Profile: Asst Coach Shawn

With eight completed marathons under his belt, Assistant Coach Shawn Fitzgerald is an AC for the Blue/Green Group. This is his fifth year running with Portland Fit and third year as an assistant coach.

Favorite Marathon:
Napa – The race is held in early March. You start in Calistoga and run down the Silverado Trail to Napa, running past amazing countryside and vineyards. Beautiful place to run.

Biggest obstacle you face (either current or previous) in training:
Getting injured, and listening to my body, rather than thinking I can continue to train, ultimately injuring myself further and being out for longer.

Favorite race day musician/song:

My marathon PR came at the Napa Marathon last year. I previously had a best of 3:38 at Portland, and ran a 3:31.20 at Napa. A 7 minute PR!!!

What motivates you to keep going when the going gets tough?
I am able to draw on previous runs I have done, and know that I can get through this moment and it ultimately isn’t as bad as it seems in the moment. Knowing this helps me to push through.

Best advice you’ve ever received:
If you want to run faster……………….run faster!!!!

Strangest scene during a run:
I ran the LA Marathon last year, and around mile 18 there was a group of cross dressers in “very little clothing” performing on stages on both sides of the course!!! Never know what you might see along the way!! Ha!

Favorite running gear:
My Garmin!!! We’ve been dating for three years now!

Paying it forward:
I help out at Portland Fit as a way to pay it forward for those who helped me when I was starting a few years ago. There is nothing better than talking to a newer runner and hearing them tell their story or dreams of what they hope to accomplish, and then being able to help them achieve those dreams. Very rewarding! Also, we are very fortunate to have Dave and Paula Harkin as coaches in the program. Three years ago, on a run in Vancouver, I ran up next to Dave and Paula and introduced myself. I told them I had a dream of qualifying for Boston and I needed their help! They both asked me some questions about myself and then told me to start coming to track practice every week. That was the best advice I have gotten from them. Not only did it help me to get faster, but I met an entirely new group of friends at track. Many of them are people that I train with today. How lucky am I! 

On the horizon:
I am training for the Eugene Marathon, April 29th, and I WILL qualify for Boston and fulfill my dream and reach my goal!