Runner of the Month

Phil Gaffey:  August 2019

I’d like to thank the Gate City Striders for asking my to be profiled for the Runner of the Month. I have reviewed the questions sent to me, after many drafts and lengthy rewrites here it goes.

(Editor's note: Thank you for letting us celebrate and spotlight you Phil!)

Phil Gaffey showing off his Baystate Marathon bib!

Phil Gaffey showing off his Baystate Marathon bib!

Why did I start running ?
Shortly before some friends of mine and I turned forty, we decided it would be fun if we did a 5k.  The only criteria it needed to meet was being flat, had food at the end, and beer. I was the only one crazy enough to continue running. What I can’t say that? OK what I meant to say I was the only one with with the drive and passion to continue running. That and I was able to get a prosthetic specifically made for running, which has made it a lot easier to do longer distances and push myself to do longer runs. My proudest achievement was completing the Baystate Marathon in 2015.

Why do I run?
I run to escape the stress of day to day life. I like being away from the computer and phone for a couple of hours and just decompress. I am also a fan of the weekend group runs. I have met many great people and it’s a lot more fun to do an activity with people that you know and support your goals than to sit at a desk working.

What is my mileage , next race , preferred weather, pre race foods , post race foods?
This spring and summer has been really frustrating due to some nagging injuries. I am slowly starting to get my mileage to 15ish miles a week and will hopefully be able to do the ½ way to St. Patrick's Day in September.  Summer is also the worst time (IMO) to train and increase mileage. I am not a fan of the heat, humidity, and sun . Give the spring and fall and any month of the winter not called February and
I am all in.

Phil and his daugher

Phil and his daughter

I can say I have made some terrible mistakes with my pre race meals, especially the evening before. I will not go into too much detail but a couple of bowls of jambalaya and apple crisp the night before a long run is not recommended. I have learned a pre race meal of a peanut butter (crunchy or smooth ) and banana sandwich with small cup of coffee is the best way to go.

My post race food is whatever I want.  5k, have that pizza with onion rings, you earned it.

I will take this moment to say the following: if you run a 5 and there is food at the end, please remember this is not a cruise ship buffet. Chances are there are walkers and families that would really like a water and a bag of chips at the end.

And onto the lighting round...
Favorite flavor of GU: that would be a Snickers bar.

How many pairs of shoes do I own: None. I only use the right one. I have a pile of brand new size 9 wide if anyone needs them. I am also open to sponsorship. Anyone have a contact with Saucony?

The liger - bred for it's skills in magic!

The liger - bred for it's skills in magic!

Have I been soul crushed by a unicorn: I have never seen this mythical animal but do fear the liger.

Have I ever been Furler’d:  No , I am the funny Gaffey, not the fast one.

Favorite race: Groton Road Race

Other hobbies: Yoga, the gym, reading and driving my daughter to every hockey rink in a 50 mile radius of my house starting after Labor Day and ending in April.

What motivates me when I don’t want to run: My waist size and my passion for all foods.

Funniest running story: I won my age group in a 10k last year. I also finished last in that same age group because I was the only runner in my age group.