Q&A with Salt Lake City Runner Peter Esko

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New Balance and RootsRated have teamed up to profile runners making a difference in their communities. We asked each of our runners a series of questions to learn a little more about what running means to them, where they like to run and what are some of their running goals.

RootsRated caught up with Peter Esko to ask him about his running: what motivates him, what he loves about the sport and what his goals are. You can read his profile here.

What is it that interested you most or got you started in running?
Running always, kind of, made sense. I played soccer in high school and while I love mountain biking, I don’t have any of the competitive side with it. When I got to college I was living at the base of City Creek Canyon and just started running.

Do you enjoy running alone or in a group and why?
I end up running alone a lot. While I don’t much care what pace I’m running unless it’s a race, a lot of friends refuse to run with me saying I’m fast. I say I’m fast enough to know how slow I really am, so let’s go run but they don’t listen.

What is your biggest challenge in running and what do you do to manage this challenge?
Biggest challenge in running is time for long runs. Speed comes fairly naturally. But the long stuff just takes time to build. The most recent build-up to a marathon (Chicago in about 4 weeks) I’ve been trying a bit of a quicker jump in miles to get in some good 50-60 mile weeks without doing too many of them to drive my wife crazy.

How does running benefit you?
Running gives me a bit of time to think and to let out all the stuff inside. It is also a great way to get into a bit of a type “A” mindset on the harder workouts. I’m generally mellow so that side doesn’t come out too much.

What is involved in your regiment of training for a marathon?
Generally 4 types of workouts: Easy stuff, tempo stuff, interval/speed Stuff, and long runs. Oh, and food…lots of food.

What is your favorite season to run in and why?
Right now. I love fall for running. Temperatures start dropping, leaves start turning… everything is just about as perfect as it can get.

What is the most annoying question you've been asked when it comes to running?"You run? Are you a criminal?” or “is someone chasing you?” No, I never said it makes sense, and never asked you to run. Now stop asking dumb questions. The other one is about how far a marathon is. It is not just a long run…there is a specific distance. They are all the same… yes…

What would be your ultimate achievement in running?
Ultimate achievement…gah, I still want to break 3 hours for the marathon. Boston 2011, I was 29 seconds away and had to tie my shoe at mile 3 so… yeah. I think if I had a chance to train without any distractions etc. that 2:45 would be possible but that isn’t going to happen any time soon. So sub 3 is the one that is probably reachable. The other less specific goal is just to keep running and be consistent. I hope to be doing this for a long time…so just staying injury free and not having any crazy stupid problems is a real goal.

How do you choose which marathon you want to run in or try and qualify for?
I’ve got a few favorites that I keep coming back to. But mixing a bit of travel with a race is a good way to see a new place. I would love to run Berlin, and Big Sur looks amazingly stunning. The main factors are always travel and just how the race looks. I love the excitement of the big ones like Chicago. But some of the little races are just so cool too.

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