Running, Racing, and Balance

Danny Stock
Scroll down to read Running, Racing, and Balance, the third installment in the Run Good and Keep Going series in which we are sharing, in honor of Anthony Belber's 20th year as head coach of all GDS running programs, some of the stories of alumni who have returned as assistant coaches over the years. We hope you’ll follow the series, share with alumni friends, and join us in expressing gratitude to Anthony for all these years of helping GDS “Run Good.”

If you missed the first two posts, we invite you to read A Nice Long Warm-Up for What Follows and Keep Calm and Run Good.

Running, Racing, and Balance

“I always thought organized sports were boring, but indoor track seemed pretty low-key so I decided I would give it a try.” The skateboarding sophomore Peter Silverman ’03 reluctantly took up track after his mother worried that he hadn’t yet participated in a single extracurricular activity at GDS. He had even surprised himself that fall during PE class by running a mile in seven minutes flat. By the end of the indoor track season, he’d run a six-minute mile and was hooked. Peter ran every season of cross-country and track though graduation in 2003. He finished second in the 2002 MAC XC championships, second in the 3200-meter race at the 2003 MAC outdoor track championships, and ran the 1600-meter race (~one mile) in 4:43.

Peter’s story represents a compelling reminder of the importance of consistent training, month after month, year after year, a story that he shares with current GDS runners. He shaved nearly 40% off his mile time by graduation by putting in the work each week. While the film program at Chapman University was strong, its running program was not. Peter missed the community and the top-level training partners he’d grown used to at GDS. Still, he had a top-20 finish in the NCAA Division III 8K race and set a school record that stood for eight years.

Peter returned as a GDS assistant coach for various seasons from 2007-2009 and has continued to volunteer off and on with the GDS team over the last decade, some years doing once a week drop-in coaching sessions, other years, just chaperoning the cross country preseason camp.

“Competitive running changed my life for the better, and I’m incredibly grateful to Anthony for introducing me to the sport. When I come out to volunteer, I’m there to help the current generation of GDS runners, but it’s also my way of saying thank you to Anthony for being a great coach.”

Now a freelance film editor, following a stint at National Geographic, Peter continues to benefit from the balance GDS running brought to his life, particularly in his rather sedentary job. If you don’t catch him at a GDS running practice, you may find him on the C&O Canal towpath or in Rock Creek Park where he runs most days.

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Next week's installment, The Long-Distance, Long-Distance Coach, features postcards from Bosnia, shrubbery, and alum coach Matt Simonson ’04.
Student athlete running on a track.

Peter competing in the 2005 NCAA D3 XC regional championships. Credit Naomi Stukey.

Black and white photo of a skating teenager.

Peter skateboarding at Wisconsin Ave and Ellicott St in 1999. Credit Jordan Matthews.

Two student athletes running together as a team.

Peter and teammate Alex Stern competing in the 3200-meter race in 2003.

Cross-country running student athletes competing.

Peter competing in the 2004 D3 XC Regionals West. Credit Anna Wlodarczyk.

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