Brett Gotcher's first-ever marathon is going down as one of the fastest debuts in U.S. history.
The Aptos native has been running competitively for years but on Sunday, he ran his first-ever 26-miler. His time in the Houston Marathon of 2 hours, 10 minutes and 35 seconds, is the fourth fastest marathon debut in U.S. history. It also makes Gotcher the fifth-fastest active marathoner.
"That's pretty cool," Gotcher told the Santa Cruz Sentinel, "considering I just ran my first marathon and there are a lot of places I could improve still."
The former Stanford runner placed in the top 20 in the 2008 Olympic trials in the 10k race and won the USA Track and Field 20k Championships a year later but the record-making marathon was his first such race.
Houston won't be the last marathon for Gotcher. He plans to join in on the Chicago and New York marathons this year too.
But, before he laces up for those races, Gotcher has something a little shorter to conquer -- the 6-mile Wharf to Wharf race in July. He's run the Santa Cruz classic race many times in the past but has been bested by the elite African runners.
Sometimes, it's the little things that matter.