An interview with the ultimate Geist 5K 4 time back-to-back winner!
Sawyer Hitchcock is a runner. He entered and won the very first Geist 5K in 2008 when he was a freshman at Hamilton Southeastern High School. He has repeated the feat 3 more times. Just finishing up his senior year, Sawyer took the time to talk with us.
Q: How do you explain your amazing feat of winning the Geist 5K since it started in 2008?
A: I am lucky to train with a great group of runners at HSE. I use this training to keep me in shape and to concentrate on doing my best every time I run.
Q: How many miles per day do you run?
A: I guess I can average about 8 miles per day with team practices.
Q: When you’re running a course, what do you think about?
A: I find that when running, you’re not really thinking so much about things in particular, but you are just concentrating on the pace and the course. It helps to see each mile marker for the time and it lets me know right away if I am on pace.
Q: How do you handle the hills of Geist?
A: Hills challenge you for sure, but it’s all part of the course. When you come to a hill, it will slow down a bit, but you need to maintain your effort; shorten your stride as it helps your body not to have to work as hard. It’s like riding a bike. If you lower the gear going up a hill it helps the legs and you don’t have to work as hard.
Q: How fast was your speed per mile this year?
A: 5 minutes and 15 seconds per mile. Last year I went about 1 second per mile faster. It was a hot day.
Q: Have you amassed a few fans since you started running the Geist 5K?
A: Well, I guess I have. Some of my HSE track team members came out and rooted me. It was really neat to hear them call out my name when I ran by them. It gives you a boost.
Q: Where will you be going to college next year and did you get a scholarship in Track?
A: Ithaca College in New York, and no I am not on any scholarship as Ithaca College is a division 3 school.
Q: Are you going to continue running in Track and Cross Country in college?
A: Yes. I am trying out for the team. The coach has been in contact with me, and he has been keeping track of my finishes/times. I love running so this is good to continue on while I’m in college.
Q: What advice do you have for a beginning runner?
A: The cool thing about running is it is a simple sport. To get better, you have to run more and work on timing. If you do this, you should improve and have fun running.
Q: Will you be competing in next year’s Geist Half Marathon to defend your 4 time crown?
A: I really want to. If I can work out my school schedule and be home in time to do it! Yeah! That would be cool!