Gary Hackmann at a past Bridge the Gap to Health Race in Quincy

On National Running Day, we feature our very own Gary Hackmann, athletic trainer with Quincy Medical Group (QMG) and long-time runner. Over the years, his love of pounding the pavement has evolved into an incredible journey of personal growth, exploration, and memorable moments.

Hackmann’s running story began in high school when he discovered cross country in his senior year. However, it wasn’t until after college, when he settled in Quincy, that his passion for running truly took hold.

“I started cross country my senior year in high school, then got out of running during college,” he shared. “After college, I moved to Quincy and started doing the Bridge the Gap to Health Race and that’s when I really started getting more serious and dedicated to running.”

Running not only serves as a means of exercise but also provides Hackmann with an opportunity to take in the sights around him.

“I love to run because it’s a way of exploring different places that I may not see otherwise and I can do it basically anywhere with just my running shoes and my music. It’s also a good way to stay physically fit,” he said.

But running isn’t just about solitary journeys for Gary; he enjoys the competition as well. “I do races because I love to compete and collect the bling!”

Hackmann shares that it’s hard to pinpoint a single biggest accomplishment. Instead, he highlights several memorable moments: winning the Bridge the Gap to Health Race half marathon, conquering a 25k and 15k trail race with water crossings and challenging hills on back-to-back days, and even completing a marathon while injured.

For aspiring runners, Gary has some valuable advice. “Having the proper attire, such as shoes, socks, and clothes, is important for success and injury prevention,” he advises. “And remember, the more consistent you stay with running, the easier it will get.”