Late Start, “Flash” Finish
Many elite runners have set their eyes on the prize for the upcoming Rio Olympics, but Dan Gorman stands out from the rest of the 1500m competition.
Gorman, now a Nova Scotia record holder for the 1500m race, was never a track star growing up, and he is using that to his advantage. Gorman believes that because he started later in life, he has room to develop and his best is yet to come.
Although Gorman has been running since junior high, he says it was never too serious; “I just wanted to show up for fun, and get out of class,” he laughs. And since his parents could run marathons he thought to himself “if they can do it, I can too.”
And he could do it, in fact, Gorman discovered incredible natural ability. Once he was in University, Gorman soon realized that raw talent would only get him so far as a competitive athlete. So when his coach at Dalhousie challenged him to unlock his untapped potential, he was inspired and made a commitment to really train for one year to see what he could accomplish. “I wanted to see for myself what I was capable of, see what would happen if I gave everything,” he says.
It turned out that Gorman was capable of achieving a great deal of success, and in that year of commitment he improved his personal best times drastically.
Nothing came easily. Where previously Gorman only attended the track team’s scheduled workouts each week, he had to invest more time and effort into pushing his mileage limits and making daily progress. “As soon as I started seeing positive results, I was very encouraged,” Gorman says about the enhanced weekly commitment.
“My coaches and I created what we called the “Dan Plan” to commit to more mileage and faster times for the year of training,” Gorman explains. After much hard work and a full season without injuries, Gorman and his coach proved the sustainability and effectiveness of his full-time investment.
Gorman says that strategy is a crucial aspect of his training, but adds that his girlfriend, also a runner, as well as his coach and other people in his life have helped motivate him. “I might as well do this while I’m young, while I can, and give it all I’ve got,” he says.
The ‘Dan Plan’ proved to be a success, and every year since Gorman has gotten faster with no signs of slowing down. “But the workouts are not the problem,” he says, “I need the funds to get to training facilities to practice in warmer climates where the races are held, and experience altitude training.”
Gorman’s Pursu.it campaign intends to cover this burden of equipment, European race circuits, and travel costs to training camps across North America. Grateful for the support, Gorman includes a personal component in his Givebacks; his own artwork. In his spare time, Gorman is a photographer, and is offering his own autographed photographic prints, available only to those donating to his campaign.
“My pitch to donors is that I’m still new to this sport, a lot of my seasoned competitors count me out because I wasn’t a NCAA or CIS star and because I’m new I’m not a threat.” But Gorman’s competitors couldn’t be more wrong.
Underestimating an athlete as determined as Gorman is not advisable for anyone hoping to beat him. “That’s a huge motivator for me,” he continues, “I’m super pumped to prove them all wrong.” And he will too.
This summer Gorman represented Team Canada for the first time. Proud of the national jersey, and proud of the bronze medal he brought home from the NACAC Senior Championships in Costa Rica, Gorman says it’s all preparing him for a chance at the Rio Olympics.
“Ultimately, the best athletes are the ones who don’t hope to make it to the top, but the ones who know they deserve to be there,” he says. Gorman explains that fearless assurance and determination are some of the most important parts of success in his sport, “you need a certain amount of confidence, even arrogance sometimes,” he says, “you’ll never perform if you don’t have it, because so much of this is mental.”
That’s why Gorman knows he will succeed, saying, “in the end, I’ll come out on top.”
And the Pursu.it team is cheering him on all the way to the top!