Running Spotlight: GP Pearlberg

We recently had a fascinating conversation with one of the most inspiring and charismatic personalities in the running world, GP Pearlberg. It’s impossible to describe this man in a few words but in trying, we’d say… runner, author, announcer, coach, MC & we could probably list about 50 more adjectives and still not give him proper justice. In short, he is a passionate ambassador to the running world.

His running story starts many years ago. Growing up in England, he found himself leading elite teams on the Rugby and Soccer fields (or “on the pitch“) throughout the UK.

In 1989, after some relentless pestering from his sister, a young GP (now based in Southern California) signed up for his first marathon despite not being very dedicated to the sport of running. He completed the NYC Marathon on November 4, 1990… well, just barely completed it! The 26.2 mile challenge “humiliated and humbled him”. He battled nausea, under-training, bad nutrition and poor technique for nearly 5 hours before crossing the line rather unceremoniously.

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That event, which crushed and nearly destroyed him, would later be the foundation to rebuild him (and then some). Disappointed & defeated, he would not run for 9 more months following that race. After a casual glance at a copy of Runner’s World, Pearlberg rededicated himself to a sport that would become his life.

GP became a true student of the sport. He read “anything he could get his hands on” related to the world of running. He learned about body mechanics, nutrition, training techniques… you name it. All his diligence certainly paid off. Over the course of his career to date he has completed 27 marathons. More remarkably, he would improve his marathon time by more than 2 hours and 6 minutes to 2:34 . In 1998 at the famed track at Hayward Field, Oregon, GP won the Nike World Games 35-39 age group 1500 meters in 4.06 and ran a 4.17 mile the same year.

Ten years later in 2008, GP also placed 9th in the USATF Master’s Indoor Nationals in the 3,000 in Boston.

His successes in the sport also continued away from the track as well. GP coached extensively over the years, working with runners from novice to professional and has qualified multiple runners for the USA Olympic marathon trials. He described the feeling of training a new marathoner as “truly incredible”.

He also authored several DVDs and a book titled: Run Tall, Run Easy, The Ultimate Guide To Better Running Mechanics.

Pearlberg serves as part of the Marathon & Beyond Speakers Bureau . As such with his captivating voice, GP is a regular guest speaker in addition to being an MC or broadcaster for many prestigious races around the globe including hundreds of NCAA events and as the voice for the Miami, Fargo, Illinois Marathons for the past 13,11, & 6 years respectively. His rich, English accent lends itself to class and sophistication and provides texture to enhance any running event.

He simply loves all things related to our sport! Being in the near presence of GP immediately intensified my passion for a sport I already love. If you get a chance to hear him lecture, do not miss it!

More information about his story, his book, his philosophy and more are all available on his website or GP Pearlberg is clearly one of the great ones in the world of running & and his legendary story continues to be written!


Editor’s note:

GP Pearlberg also serves as the Head Coach for Team Boomer, which supports Boomer “Nobody Cares About Hockey” Esiason and the incredible work his team does for CF. 


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Charlie Hoffmann

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