Athlete Bios

Zachary Ripley

Men's Marathon

Qualifying Time: 2:16:35
Qualifying Race: 2023 Bayshore Marathon

Zachary Ripley
Date of Birth


Age on Race Day


Current Residence

Rockford, MI


Grand Rapids, MI

High School

Northview High School

Current Affiliation



Professional Learning Consultant with Communications by Design

Marathon PB


Social Media
First Trials qualification


Previous Trials



Cornerstone University

Career Highlights
4 Top 10 USATF Championships finishes; member of winning Team USA at 2013 NACAC Cross Country Championships; Winner, 2022 and 2023 Bayshore Marathon, course record-holder; Winner, 2023 Baltimore Marathon 2021 and Charlevoix Marathon , course record-holder; 2010 NAIA Champion, 3,000m steeplechase; 2-time NAIA Championships runner-up 3,000m steeplechase
Together with my wife of 14 years (Andi, also a Trials qualifier), I have two sons (Miles, 7 and DJ, 6). We married before our senior year of college (so that she wouldn't get swept up by all the much faster and better-looking guys around!). Our lives have been and continue to be intimately influenced by our families: my dad and step-mom, Doug and Michelle Ripley, mom and step-dad Roy and Sue Fedewa, and Andi's parents, Paul and Robin Owens as well as our siblings and siblings-in-law, Kevin and Nicole Dufendach, Jessica and Shay Jenkins, Ben and Randi Ripley-Ford, Luke and Eliza Owens, Caleb and Sage Davis, and George and Doni Goad. I assume you would prefer I don't start to list all our nephews and nieces as well (there's only 14...). I cannot ever talk about influences on my life as a runner, though, without a very special shout-out to my past coach of many years, Nate "Q" Van Holten. Q is the man who single-handedly taught me how to love the sport.
Greatest Accomplishment
Accomplishment? "Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun." (Eccl 2:11, ESV) If I have accomplished anything worth noting here, it is the clear realization of my own broken and wayward heart, for in that realization, I discovered not only a need but a desire for the everlasting love and grace of God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ!
Interesting Story
I don't train with any kind of objective external measures. I don't measure pace. I don't run with a heart-rate monitor. I don't wear a watch most of the time. Sometimes I don't even know how far or for how long I'm running. This is true in races as well. So when my buddy saw I qualified for the Trials again, he congratulated me. Then he asked the classic question: Did you think you were ready to run that fast? (It was about a 2-minute PB for me at the time). I replied honestly: No. Because I didn't even know what pace or exactly how far I was running in training. In follow-up, he asked how I knew what pace to run in the race then, like what I could handle. Fact was, I told him, that I not only didn't know what pace I could run in the race, I didn't know what pace I WAS running. I ran comfortably for 13 miles, then ran hard for 13 miles. But I did cheat once. With two miles to go, I looked at the clock and saw what the total time said. Quick math revealed the truth of what was happening, and I nearly stumbled both in surprise and the shot of adrenaline that went through me when I realized what was happening. It was a great day!
Favorite Book

The Bible, specifically the Gospel according to Luke

Favorite Movie

The Lord of the Rings

Favorite TV Show/Series

The Chosen

Favorite Song

I don't. Audiobooks all the way!

Favorite Post-race Indulgence

Sitting down.

Favorite Breakfast

Bagels with peanut butter. Or bacon.

Favorite Motivational Quote
"But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint." (Isaiah 40:31)
Favorite Running Memory
Family jogs through leafy fall trails or Christmas Eve lights.