Groleau Earns January Athlete of the Month


Boston, MA

January 2019

USA Track & Field New England names Ben Groleau of the Western Massachusetts Distance Project as our January 2019 Athlete of the Month! The former UMass Minuteman(and avid backcountry skier) entered the AOM spotlight by breaking the 4 minute barrier in the indoor mile at the John Thomas Terrier Classic at Boston University on the 26th. Ben dropped a 3:58.93 on his way to the achieving the golden standard of middle distance track running. This performance comes after spending a decent amount of time at the 4 flat range for Groleau. According to Umass athletics, Ben had a collegiate outdoor mile PR of 4:01.87, which still stands as the school’s record today.

Read the full interview below:

1) Could you tell me a bit about your race at Terrier? Could you tell me a bit about your mindset heading into the race i.e what you were hoping to accomplish, any goals you had set for yourself?

So it’s funny you should ask this question because I hadn’t really thought about making a sub 4 attempt at Terrier until just about 5 min before the race went off. Going into this meet my original plan was to run it pretty tactically, and focus on just closing the last half mile hard to gear up for an attempt at Valentine. It was only after finding out I was in the fast heat that I decided I had nothing to lose, and might as well just go for it. Needless to say I’m glad I did, especially with how Valentine turned out. Once that gun went off the race mindset was just “push”.

1B)What does it feel like to be a sub-4 miler?

To be completely honest It took a while to hit me. It’s been my ultimate goal  since watching my first live sub 4 at Valentine back in 2012. Once it did hit me it felt pretty surreal to go from not really expecting much going into the race to then achieving a goal I had set for myself 7 years ago. I would like to mention that I wouldn’t be anywhere without the support of my parents as well as past and current training partners.


2)What is your favorite event to compete in?

My favorite event has always been, and continues to be the mile.


3) What are some of your favorite things to do outside of running?

Outside of running I’m big into skiing, and more specifically backcountry skiing. I have had to put skiing on the back burner this winter to focus on running this winter though. I also got pretty into climbing for a while, but that also has fallen by the way side to focus on running. I’d like to try to find more time for it going forward. My problem is that I’ve always been interested in too many activities, and just can’t seem to find the time or resources to fit them all in. This summer I really got into just taking my motorcycle on longer, and longer rides. Once the weather gets nice again I’d really like to start going on longer multi-day tours.

4) What’s up next for you? Any races on the horizon that you will be running in?

I’m not really much of one to have a plan. I’ve set some new goals, and I’m just gonna keep moving forward. I can’t really say much more than that though as I’m not even sure what’s next.


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