After early success, Austin’s Groh is hoping to get even better at marathons

Published 10:02 pm Sunday, March 30, 2014

Austin grad Kevin Groh may have just competed in his first marathon, but he’s already raising the bar for what he wants to do in his next big run.

Groh, a 2005 Austin grad, recently finished in 48th place at the Los Angeles marathon with a time of 2:48.10 and he knows he can go even faster. Groh was in 15th place late in the race, but his knee began acting up in the 17th mile. Groh considered dropping out a couple of times, but he was able to gut it out and finish.

“I was coming down a hill and the pain kept coming,” Groh said. “I just kind of limped and walked through the finish. That was kind of frustrating.”

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Groh had also battled injuries that set him back while he was training for the LA marathon, which is a very tough race due to the amount of hills and heat. Groh hopes that if he gets the right course, the right conditions and the right amount of health that he can run a marathon in two hours and thirty minutes.

“I think that’s realistic for me.” Groh said. “I can’t complain about my first race overall. I just wanted to finish better.”

Groh initially got into running to stay in shape for basketball when he was attending Austin High School, but it wasn’t long before he found that running was his true passion. Groh stuck with cross country and track and field with the Packers and he eventually gave up basketball so he could swim, which kept him shape for running.

Groh never got to run in the state meet as he suffered a broken foot right before the conference meet in cross country in his senior year, but he did go on to run cross country at Hamline University. That gave Groh immense help in training for marathons.

“[Training for a marathon] actually wasn’t too difficult. In high school you train fairly hard, but in college you train a lot harder,” Groh said. “I was running sixty to sixty five miles per week by my senior year of college and I did about seventy to seventy five a week to train for the marathon. It’s whatever your body can handle.”

Groh, who recently moved to Santa Barbara, Calif., said it’s much easier to train out West than it was in Minnesota, where winter can make running conditions very difficult. Groh has kept in touch with Austin head track and cross country coach Tony Einertson and he said he learned a lot while running for the Packers.

“He was great to run for and he’s a great guy,” Groh said.

Groh is planning on running in the Santa Barbara marathon Nov. 8.