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Gary Tuttle of Ventura Accompanies Girlfriend to Boston and Ends Up Chasing Geoff Smith : Sometimes, Finishing Second Is as Good as Winning

May 05, 1985|JERRY CROWE | Times Staff Writer

"At Boston, I was running real easy. I was 1:07 at the half and was cruising, running right with a group of about 10 shooting for second. And when it came time to make a move, my speed was the best out there. Geoff Smith maybe can run a faster 10K--I don't know. I'd be willing to race him.

"But I made a nice move and I was going really well, running really strong at 21 (miles), and by 22 I was just surviving. I just can't carry the distance through. I'm just not efficient as a marathoner."

He has run Boston only three times seriously, finishing seventh one year.

"The other times, I just had a good time, drinking beers along the route," he said.

Of last month's race, he said: "Smith was gone from the beginning. He ran that first mile 10 or 15 seconds faster than anybody else cared to, including myself." Tuttle said he could see the leader "for about six or seven miles on long straightaways, but he was the furthest thing from my mind."

Until the crowd got him excited, of course.

But Tuttle, a self-effacing type with longish hair and a diamond earring in his left ear, said he has no regrets.

"I've run 20 years and I've been very consistent but I've never been a hard-core runner," said Tuttle, who ran his personal best in the 10,000 last year. "I've always looked at it as fun and I've always done fun things, so I don't think I've ever hit my potential.

"I run twice a day and I don't miss much but I live a normal life. I've never been a one-track-minded person. I don't sleep, eat and drink running. It's just part of me. It's not all of me.

"I've run a lot of good stuff and never got any credit, so it's kind of nice now, after 20 years, to run a race for which I'm probably getting more credit than I deserve."

Even if it could have been a little better.

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