MEMBER: Sam Stortz

Name: Sam Stortz
Hometown: Dresher, PA
High School: Upper Dublin High School
College: Ursinus College
Favorite Place to Run in Philly: Wissahickon Trail

Personal Bests
Mile: 4:30
5000: 15:27
10000: 32:40
Broad Street: 55:45


By: Kevin Brandon (03/06/19)

Sam, thanks for taking time to speak with us. Could you tell us a bit about yourself? How did you end up in Philadelphia and running with PRTC?

Hi all, I'm Sam, originally from the Philly suburbs. I moved to in Old City in 2018 and I have to credit Pat with getting me to join PRTC. He told me he was the Communications Director or something so I figured I already knew someone really high ranking in the club. He added me to the email list and after getting enough weekly emails from Kevin coupled with wanting to make 2019 the year of the PRs, I took the plunge and joined (though don't have any PRs to speak of from 2019).

When did you first become a runner? Did a specific event compel you to take on the sport?

I'm the youngest of four and all three older siblings ran in high school so I knew that's what I wanted to do. I really wanted to break 6:00 in the mile in middle school but ran 6:08 while also losing to my crush at the time, so that really motivated me to keep going.

Once you began running, how did your career develop? Take us through day one to today.

Like I said, I was losing to the middle school girls pretty regularly when I started running. I was still bad in high school but our team was good so I took it seriously and got better. I opted to be a big fish in a little pond and ran at Ursinus.  Since then I've been on and off running between 0 - 50 MPW for the last six years.

What is a favorite running accomplishment or moment?

My favorite running accomplishment is probably running 24 miles and drinking 24 beers in 18 hours. Second would be winning the Ursinus Alumni Mile five times.

How about a not-so-great moment?

A not so great moment is having to take off 6 months in college due to a stress fracture in my spine. I was running ~70-90 miles a week for 6 months or so and in great shape, then the stress fracture basically stopped everything. A close second is jogging the last 6 miles of my one and only marathon at 10 minute pace because I went out too hard. 

Regarding your running future, what are your near and long-term goals?

My first goal is to get healthy. I haven't been able to sustain over 50 miles a week since college without getting injured. Assuming I can do that, which I think I will in 2019, I'd like to PR in the 5k and eventually get close to 2:30 in the marathon. I also want to attempt 100 beers / 100 miles in a week. 

Preferred pre and post-race meals?

Pre race meal is usually just a banana and a 16 oz Wawa black coffee. Post race is usually a dozen or so drinks followed by a cheese steak from Steve's on 16th and Chestnut.

You and Pat McLaughlin attended the same high school. Any good stories from back in the day? We're sure there are plenty of options!

I don't have many specific stories about Pat but his presence on the famed Penntrack message boards circa 2007-2008 under the alias 'binged' was awesome. We also used to call him Chuck. I don't know why. I'm probably the only person who still calls him Chuck. I'm actually probably the only person who still calls him at all. And shout out to Sean Clark, another Upper Dublin High School alumni in PRTC.

Can you share with us what you're currently up to professionally?

I work with my two brothers right now at our family business in Old City, John Stortz & Son. It was started in 1853 by my great great grandfather and is somehow still in the same building as when he started it (210 Vine Street!). We sell mostly roofing tools as well as some masonry and cooperage tools. Not something I'm particularly passionate about but working for the family business and being your own boss is awesome.

Any non-running related hobbies, hidden skills or talents we may enjoy hearing about?

Outside of running I play guitar and chess, bowl in a league, hang out with my two cats (one has no eyes), and use dating apps unsuccessfully. As for hidden skills, I was unofficially ranked 95th in the world in Guitar Hero in high school. Things like being ranked in guitar hero, being in a bowling league, having two cats, and playing chess may be why I'm unsuccessful on the apps.