Gary Martin cruised through the line with relative ease on Saturday morning at Bicentennial Park. The Archbishop Wood distance runner made his senior year debut at the Northampton Invitational, by rolling to a season-opening win in 15:13.
Martin easily shattered the course record and made it look easy to open up his senior campaign. After a fast start to the race, Martin eventually settled in for a mostly solo effort to open up his season.
"I wanted to go a little faster," Martin said.I got dragged out a little bit in the first mile, so I went through in like 4:30, which is too fast. I settled in a little more, but it was definitely a little too fast. I can't complain about that as a rust-buster to start off the season."
After a big track season that saw Martin break into the national spotlight, Saturday's race was his first time racing on the trails since last year. Martin had a different approach to his summer with Brooks PR in July, so it was a little bit of a later start to the traditional schedule.
"It's good to be back on grass," Martin said. "It's been a couple months since I've raced, so it's good to be back again. My last few races were miles, so it was different going from mile to 5K. It's a good way to start off the season and get back into it. I'm feeling good for what's to come."
Now it's back to the lab for Martin, who will have about a month until his next big race, which will likely be the Paul Short Run at Lehigh in the beginning of October. He'll get a good training block in before what will be a busy couple months of racing after that. He also said his college decision is coming soon.
Saturday was a good start for Martin, who will chase another big XC season. Watch the boys varsity race from Northampton above and check out an interview with Martin below.