Gary Mulvihill

Gary grew up in Michigan and landed a job with Ford Motor Company after graduating from college. It was a dream come true for Gary and his parents since those opportunities were not often available. However, he had friends who he often visited in Houston, and he longed to live in the warmer climates of the south instead of the harsh winters up north. So Gary finally quit his dream job and moved to Houston where he began running with his friends. He says they did not know anything about training methods or pacing but just enjoyed being active. For many years, he would come through the first mile of a 5K in 6:00, but by the end of the race he slowed to an 8:00 pace. He says they were clueless. But then he met Noelle who invited him to join her at the Houston Harriers track practices. Gary says he is pretty sure Coach Jim McLatchie would never have agreed to let him participate, but Jim liked Noelle and was willing to put up with Gary’s slow times and lack of understanding for Noelle’s sake. In the next year, Gary dropped 40 minutes from his marathon time and learned what it meant to run a smart race. He loved being with other runners and decided that no matter what he did for the rest of his life, he wanted to stay involved in the running community. He read several books on how to train and race, and in 1999 he decided to start his own running club called Runners High Club. The first year he had 50 members, but in the last 15 yrs they have sold out at their self-imposed limit of 350 members. He says every year he has people join the club who have never run before. Throughout the season, he watches them become overwhelmed with pride and joy as they finish their first 5K, then their first 10K, then complete their first 10-mile long run… He says they look like they have just won the Olympic marathon, but that excitement is what means the most to Gary. He has also had 2 members who have been with him from the beginning, and he appreciates their loyalty and servant’s heart. Today Gary is not able to run like he used to. He had a major knee surgery in 2003, but he says just being part of the running community is still his dream come true.