Vincent L. Gulley: Living With A Purpose

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Several years ago Vincent L. Gulley’s life was forever changed with the death of his Grandmother in Hope, Arkansas, and the passing of his brother. Since then his entire life has changed, including his physical, mental and spiritual health. At the age of 56 after losing his brother and grandmother, Vincent began running, and since then he hasn’t stopped. This New Years Day, to honor the memory of his grandmother Pauline Byrd Peevy, he will be running 74 miles throughout the entire day on the streets of Hope.

Vincent wasn’t always a runner, in fact running is something he picked up in recent years. At the age of 57 years young, Vincent will be running 74 miles to honor the memory of his Grandmother and brother. “I am running for my Grandmother who’s life was cut short. My brother, who died too soon. My mother who needs her son, my sisters who need their brother, my kids and grandkids, family, and friends and the impact I can make on future generations. I have been determined to live a healthy lifestyle. ‘My Health is my Wealth’, and I have to remember the promise that I made to my own mother: that she will not have to bury me. This is my why, and this is why I have to keep going,” said Vincent.

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In order to prepare for his Dedication Race, Vincent Gulley has been preparing his mind and body for over a year. “This whole year I have been training. I started out running my first marathon on a trail this time last year. I used to run 4-5 miles, and last year I ran my first half marathon. Since I started running I have progressively gone further and further. My furthest distance was 55 miles, and I had to prepare myself mentally for that,” said Vincent. Vincent has taken the time to prepare himself mentally and physically for his upcoming dedication run. “I always have to remind myself that it is going to be hard. There is going to be pain. But the start and end of that pain have a date, and while I’m running, I always try to keep my grandmother and what she had to endure at the forefront of my mind. I used to only remember how she died, but now I try to remember how she lived. The encouragement from remembering how she lived has helped shape my mindset,” said Vincent.

Vincent Gulley’s Grandmother, Pauline Byrd Peevy, whom his 74 miles is dedicated to.

In order to prepare himself for his dedication run, Vincent has been training non-stop. Everyday he runs between 15-25 miles. In the last year he has run in several 50K trail races, and recently completed a 10K race. “My 10K race last Saturday was my last run before New Years,” said Vincent. In one of his recent races, Gulley almost wasn’t able to finish.”I was so dehydrated that when one of the medics tapped my back there wasn’t a drop of sweat coming down. My body was in so much pain that I could barely run. But I took a 20-25 minute break, and when I saw my mentor coming down the path I faked it and made it. I needed to do that mentally to show myself that I could get through anything. In life you may have to work harder than the next person, but it can be accomplished. That’s why I don’t look at anyone else in comparison. I just look at them and say ‘I can do it too.’ And that’s what I have been doing,” said Vincent.

This New Years Day, Vincent will begin his Memorial Race for his Grandmother at 5:30AM. He will start at the Fair Park Grounds in Hope, Arkansas and run until he finishes. “It should take me anywhere from 14-15 hours to complete. My mentor will be there, and another Ultra Marathoner, Jose Alvarez, is also coming to run with me. The actual route is about 8 miles long and runs through the center of Hope. The route will take me in front of my grandmother’s lot, and I will run the route about 8 or 9 times,” said Vincent. TXKToday wants to wish Vincent the best of luck on his journey to 74 miles next week!

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