Gerry Hollis

I grew up in western CT, and was involved in sports from a young age eventually lettering in both football and wrestling. The Marine Corps was one of my earliest influences as the son of a Korea era Marine, and nephew to four other Vietnam era Marines. Following high school, I attended Wagner College with a wrestling scholarship and immediately entered the Marine Corps PLC program. I also participated in the football program, obtaining a varsity roster spot as a walk-on, going on to win a national title during my sophomore season.
After completion of OCS and college graduation, I accepted a commission and attended TBS in summer 1990; becoming an Infantry Officer as Desert Shield and Desert Storm were underway. My Marine Corps service included typical company level billets, training exercises, 22nd MEU deployment, as well as a South-Com Spec Warfare MTT. Humorously, the most interesting characterization of fleet time was ‘almost deployments’. I continued service in the Reserves in MEF operations billets, concluding in 1998.I’ve always generally remained fit and active, even while raising a family and beginning a financial services career but didn’t begin pursuing endurance sports until the age of 39. My first endurance effort was a 24 hour adventure race covering over 100 total miles. Map and compass multi-sport in the woods was a blast. No worries about noise or light discipline, no heavy pack and no bad guys – this was a different way to experience outdoors! This event spurned interest in endurance sports of any kind. I’ve since participated in scores of running, bike, multi-sport events on both road and trail, including midwest favorites like Hawk 50, Free State 100k and Ozark Trail 100. In Sept, I’ll complete my first IM event – Chattanooga, with my wife who’s a pretty serious ultrarunner and endurance athlete.My thoughts and personal philosophy regarding running: Its naturally human, and we should all run. Watch a small child – they run, everywhere. Running trails – differently than roads, is substantially better for mind and body as there’s a different focus of mental and physical effort. Running far – Go do it. You don’t have a limit other than that you’ve imposed artificially. Ultra-Racing – a practice exercise for life. Set a big goal, prepare, adjust, execute in adverse circumstances. Learn lessons, even fail but persevere and you will reach your objective.

Gerry

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