Elizabethtown’s Samuel Gerstenbacher Joins D3 Glory Days

An unofficial series is coming to D3 Glory Days called ‘The Lost Season.’ We’re going to be interviewing those who lost their senior track season due to COVID-19. While many want to forget that time, we want to be a place where people can share their thoughts and help in the process of moving on. The second guest in this series is Samuel Gerstenbacher from Elizabethtown.

Samuel’s approach to running is something we can all relate to: he wants to run for as long as he can. While the fast times and new PRs are fun to Samuel, the act of going for a run is most important. In the episode, he said, “For me, running is an expression of who I am as a person at this point. And I think a lot of people get to that point when they do it long enough.”

After losing his season to COVID-19, Samuel took time away from running. On one hand he wanted to let some injuries heal, but the loss of the season destroyed his motivation. It took a few months but the realization of not having structured training a part of his routine was unsettling to him. He slowly built his mileage back up and got back into racing shape.

The 2022 track season was fruitful for Samuel. He posted PRs in the 1500, Steeple and 5k running 3:47, 8:38, 14:06 respectively. While he’ll eye road races this fall, he’s eager to get back onto the track to break some big-time barriers.


On Running Post Collegiately

“If I run a poor race today because I just mentally check out, that’s on me and I’m the only one that has to live with it. And if I run, fantastic, then I get to ride this until the next race. So that was kind of the mindset I used to approach my entire year with.”

On Getting Back to Training

“It feels so good just to be training and that’s kind of what keeps me going regularly, to be honest. Just knowing that being in it and training, even if you’re not fully like gearing up for some peak races, just the process of training feels great.”

On The Love of Running

“I feel like a lot of people when you’re out of it, you’re out of it. And it’s hard to remember what it was like when you were in it. But then when you force yourself back into it, you’re like, ‘Oh man, I remember why I did this.’”

On Why He Runs

“For me, running is an expression of who I am as a person at this point. And I think a lot of people get to that point when they do it long enough.”

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