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"I may not run fast. But I can run forever." Q&A with radiologist Dr. Maryellen Gilfeather on 300+ Marathons AND a Successful Career

For radiologists, finding time for personal interests can be challenging. However, Dr. Maryellyn Gilfeather has leveraged vRad’s flexible and predictable work schedules to blend a successful career with a remarkable passion for running.

With an extraordinary record of over 300 marathons, including more than 50 since joining vRad in 2019, Dr. Gilfeather embodies the work-life balance that vRad strives to offer. Her journey through marathons is as diverse as the locations she’s run, from energetic urban races to Antarctica.

Dr. Gilfeather’s experience demonstrates how working at vRad opens doors for personal fulfillment in a demanding field. I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Dr. Gilfeather as her medical services liaison at vRad. I sat down with her recently to hear more about her fascinating story of 300+ marathons.

 

Q&A with Dr. Gilfeather

 

Q: What has been your favorite marathon and why?

A: Choosing a favorite marathon is tough. Big city marathons are exhilarating with thousands cheering you on. It feels like you’re a hero, even though you’re just on a long run. Then there are the quiet ones, like Big Sur, which are breathtakingly beautiful. A particularly memorable one was on San Juan Island, near Seattle. Only about 30 runners participated, and the finishing medals were handmade clay medallions crafted by a local kindergarten class. It was charming and unique.

 

Q: What has been your most memorable marathon moment?

A: The most unforgettable moment was during the Boston marathon in 2013. I was about 200 yards from the finish line when the bombs went off. It was a shocking and somber experience amidst an event usually filled with joy.

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Q: What is the furthest or most unusual place you’ve traveled for a marathon?

A: The most unique marathon I’ve run was in Antarctica in 2022. It was an extraordinary experience, running in such a remote and beautiful environment.

 

Q: How would you describe your love for running? Can you give a little background on why you love to run and when you started?

A: I started running as a kid. In my hometown, one lap around the block was exactly one mile. I’d run a mile every day after school. In seventh grade, I was the only one out of 300 kids who could run a mile straight, and they let me join the track team, even though it was usually for ninth graders. Running has always been a part of me; it’s both a physical and mental release.

 

Q: That's a lot of miles… How are your knees and body holding up?

A: Contrary to popular belief, running hasn't caused me injuries. I don’t believe our joints are like tires with a limited tread life. They need to be stressed to stay healthy. I just turned 60 and am fortunate to run without any chronic pain or injuries.

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Q: Do you have a running buddy, or do you prefer to run alone?

A: I actually started a running club here in Salt Lake City, called the SLAM runners – it stands for Salt Lake a.m. runners. We meet early in the morning and have been running together for years. It's a great group; we chat and solve all the world's problems as we run.

 

Q: How do you find the time to run?

A: My ability to run regularly is definitely thanks to vRad's flexible and predictable schedule. I usually run in the morning with my club. It's easy to join them without worrying about getting stuck at work unexpectedly.

 

At vRad, we're all about empowering our radiologists to have the time and energy for what they love. I am so proud to be a part of a practice that genuinely cares about their radiologists’ happiness and to have the opportunity to hear their unique stories and amazing accomplishments.

Interested in how you can join our team and still chase your passions? Discover more about life and work at vRad, where your career and hobbies can run side by side.

Author Meredith Palm

Medical Services Liaison, vRad

     

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