Josh Gustafson

You know what the SBAA needs? More members like Josh Gustafson.

First (and I suppose a necessary attribute for all our members), this guy can run. Better yet, he once was an exceptional runner (as some of his times, buried in his Profile below, will attest) and is now as energetic and motivated as any newbie runner. Next, he seems to think the Santa Barbara running scene in general, and the SBAA in particular, are very cool. (Josh is the guy who wrote the great story on his experience running the 2003 Pier to Peak. Just go to, click on “stories” and you can read it if you haven’t already done so.) Oh yeah- Josh also happens to mention, in the context of noting his running goals for this year, that he is a cancer survivor. (If he hangs around the SBAA long enough, we may be able to rid him of his modesty problem.)

Finally, Josh was so excited about the Grand Prix Banquet that he took time to send me an email about it. Josh’s wife Jennifer joined him at the Banquet and apparently was very impressed with the event and all us SBAA folks. Gotta love a member who can make the rest of us look good to his spouse!!

Look for Josh at the next race; he will be the guy with the big smile. Just hope he is not in your age group and that he takes a while to return to his glory days on the track at Westmont.

Name: Josh Gustafson
Age: 30 (2004)
Nickname: Gus
Hometown: Spokane, WA
Favorite Food: Spinach (No kidding, I just love the stuff, I even put it in smoothies)
Favorite Movie: “Caddyshack” even though I am a +36 handicap hacker
Employment: Certified Financial Planner for Mercer Advisors
Family: My wife, Jennifer, and my one-year-old son, Erik, are my pride and joy.
Other sports, hobbies, interests, etc.: Backpacking, Changing diapers, Attending Santa Barbara Community Church
My friends describe me as: determined, emotional, disciplined, focused, adventurous, detailed, thorough, expressive, persistent, sensitive, conscientious, forthright and loyal
My trademark expression is: “Hey, want to hear my new plan?”
If money were not a consideration, I would love to: Work 4 days a week, take 8 weeks of vacation, and become more involved in the community.
In the next 5 years, I hope to: Finish remodeling and landscaping our Goleta home
In the next 10 years, I hope to: Save and grow our portfolio to a million dollars.
Accomplishments: Being able to stay in Santa Barbara after graduating from Westmont.

Favorite Distance and PR: I have run only one 10k, but I really enjoyed the combination of endurance and turnover (39:47 at 2003 Goleta Noontime)
Best Race and Why: Santa Barbara _ Marathon (2003 1:27:54). I think this is my best race because my last 5k was in 19:05 (same time as my 8-03 McConnell’s 5k) and I finished the race completely spent.
Worst Race and Why: 2003 Vicki’s 3k (10:44) because I wasn’t aerobically tired but I couldn’t go any faster. It was frustrating not having any turnover.
Average Weekly Mileage (last 12 months): 20-25. I hope to run at least 1000 miles a year for the next 30 years.
Favorite Local Race and Why: Pier to Peak, because it is the quintessential gut check, and I am afraid of it. Just thinking about it makes me nervous.
Most Memorable Running Experience: A solo run out of the Tuolumne River valley that ended with me cresting the ridgeline at the exact moment the sun came up over the Sierras.
Favorite Place to Run: The smooth rock free trails of Washington State

Glory Days PR: Long long ago in a galaxy far far away I ran a 51.2 400m, 1:57.1 800m, 4:09.5 1500m, and a 16:04 3mile
Realistic Running Goals for this Year: Fully recover from my thyroidectomy and get back into shape. They did find some cancer, but the surgeon is confident he got it all. I would also like to run half of the 9 Trails.
Wildly Optimistic Running Goals for this year: Finish in top three of the 30-34 GP. This is going to be very difficult because these guys are fast and consistent.
Lifetime Running Goals: 37:17 for the 10k. In high school I broke 6min pace for 5k, and in college I ran under 6min pace for 8k, so now as an “adult” I want to run under 6min pace for 10k. At some point in the distant future, when I am completely devoid of fast twitch muscles, I want to run a marathon and complete the 9 Trails. One of my very long term goals is to run enough miles to go around the earth (24,902). I am about 1/4 of the way around right now.

Local Running Heroes & Why: Those awesome masters runners that kick my butt all the time. Mariann Thomas has outkicked me more times than I can remember.
Personal Training Tips: Stretch after every run. Rotate Shoes. Run 4 days a week. Take three to four weeks off every year.
Why I Run: I love the sense of balance that running brings to my life.
I love runners who: Enjoy sharing their successes and failures.
I don’t care for runners who: Take it too seriously. After all, it is only putting one leg in front of the other.
Suggestions for local races: A XC race at Ellwood or More Mesa
Suggestions for SBAA: Increase the national exposure of the SBAA by ensuring that is posted on the national running web sites that list local running clubs.
My views on: How precious life is have changed now that I am a father.
Add Anything: Thanks to Joe Howell, Dave Saunders, and Larry Reynolds for making me feel welcome to the club.
Favorite Quote: “Never Quit” from the Glenn Cunningham story (
SBAA Member since: 2003. Consistently inconsistent runner since 1990.


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