Clint Verran /Hanson-Brooks
Clint Verran /Hanson-Brooks
Clint has been with the Hanson-Brooks project well before it was even called the Hanson-Brooks project. Over the past several years Clint has worked his way into being one of the most consistent and competitive US marathoners. Until this past year, Clint had the best finish ever for a US runner at the World Half Marathon Championships. Clint's latest race was at the Boston Marathon. Read on to find out his thoughts on the preparation for the race and how the race unfolded in his eyes.
RM: I just read on your website, runguru.com. that you were shooting for 2:13 pace at
Boston. How good was your training going into the race? Would you say it was the best shape of your life?
CV: My training going into Boston was unbelievable. Kevin Hanson put it best when he said I, "took some new risks in training." I put together a consistent string of 150-plus weeks. In addition to the extra volume, I became much more competitive on a day-to-day basis. My policy was to push the pace if I felt it and I was "feeling" it quite often. I can say, without a doubt, that I was fitter than ever.
RM: How much pre-race hype were you part of and was it a bit distracting to your race preparations?
CV: There was a good amount of pre-race media attention. It was very similar to the buzz created by our group's performance at the 04 Olympic Trials. I don't think it had a negative effect on me at all. I refuse to let it get that far. I try to accommodate the various media outlets...that's part of our job. I don't, however, stress out over returning reporters phone calls or waiting around for a photographer if he's running late. We let them catch up with us...that's their job.
RM: You have run in several marathons. Where does this Boston rank on your all-time race list for performance, race excitement and level of planning and why?
CV: Boston this year was my best marathon ever. The training was nearly perfect. Race day was awesome. We had nice weather. The folks at Brooks went out of their way to promote our team on race weekend. They positioned a huge group of college kids at around the 21 mile marker with signs, shirts, and body paint. They were going nuts when we ran by.
In terms of my race itself, I feel like I played it safe. I wanted to be conservative early and really bang it home. That's what I did. I PR'd for the first time in three and a half years. That was a nice monkey to get off my back. Running that time and finishing in the top 10 has opened the door for me to really let it all hang out my next time out. The next marathon I run will not be a conservative effort. I need to push my limits and get more aggressive. This fall I plan on finding a fast course and hitting half-way at 1:05 and see what happens.
RM: Where would you like to see the next Men's Olympic Marathon Trials race take place at and why?
CV: I would love to see the race take place in Boston in 2008. I like the idea of a separate race a day or two before the Boston Marathon. The BAA and John Hancock really know how to put on a race. Boston, on marathon weekend, is the place to be. The city and visiting runners would definitely come out and support the event. The other nice thing about Boston is the timing. An April race give the runners adequate time to prepare for the Beijing Games. It also allows the best runners to go and compete in the 2007 World Championships in Japan. If you have a fall 2007 Trials race, it makes the athletes decide between the World Champs and the Olympic Trials. Given that situation, your World Champs team is going to be comprised of guys WAY down on the depth charts. I was part of the team that finished 4th in Helsinki last year. I feel like it is important for the US to send a quality team to the World Championships. RM: What can we expect from your new website, runguru.com?
CV: Runguru.com is the official website for new coaching/performance division of my Physical Therapy practice. My coaching partner, Jackie Rzepecki, and I have been working with a group of serious runners who want to take their running to the next level. We offer several personal coaching options as well as new state-of-the-art metabolic testing designed to fine-tune our clients training and racing. We have had a great response to the program thus far and are working on ways to offer even more value to our team members.
Thanks for the great interview Clint! (Interview conducted by Nick Cordes)