Andrew Huebner ran a 1:42:33 to comfortably win the Eastern States 20 Miler last Sunday. Like the womenâ€™s champ Larisa Dannis, Andrew was a runner that was a bit unfamiliar to us. This gave us a great opportunity to get to know yet another very talented runner a little better. Hereâ€™s our interview with the former Bucknell steeplechaser:
What team do you run for now?
I currently run for Runnerâ€™s Alley, the specialty store I work for in NH. Iâ€™ve worked there for a few years and the racing team concept is something weâ€™ve been working on more recently and looking to build on in the near future. Itâ€™s fun to represent my store and nice to have things like my racing schedule be pretty open ended.
Iâ€™ve heard that you set a course record. The conditions were pretty miserable too. Is that true?
Thatâ€™s true on both accounts. I ran 1:42:33, and the old record was in the 1:45s or :46s I think. The conditions were terrible in the early morning but by race time they were actually pretty good. The wind was pretty intense, but for the second half of the course we actually had a solid tailwind. It definitely helped my time but itâ€™s hard to say how much, because during the first half the wind was all over the place and slowed me down.
What distance is the focal point of your training at the moment?
Iâ€™m focusing on the marathon right now.
You must be in very good shape to run as fast as you did. What race are you targeting?
My goal race is Grandmaâ€™s Marathon on June 21st. My goal for that race is to qualify for the Olympic Trials, which is a goal my coach and I feel is attainable especially after a race like the one this past weekend. I knew I was in good shape but I definitely surprised myself running so fast. Shawn Crotto (my coach) and I started working together in January and Iâ€™m amazed how much Iâ€™ve improved so far with him. Itâ€™s made a HUGE difference to have more structure and focus to my training.
What was the turning point in this race for you?
Turning point in the race was the 16 mile mark. I knew I was going be happy with my race at that point.
How did you handle the wind/rain?Â Were these the worst conditions youâ€™ve ever run in?
Definitely not the worst conditions. I can think of a few long training runs over the years that would make this run seem like cake!
Were you surprised to run that fast or is that about what you were expecting?
Like I said before, I was a little surprised to have run so fast. This really was a big jump forward for me and Iâ€™m totally thrilled by it.
Did you have a 20 mi PR or was this your first time running the distance officially?
This was my first timed 20 mile race, so itâ€™s definitely a PR!
Good luck to Andrew as he chases the OTQ at Grandmaâ€™s!
Cover shot courtesy of Eastern States 20 Miler.