Next up in our Runitlikeadad series is Gary Griffin, dad to two beautiful daughters, Rylan and Reese. Senior Communications Director by day, Ironman and ultramarathoner by night. Read on to learn more about Gary, his fitness adventures, and how his goals have changed since becoming a dad.
Gary’s Runitlikeadad Run-Down:
* I have two daughters, Rylan (age 4) and Reese (age 2).
* I’m a Senior Communications Director for a large insurance company.
* Read on below to hear all about my fitness adventures.
* If I were stuck on an island, the three things I would bring are: (1) my hammock, (2) good scotch, and (3) my wife.
It used to all be about 140.6 miles. My days were spent providing clients public relations counsel at a demanding PR firm and my nights were spent lapping the pool, cranking out miles on my bike and running.
No matter the season or weather conditions, I had a singular focus of racking up miles for the next race. Commitment to this regimen got me to respectable finishes at two full Ironmans, numerous halfs and countless sprints. Any time off the bike was spent with my wife, Jen and our dog Brody.
Despite the support of my wife year after year, something was missing. The weekly miles became tedious. Finish photos were lonely. And then I found out I was going to be a dad!
We welcomed our first daughter Rylan, who we call our Ironman baby, two months after my last Ironman. I wasn’t gunning for a PR that race; I was racing to get home. It would be the last lonely race photo.
Five years later, our family is now a foursome with the addition of our second daughter, Reese. There are no more lonely miles. My training now happily consists of towing bike trailers, family hikes and runs.
The desire to go long or push my limits hasn’t left me. I compete in more family friendly activities – cyclocross, mountaineering and ultramarathons. I finished a 50k ultra this spring and have another in September. I train after family time often under a headlamp on wooded trails, or if, and when I get to it. I blow off races for spontaneous family adventures.
My singular focus now is helping my daughters get confidently to the start and finish of their adventures. However, I do secretly hope for a future 140.6 family finish photo.
Being a dad is more gratifying than any finish line or PR.