While you may not know Kirt Goetzke, 47 of Plymouth, there's a good chance you've seen him at a race - any race. That's because Kirt has increased the number of races he's run for each of the last 22 years. In 2007, that meant finishing the year with 102 races - for the year. And we're not talking just 5K and 10K races, as Kirt would also like to run a marathon in all 50 states and DC - all under 3 hours. Just last weekend he was able to mark Washington DC off his list with a 2:54:14 finish at the Sun Trust National Marathon. I guess it's no surprise that he wanted to make sure I posted this interview on April 1st. (Photo by Todd Sheldon)
When and how did you get involved with running?
I got involved to run with my wife - she still thinks she's faster - and no, she doesn't run anymore.
How come you didn’t run in high school?
I was a motorhead, so I lived and breathed cars, plus worked on them 40 hours a week during school and 60 hours a week during the summer. Funny thing was in Junior High I worked for and was friends with the math teacher, who was also the cross country coach, something I didn't know until later.
How many races have you run in your life? Is there some record you’re aiming for or do you just love to race?
1,353 at the end of 2007. Love? More like trying to improve or just out-last.
How many races do you tend to run a year?
One more than the year before – for the last 22 years.
With so many races, can you pick a favorite local and/or national race?
Do you mean year, month, weekend, weekday?
Do you feel like you’ve had to make any compromises to your personal life in order to race so frequently?
Well my drag racing and snowmobiling have taken a backseat while my times have been good.
You’re already one of the top runners in your age group and even own some state age records. However, do you think you could run faster if you focused on fewer key races?
Even if I ran faster, Digger Carlson would still wipe any records I set, clean the next year.
What are your PRs?
I rewrote all but my marathon PR at age 42
5K - 16:23
8K - 27:06
10K - 33:33
Half - 1:16:01
25K - 1:32:08
Full - 2:37:56 (age 31)
With racing so much, I’m really curious about your training philosophy. Do you have a “normal” base-building period, do you do any additional speedwork throughout the year, do you take any downtime at the end of the season, etc.?
Well, the first weekend in March has no races, does that count as downtime? 30 miles a week in March, 50 April, 80 in May, 10 milers Mon-Fri 30 on weekends through September. Fair weather runner to the max!
How do you manage to stay injury free?
Don't run fast, one or two Ibuprofen a year. Soaking in Lake Calhoun after most runs once the ice goes off.
What do you consider your strengths? Weaknesses?
I start slow, then try to reel everyone back in, easier when hot since running in the heat is a definite strength. However, not able to run fast in the cold.
What is your fondest running memory?
Running with Brian Kraft around the lakes. First overall win at the State Fair Milk Run for the last time it was an 8K and then winning again the next year for the first 5K.
If you could run with any Minnesotan, past or present, who would it be?
Ron Daws, he may be the only runner that I missed out on.
Finally, what do you know now that you wish you’d known when you first started running?
Run with faster runners and copy them.