Micah Tyhurst

micah2008-11This month’s Profile features Micah Tyhurst. This guy is FAST! Only weeks ago, he ran a “comfortable” 1:10 half marathon at the Long Beach Marathon/Half while serving as a pacer for one of his former teammates. Micah was captain of the UCSB track team and Conference Champion at the 10K.

At age 24, Micah does not have all the “life experiences” of some featured in past Profiles, so we devoted extra space to Micah’s thoughts on a variety running topics and race experiences. Read about this guy now; we predict there will much more printed about Micah as he pursues his clearly defined running goals.

Name: Micah Gumaer (Mom’s maiden name pronounced Gum-ARE) Tyhurst
Age: 24 interesting years (2008)
Hometown: Westchester, CA (about 3 blocks north of LAX)
Employment: Student; finishing degree at UCSB; substitute/ teachers aide at El Puente School
Family: I have two amazing parents, an older brother (4 years), my dog Shadow and my girlfriend with whom I live, Ellen
Other sports, hobbies, interests: I’m not allowed to do other sports . . . but growing up I did almost everything. My favorites were volleyball and soccer; my least favorites: don’t send me to another country, baseball or football! BUT secretly I enjoy cooking, sometimes painting and the occasional video game when time permits.

Most Prized Possession: The black Adidas socks I won after running a 2:04 last year on my last 800 at the world famous invitational Black Sock Wednesday, and aside from those, probably the medal I was awarded for Sportsmanship out of all CIF Cross Country runners. It was definitely a great moment for me and my family!
Favorite Foods: Either Sushi or a newly introduced Kaisershmarrn, also known as Austrian Pancakes.
Favorite Movie: This question always drives me crazy because there are just way too many genre of movies and great ones in each. But to narrow it down I would have to say that Stanley Kubric makes a great film, but one of my favorites to watch is Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (the good one not the one Johnny Depp and Tim Burton murdered. Don’t get me wrong Tim Burton is great too). Oh and anything animated from Disney, especially Pixar… see I told you.
Car I’d Love to be Driving: One that gets better mileage, though I would go for a 1984 Porsche 911 Carrera.

My friends describe me as: Overly self-critical. My teammates are my closest friends, so they know first hand.
If money were not a consideration, I would love to: Move to Flagstaff and train, only train, really hard for a few years.
In the next 5 years, I hope to: As far as running goals, I hope to be at least a 2:12 marathon runner and competing at the USA Olympic Marathon Trials. As far as career, I would like to go back to school and get a law degree.
In the next 10 years, I hope to: That’s a ways away. I would like be an attorney in private practice or hold some type of political office.
Personal accomplishments: People place different weight on personal accomplishments. For me, in chronological order: getting into a great high school in L.A.; being co-captain of the 2002 CIF State Championship Cross Country team and winning the Sportsmanship Award that year; attending UCSB on scholarship, placing 5th in the Conference 10,000m as a sophomore and coming back the next day and placing 3rd in the 5k (all-conference); becoming 10,000m Conference Champion; all the while, being a student and, along with Bethany, putting on a fundraiser that has raised over $80,000 for the UCSB track team in the last 4 years; and being voted co-chair of the Student Athlete Advisory Board at UCSB.

Personal facts that will surprise my friends: There are not many things I have done, or could do, that would surprise my friends, but perhaps it would be that I was within inches of quitting running when I was a sophomore in High School.
Favorite Running Shoes: The Mizuno Wave Rider, comfortable, pliable, light weight and firm! Favorite Distance and PR (post collegiate): I would have to say my favorite distance so far has been the 1/2 marathon; the Wine Country (1:09:19) has been my only one.
Best Race and Why: This is a tough one because there are a few which I would deem better than the rest, but I would narrow it down to my sophomore year at the Big West Conference Championships. The 5km is my favorite race to look back on because I had already placed 5th the night before in the 10km and then had to come back and race against people who were a lot faster than me (2 guys under 14:00 in this race and I was ranked 9th). I was cheered on the whole time with Gauchos lining the entire finishing 200m. I kid you not, our team was huge! I managed to place myself in the race with 1mi to go and was in 5th and hurting, and kept hurting but I was able to ignore the pain and run for my teammates, especially because our team was only down a few points and whatever we got in the 5k would put us into 3rd. I had moved up to 4th with 800m to go and in the final 100m I flew by a Cal Poly SLO runner to capture my first All-Conference placing. I ran that race for my team and not for myself. I think that is why it is the one that sticks out the most.
Worst Race and Why: I have had a slew of bad races in college, and very few in high school it seems. The one I have chosen taught me a tough lesson. I believe it was my junior year in high school, and I was running the 800m, not my best race at all, and it was a home meet. The first lap went out fast, and I was behind a guy on our team who I should not have been behind. At the 450m I dropped out, claiming that an ankle was bothering me. The worst thing was my coach saw right through the whole thing, and every time I think about that race it makes me sad. I look back at that moment was the worst moment of my running career, the moment when I threw in the towel and stopped because it was ‘too hard.’ Never drop out of a race because it’s too hard, because it’s hard for everyone, not just you.
Average Weekly Mileage: not nearly as high as it should be, but somewhere around 70mi, I have had some up weeks, 120mi and some down weeks, 40mi.
Most Memorable Running Experience: When I went to the hospital for dehydration and heat stroke. I was on an 18mi run with the UCSB team in Mammoth the summer of my sophomore year. I had gone with people I probably shouldn’t have, had not taken water at the van, like an idiot, and paid for it. I ended up swerving back and forth on a dirt road that is two cars wide and blacked out. I came to in the hospital where I felt like I was in a nightmare with people standing over me, my arms and legs strapped down and a mask over my mouth with people poking me all over the place. When I finally regained consciousness, I realized I was in a hospital. I did not know how I got there and was told about what happened. I also missed the 2004 Olympic Marathon where Meb got silver. I learned a lot from that day. After that my coach told me that the last person he saw this happen to was never the same again, and that he didn’t think I would come back from it. In a way he was right, I was not the same. That next spring I dropped my 5km PR by :45, my steeple PR by :31 and my 1500m PR by :09. That day changed my life forever.
Glory Days PR: I would like to think that my Glory Days are still ahead of me, but as for now I look back and see those days in college and well all of my PRs are, to me, unbelievable for a mediocre high school runner. My 1500m is ok, my 5km is decent but my steeple chase is what got me to the NCAA West Region Meet with a time of 9:04 run at home at the Cal Ploy Dual Meet where my teammate (All-American Mike Powers) and I kicked down two Cal Poly guys in the final 150m to go 1-2.

Realistic Running Goals for this Year: I would like to get in a few cross country races before the USATF Club XC Nationals in Spokane, WA. At that meet, if I could place in the top 15, I would be content with that. As far as the next 12 months, place in the top 25 at USATF XC Nationals in February and then perhaps get in a half marathon in under 1:06:00.
Wildly Optimistic Running Goals for this year: I would like to place in the top 5 at that same meet, and in the next 12 months make a USA Cross Country team at the USATF XC Nationals, and run a half in 1:04:00.
Lifetime running Goals: Lifetime goals are always changing, but for now it is to become one of the top 10mi – 26.2mi runners in the US and make the Olympic Trials in the Marathon.
Local Running Heroes & Why: My local heroes would have to be: Ricky Ho – that guy is incredible, he loves running more than anyone I have ever met and he is not human, because no one can race that much! Rusty Snow is definitely someone I look up to. He is coaching me right now, and he always seems to know things before I do, probably because he has been there before. Aaron Gillen is definitely up there as well. He too loves running and just really enjoys his time out there and is able to have fun at every moment of the race.
Personal Training Tips: Don’t overtrain; listen to your body, it knows better than your mind does; workout hard, but race harder.
I love runners who: love running. If you are out there to have fun than that is the purest form of our sport.
I don’t care for runners who: think you haven’t achieved anything because you don’t run marathons!! I also don’t care for runners who take themselves too seriously. Again it’s about having fun!
Suggestions for local races; suggestions for SBAA: HAHA, I wrote a piece about these two questions didn’t I? Well for one thing Prize $$ or even just prizes for winning would be a great! I understand that winning a race or just running fast should be enough motivation, but to get Santa Barbara on the map for a running community we would need to draw people here, and what better way to draw fast runners than with prizes? Also, we need some different race venues; Leadbetter is getting a bit tired.
Add anything: I want to thank those of you who read my blog when I was writing it, it was great to write down my thoughts and to keep the community updated. And thanks for putting up with my rant about politics!
Favorite Quote: “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.” Steve Prefontaine (1951-1975) he was my age when he died.

SBAA Member since: 2005


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