two weeks from now when I run at Atlanta, my competitor might see what is hurting me," said Gillette, who started running marathons when he was 16. "I have aches and pains, but my mind is powerful. My desire to succeed is greater than the pain I put my body through. So I don’t tell people what hurts.
"I’ll tell you it hurts, but I don’t tell you what hurts."
Gillette was in command throughout Sunday’s race. He won by nearly four minutes, beating out runner-up Matt Logan of Washington, D.C. (2:33:31.58) and third-place Keith Shoemaker of Holland (2:39:14.54).