Garrett Heath was a fine cross country runner in college. He was also a fine track athlete.
I remember watching him race at the World Indoors in 2012, and noting that he showed some serious guts and racing savvy when he battled against some of the world's best.
Several times a year, I am fortunate enough to catch up with Garrett, and I am always impressed by his sincerity, his love of the sport and his self depricating humor.
That sense of humor was quite apparent after he won the 2015 USATF Club Cross Country senior men's 10k in San Francisco on December 11. Waiting until the last 200 meters, Garrett went by Jonathan Grey and won, 29:06 to 29:10. "I waited and went by with 200 meter to go. With fifty meter to go, there was nothing left."
When I teased Garrett a bit about running the 10,000 meter distance, he made it quite clear he would run 5,000 meters, 3,000 meters and perhaps 1,500 meters, but twenty-five laps on the track-nein.
One month later, in Edinburgh, Garrett ran over 8000 meters of cold, muddy, wonderful cross country pitch. In 2014 and 2015, Garrett won the 4k in Edinburgh against top athletes. He did the same in 2016, this time, holding off Mo Farah, the finest distance racer of his generation, with 200 meters to go.
Bennett Grimes, a fellow Brooks runner, told RunBlogRun that Grimes' father, Danny Grimes a fine coach and athlete in his own right, believes that Garrett could really succeed over 10,000 meters. So does Garrett's coach, Danny Mackey.
For now, Garrett Heath will have to enjoy the RunBlogRun Cross Country Athlete of the Months of December and January from us. This spring, he told us he might race 5000 meters, 3000 meters and perhaps 1,500 meters. We hope that there is a 25 lapper in there, but we will be patient.