Shop Online Cart2

Fleet Feet Racing Team Member Breaks Course Record at the Savannah Marathon

Ryan Gordyan, in his 5th season with the racing team, just broke the course record at the Savannah Marathon this past month in Georgia. We caught up with Ryan to talk about the race itself, and learn more about his running journey.

Q: How long have you been running and what got you started?

Ryan: My favorite day in gym class in 4th or 5th grade was when we got to run the mile for time. I am not sure if it was because I enjoyed running or because I liked making it a competition. Maybe it was both. Either way, I remembered that feeling when I got to middle school, so I decided to join the cross country team. I continued in high school, but a couple years in I realized I did not agree with the coaching philosophy. I ended up quitting the team my senior year to focus on swimming. I swam the 200, 500 and Mile through college at Ball State (Go Cards!) and for 5 years I rarely ran. When I came to Chicago after college, swimming was not too accessible, so I decided to start running again. Shortly after starting up I decided I wanted to run a marathon in every state since I thought it would be a fun way to see the country. I realized my attitude toward running had changed back to enjoyment and I have never looked back.

Q: How long have you been a part of the Fleet Feet Racing Team?

Ryan: I had been running solo for about 8 years after graduating college before joining the team. It took me a long time to join because I enjoyed the solitude but I also think I subconsciously was afraid of a repeat high school experience which focused too heavily on result and lacked a fun, social side. However I took the leap in 2019. I found the Racing Team and did not know a single person on the team. The first workout I remember running 800 repeats with Austin's group. I got dropped on each rep but I kept trying to keep up. Afterward I ran a cool down with the group as well and I will never forget Austin's kindness in talking to me on that run even though I was new. That kindness stuck with me. I came to realize the whole team was and still is like that. Sure, we want to improve and be the best we can be, but the culture is also one of inclusion and having fun. I knew as long as that was a priority, running would continue to be enjoyable for years to come.

Q: What was your goal going into this race?

Ryan: I had a tough 2023 with injuries, so this was my first real race back since Shamrock last year. Initially, racing Savannah served me just as a way to knock out another state of my 50 state goal (This was #26). When I saw the course record was previously 2:45, I thought that would be a fun goal to go for.

This ended up being the best executed marathon I have ever run, with nearly even splitting it and ended up at 2:40 — just 4 minutes off my PR. It helped remind me that I don't need to PR in a race to feel proud of the result.

Q: What is your favorite Racing Team workout?

Ryan: My favorite workout is between 10 X 1k or 8 X 1 Mile repeats. I love being able to compare results to prior years to get a sense of my fitness. I also enjoy how these can help psychologically with a marathon where you may have a rep or mile where you lose focus or it is tough mentally for whatever reason, but you can practice refocusing on the next one.

Connect With Us

see the latest from Fleet Feet Chicago