Meet Cross Country Senior Chris Gumbs

Oct. 10, 2008

The Santa Clara cross country teams are training this week for the Bronco Invitational on Sat., Oct. 18 at Baylands Park in Sunnyvale. Chris Gumbs was honored on the 2006 All-WCC first team and returns for his senior year. Gumbs, a Seattle native majoring in Combined Science, talked this week to santaclarabroncos.com about why he loves Santa Clara, what he wished he could change about himself and of course why he encourages fans to come out to the Bronco Invitational (hint: `they might just witness a new school record').

Why should fans come out to the Bronco Invitational on Oct. 18?

Since I started school here the Bronco Invitational has grown from somewhat of a duel meet into a very popular invitational where a lot of good teams come to meet some great competition a couple weeks before most conference championships. Since it is our meet, you'll see a ton of Santa Clara faces and it will definitely be a fun time. There are already over 40 alumni scheduled to show up, and many others will be participating in the family and friends 5k starting just before the collegiate races. Not to mention you'll have a chance to possibly witness a new school record!

Great answer! Ok, what are your plans after graduation?

I plan on moving home to Seattle, running a marathon, shadowing a physical therapist and an orthopedic doctor and studying for the MCAT. If none of that works out, I will ride my bike to Central America and donate my time to those in need.

Do you have someone you look up to as a runner? Currently? When you were little?

Haile Gebresalasie. After reading his book, The Greatest, I realized he's not only the greatest runner of all time, but also a great philanthropist. When I was "little" and starting high school, I looked up to an older teammate, Matt Sheeks. As a senior he'd already seen some success and had a great attitude about the sport. A group of guys my age would kill ourselves each day just to keep up with him.

Why run? Why did you get started?

I run to see what's possible, and because it truly makes me feel free. Running through the wilderness, 10 miles from the nearest food or water is a great way to escape from everything. Nothing makes you feel more human.

Favorite place to run at Santa Clara?

Within city limits: The Guadalupe River Trail north of the airport. Of the place we train at: Huddart County Park

Favorite place to run at home?

The Redmond Watershed

Funny story about head coach Tom Service?

It was our first trip to Notre Dame. As of late Tom didn't have the best reputation in terms of his balancing abilities. Tom led us as we set foot on the course for the first time and everyone was in a pretty serious mood. While maneuvering a small grassy knoll Tom took a spill right in front of the entire team, breaking the silence with a relief of laughter.

What's the best part of being a cross country runner at Santa Clara?

Sunshine, cross country babes and the trails. Seriously, because we're located in the middle of a valley, so we get a great variety of trails to run at everyday. Coming from the Northwest to California, I was quite impressed.

As upperclassmen, any advice for high school runners?

Always remember to have fun, and don't forget why you run! Also, don't forget that rest is just as important as hard training.

Something no one knows about you?

That's a tough one. I guess few people know I played Danny Zuko on stage (Grease). I've also been to the top of Cotopaxi, a volcano whose peak is the point farthest from the center of the earth.

If you could run any race, anywhere in the world - where would it be?

The Olympic Marathon.

What was your favorite event at the Olympics?

The 100m final and Usain Bolt's world record.

What's better - summer or winter?

Definitely summer.

What's something you wish you could change about the world?

I wish I could end war and corruption.

What's something you wish you could change about yourself?

I wish I was more coordinated!

Go Broncos!