John Gilbertson Biography

Career Highlights

  • 2012 NAIA Cross Country National Champion
  • 2013 NAIA 5,000m National Champion
  • 10,000m at 2013 Stanford Invitational (28:30)


How did you start in your sport?
I ran a mile in 8th grade with no training in 5:30 so the cross country coach approached me and asked me to come out for the team. I liked running and I liked winning so it made sense to me."

What does a typical training day look like?
8:00am practice running with the rest of the Asics Mammoth Track Club. After that, I just try to rest as much as I can until my 2nd run of the day in the afternoon. The daily mileage is anywhere from 12 miles to 20 miles or more on the long run days.

What keeps you passionate about your sport?
I believe in God so for me running is an act of worship. I am using the talents that the Lord has given me to bring Him glory through running.

What continues to drive you forward?
I try to look at the big picture in life. When I look at my life and what I am doing, I know that there is a greater purpose that I am involved in. My greater purpose is trying to do everything that I do for the glory of God. That's why I'm alive.

What made you realize you had made it?
During my senior year of college, I took a couple trips to visit some elite running teams to see where I would like to go and where I would fit in. One of those places was Mammoth Lakes, CA where the Asics Mammoth Track Club is. Once I met with coach Andrew Kastor I was hooked. I knew this was where I wanted to be and where I felt God calling me to be. So a month after I graduated college I moved up to Mammoth and joined the team.

I like talking to my friends back home and watching movies with my teammates in Mammoth. Oh and napping!

Favorite Food:
I love all kinds of Italian food so basically any pasta out there I will devour.

What do you do in your "off days?
On my "off days" I sleep in and just rest as much as possible. I might watch TV or play some poker with my teammates. Rest is the key for those days.