Interview with Dublin Distance Fiesta 3200m. 2nd place finisher, Blair Hurlock

First interview with one of the participants in yesterday's Dublin Distance Fiesta's hot 3200m. race.  Blair Hurlock of De La Salle HS finished right behind race winner Fred Huxham of Redwood HS in a near PR of 9:11.83 which just misses his state meet effort from last season (9:11.47).  He finished in 2nd place at the Dan Gabor Invitational 800m. with a time of 1:58.67 after winning a very strategic 1600m. in 4:24.20.  Hurlock has already committed to Stanford University.
1)  What was your plan going into the race?
Throughout the beginning of the season in general, my coach has really emphasized closing out races hard, so the same held true for the 3200 at the Dublin Distance Fiesta. I’ve developed the reputation of someone that pushes the pace and lacks a strong kick, but I’m trying to show other people and my competitors that I have a different tool this year with my speed. The plan was to run a conservative first mile, hang on to the leader’s shoulder for laps 5, 6, and 7, and then try to win the race in the final 400. 
2)  Did you talk to any of the competitors before the race and was there any idea how the race would unfold?  Can you take us a bit through your own race?
I talked to Aidan Goltra prior to the race and he let me know that he was going to take out the first mile and prevent the race from becoming too tactical. I was boxed in at the start and was unable to stick to his shoulder right away, so I spent the first mile easing my way up towards him and Olson. Despite the pre-race talk with Goltra, the race did become tactical. That first mile went by a little slower than I would have liked in about 4:39, so I prepared myself for a fast last half of the race. I stuck to Arias’ shoulder for the remaining laps before I took off with 400 to go. Huxham passed me on the back straightaway and I settled in, trying to reserve some energy for the final 100, but I ran out of room and settled for second. 
3)  What is your current weekly mileage?  Length of long run?  What workouts have you done recently? Doing anything different this year compared to other seasons?  
My current mileage is about 55-60 miles per week. My coach has me run my assignments based on time and not distance, so I would have to guess that my long run is about 14 miles. Recent workouts have been mostly focused on strength, which is typical for an early-season plan from Coach Pelster. For example, I’ve recently run a 5-mile tempo, a 16x400 workout on the track, and a cutdown workout in which I ran 2000, 1600, 2x1200, and 2x800. We are not really doing anything different with regards to training this year that we’ve done in the past, but as I continue to grow and physically develop, my speed is naturally increasing and should prove to be a valuable asset to me this track season that I was somewhat lacking last year.
4)  Can you tell us a little bit about your coach John Pelster?
My coach John Pelster is great at preparing his athletes for long seasons, and my team and I always peak at the end of the year during the most important races. Every athlete that enters his system and trusts in his process experiences huge improvement. He has taught me so much about the sport of running as well as the importance of different aspects of training. For example, he’s shown me the importance of recovery, and after I learned to run hard on the hard days and easy on the easy days, I immediately noticed dramatic improvements in both my workouts and races. He also trains me with the end in mind, and knows that burning me out in high school will serve me no good in my future racing. Most importantly, he has instilled in me a love for the sport that I will carry with me to the college level and beyond. I would not be close to being the athlete I am without his coaching.
5)  What is your next big race for you?
My next big individual race will likely be at Arcadia in the 3200, but my team and I will also be running a DMR at the Stanford Invitational. At Stanford, my team and I will be going after a fast time and will try to come close to our school record in the distance medley relay. At Arcadia, I’m excited to show everybody what I’m capable of doing and hope to establish myself as one of the best in the country.
6)  You ended up choosing Stanford University for college. What led to that decision?
Many factors played into my college choice, but Stanford just seemed to be the perfect fit for me. I really liked the team on my official visit and walked away from my talk with Coach Milt feeling that Stanford was the place I needed to go if I wanted to achieve my goals of winning national titles and running in the Olympics. In addition, the training venues and weather are unbeatable and Coach Milt’s past success with Georgetown proves that he has the ability to take me where I want to go as an athlete. I’m extremely pumped to spend the next few years of my career chasing a national title with him, Coach Oliver, and the rest of the team.
1,600 Meter Run (Graph) 4:14.81
4:25.75 2014-03-13 Amador Valley vs. DeLaSalle »
4:24.20 2014-03-01 Dan Gabor Sprint/Distance Festival »
4:15.82 2013-05-18 Tri-Valley Area (NC) »
4:20.25 2013-05-11 East Bay Athletic League Finals (EBAL) »
4:14.81 2013-05-11 East Bay Athletic League Finals (EBAL) »
4:23.91 2012-02-16 Simplot Games »
4:31.68 2012-02-16 Simplot Games »
4:32.56 2011-05-20 CIF Sac Joaquin Div 1 Finals »
4:34.33 2011-04-22 Bay Area Top 8 Invite »
4:36.49 2011-03-12 Port City Invitational »
4:34.87 2011-03-05 13th Annual Tom Moore Relays »
3,000 Meter Run (Graph) 8:43.73
8:43.73 2012-02-25 Joe Stocking Super 7 Invitational »
3,200 Meter Run (Graph) 9:11.47
9:11.83 2014-03-15 Dublin Distance Fiesta »
9:11.47 2013-05-31 CIF State Track and Field Championship Prelims and Finals »
9:17.26 2013-05-25 NCS Meet of Champions »
9:26.07 2013-05-18 Tri-Valley Area (NC) »
9:27.41 2013-05-11 East Bay Athletic League Finals (EBAL) »
9:19.96 2013-04-27 Sacramento Meet of Champions »
9:18.97 2013-04-05 Arcadia Invitational »
9:35.77 2012-04-21 Northern California Frosh/Soph Championships »
9:43.39 2011-05-26 CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Masters »
9:43.66 2011-05-20 CIF Sac Joaquin Div 1 Finals »
9:52.76 2011-04-22 Bay Area Top 8 Invite »
Three Mile Run (Graph) 14:30.00
14:30.00 2013-11-23 CIF North Coast Section Championships »
14:48.00 2013-10-25 Mt SAC Invitational »
14:59:00.00 2013-10-16 EBAL Center Meet »
15:08.00 2012-10-19 Mt SAC Invitational »
16:16.48 2012-10-10 East Bay Athletic League Meet 1 »
15:12.68 2012-09-15 De La Salle/Carondelet Nike CC Invitational »
5,000 Meter Run (Graph) 15:11.00
15:23.80 2013-12-14 Foot Locker Nationals »
15:45.30 2013-12-07 Foot Locker West Regional »
15:11.00 2013-11-30 CIF California State Cross Country Championships »
15:19.00 2013-09-28 40th Stanford Cross Country Invitational »
15:23.00 2012-09-29 39th Stanford Cross Country Invitational »
16:16.00 2011-12-03 Foot Locker West Regional »
16:49.00 2010-10-09 Asics Clovis Invitational »
800 Meter Run (Graph) 1:58.67
1:58.67 2014-03-01 Dan Gabor Sprint/Distance Festival »
2:07.14 2011-03-12 Port City Invitational »
One Mile Run (Graph) 4:28.76
4:28.76 2012-04-06 Arcadia Invitational »