October 2008 - ATHLETE PROFILE
Family: Wife, Nancy, 59; Daughter, Amanda, 28; Son, Jamie, 18
Residence: Clifton Park
Occupation: Retired Elementary School Teacher
Main Sport: Running
Other Sports: Downhill and Cross-Country Skiing, Golf, Biking, Motorcycling, Swimming
by Anne Benson
Anyone who is acquainted with the local area running community probably knows or will eventually meet Patrick Glover. Pat’s involvement in the sport of running began back in the early ‘60s when he launched his career in competitive racing. To this day, his love for the sport extends far beyond competing in road, cross-country and track races. Much of his time and energy is focused on directing local races, serving as an officer for USA Track & Field, working finish lines, certifying courses, mentoring new runners and in general, nurturing and supporting the sport of running. It is no wonder that he is so popular and well-liked in the area.
Pat grew up in a home where both parents were athletic. His mother competed in the 1936 German Olympic Trials in swimming, and his father ran track at Miami University in Ohio. At age 16, Pat joined the cross-country team as a junior at Maple Hill High School in Castleton-on-Hudson in 1962. The high school had no track or track team, so Pat didn’t run track until college. He attended Hartwick College in Oneonta where he was able to run both cross-country and track. As a sophomore in college, Pat won his conference meet, and his team finished second. This early success spurred him to continue in competitive running.
After college, while balancing a full-time teaching career, Pat kept his training at a high intensity, although he never ascribed to the high mileage that many of the competitive runners of that time were doing. Pat explains, “In my 20s and 30s my mileage would be 45-55 miles weekly, and I’d bump it up to 60-70 when training for a marathon.” There were times in the ‘80s when Pat would run for two to three years without missing any days of running!
His consistent training paid off with numerous successes as a top male runner in the greater Albany area for decades. In his 20s, Pat was running 5Ks in the low 15s. His best 10K, 30:39, was run at the 1981 Troy Turkey Trot at 35 years old. His 15K PR of 48:21 was run at the 1978 Stockade-athon, and his best marathon time was 2:28:43 at the 1984 Atlantic City Marathon.
The amazing thing about Pat is that he has never lost his passion for competing and staying in top shape. He wins his age group and scores exceptionally well in the age-graded category at most local road races. His fluid stride shows no sign of aging, and resembles that of someone 20 years younger! Most often, Pat ranks top in his age group in the area, and must search other areas and states for serious competition.
Rarely can runners enjoy such success for four-plus decades without some setbacks. Pat has experienced the typical nagging runners’ injuries such as plantar fasciitis, stress fractures and groin pulls. A couple of brushes with cancer also set him back for a while. But, overall, concerning his health, he comments, “I know that I have been very fortunate to be able to continue a running career for this period of time.” Although he is hesitant to recommend training to others, what works for him presently is 30-35 miles per week with at least one day off, and one or two days of hills and tempo work. His schedule includes ten to 15 races per year. He adheres to no special diets. “I love eating just about everything – especially spicy dishes. But I do try to go heavy on the salads and light on the fat intake.”
Pat’s favorite races include the Troy Turkey Trot 10K, Stockade-athon 15K, and Adirondack Distance Run 10-Miler. “While running marathons from ‘75 to ‘88, Boston was always a family favorite, because we’d make it a mini vacation.” To add variety to the racing schedule, Pat enjoyed the Pike’s Peak Ascent Half-Marathon and Reach the Beach 200-Mile Relay. “Events such as these help to spice running up a bit.”
Throughout his career and even more so now in his retirement, Pat tirelessly volunteers his time in the running community. Currently, he is an officer for the Adirondack Association of USATF, a member of Hudson-Mohawk Road Runners Club’s Hall of Fame, finish line coordinator for Freihofer’s Run for Women in Albany, race director for two or three races each year, USATF and high school track official, and member of the Adirondack Athletic Club masters racing team. In the early 70s, he coached freshman and junior varsity cross-country at University at Albany. During the 80s and 90s, he taught an adult education beginning running class at Shenendehowa Central Schools in Clifton Park. Pat is a well-known and respected figure at so many running events and embodies the true meaning of volunteerism.
The sport of running has touched all members of Pat’s family. “Nancy ran for several years including a few races at 15K and ten miles, and now walks on a regular basis. My daughter, Amanda, got into running on her own while in college in New York City, built up her training and completed the ‘03 New York City Marathon. She now continues to run regularly at the shorter distances. My son, Jamie, began running in middle school and now, as a senior, competes for the Shenendehowa cross-country and track teams. Even our chocolate lab, Mocha, runs a few miles with us on a regular basis! As a parent, one of my greatest joys is running with my kids!”
While the head teacher at Grafton Elementary School in Grafton, Pat would challenge the students to read a certain number of pages from November through April. “If the goal was achieved, I would perform some agreed upon feat such as shaving my mustache, riding my bike 28 miles from home to school, or running eight miles up Grafton Mountain. The latter was accomplished several times over the years, with the culminating event being a lap around the athletic field with each class, after arriving at the school on top of the mountain.”
For several years, Pat would offer a series of after-school running classes for the Grafton students in preparation for the Freihofer’s Kids’ Run in Albany. “As a track official now, I am very pleased when I see former students who are currently competing in high school and college, or even just running to stay in condition.”
Pat’s lifestyle of running nearly every day, staying active with his family, volunteering, and nurturing friendships has kept him young both physically and mentally, and has redefined age 60 as anything but older and slowing down. “Running for me has evolved into a lifelong activity, which I believe has provided health benefits and enhanced my quality of life. It has afforded me the opportunity to be part of a terrific community of individuals of all ages dedicated to participating in and promoting the sport. I continue to be impressed by the volunteer efforts of so many in the running community, such as USATF and HMRRC, who are making sure the sport thrives.”
The Southern Saratoga YMCA in Clifton Park is a central hub for runners and it’s where Pat trains most weekday mornings. Pat takes great interest in runners of all abilities, offering wise advice concerning training, injuries and racing. Chuck Racey of Clifton Park, a daily training partner, states so well the sentiments of all who run with Pat: “He amazes me with his talent and his quiet determination. But as good of a runner as he is, he is even a better human being. His even temperament, his modesty, his efforts to giveback to the running community, and his way of always finding something positive to say are all traits worth aspiring to.”
Anne Benson (email@example.com) is an avid runner and mother of three, who also works part-time with Shenendehowa Central Schools tutoring high school math and science students.