Legion Profile: Pete Hammer

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This profile first appeared in our Jul/Aug 2014 issue.


Peter Hammer attended high school in the Albany, NY area, running cross country and track during his junior and senior years. He attended college at the University of New Hampshire where he ran cross country three out of four years. Following college, he took up bicycle racing for a few years but did not run competitively until, at age 29, his sister talked him into running the 100th Boston Marathon. Following the race, he joined a running club and

Pete Hammer (center) at the 2014 JJ Ramble. Photo by Scott Mason.

competed in local road and cross country races over the next six years. Highlights from this period include a month of training in Kenya’s Rift Valley, competing in USATF cross country club nationals from 1996 to 2000, and qualifying for and placing 23rd in the 2000 US Olympic Marathon Trials. He also met his wife during this period – at the 1999 Chicago Marathon, where they both were trying to get qualifying times for the upcoming Olympic Marathon Trials. He took another hiatus from competitive running from 2002 until 2010, as he tried to juggle work, a growing family, and PhD studies. Since then, he has been enjoying a return to daily running and to training and racing with a club. Highlights from this current period include racing cross county with the BAA masters team – including USATF Cross Country Club Nationals in Seattle, WA in 2011 and Bend, OR in 2013 – and competing with a masters team in the Reach the Beach relay last fall.

Wayne Levy, a teammate of Hammer, has this to say about the man: “The thing that impresses me most about Pete is how smart he is in his approach to training and racing. He is one of the most patient racers I know. He doesn’t talk much but when he does, you better listen. Pete is a big part of the recent success (and resurgence) of the BAA’s Masters Team. Even at my young age [Editor: cough, cough], I am still learning from him. I am looking forward to winning more team titles with him this year. With Pete on board, why not?”

Hammer’s biggest challenge these days is squeezing training into the spaces around career and family. The weekday routine involves getting the kids ready for and off to school, then running the 9 miles to work in Boston. Speed work consists almost entirely of timed intervals on the roads on the way to work…and dashing to catch the train home after work. Weekends consist of sleeping late, getting massages, stretching, and hitting the gym and…oh, sorry, that was Pete day dreaming. More like: getting up at 0600 with the kids, guzzling a morning coffee, working on house/yard projects, and chasing around three kids.

Personal Bests

5k: 14:21 (Maine Distance Festival 1999)
10k: 30:17 (Beach to Beacon 1999)
Half marathon: 65:37 (Kyoto, Japan 2001)
Marathon: 2:20:04 (Chicago 1999)

To read more from our Jul/Aug 2014 issue, click here.

To read more from our current issue, click here.

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