RUNNER OF THE MONTH

Lincoln Murdoch

This month we are featuring one of our brand ambassadors, Lincoln Murdoch, who has a great passion for running!  Lincoln is a Boston native who was mostly raised in Omaha. Not only is he an avid athlete, he is also a pastor, consultant and teacher!

Growing up, Lincoln played basketball not realizing his future passion would really end up being in the sports of running and swimming. It wasn’t until his senior year in college that he finally decided to go out for the track team for his first time ever. The humble athlete admits that one of the most embarrassing memories was being lapped on his second mile of a race. But that didn’t stop him from continuing to pursue running. He started running 5ks and 10ks in his early 20’s and really grew to love the challenge and competition. A competitor by nature, each race just kept him wanting more.



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Now at the age of 57, Lincoln has a lengthy athletic resume and continues competing till this day. His running career includes 5ks, 10ks, half marathons, full marathons and not to mention four, yes four, 50-mile ultra marathons! But it gets better; he also qualified for the Western States 100 without even knowing it and has also completed over 100 triathlons with three ironman distances! He has competed for Team USA three times in three world championships in Germany, Australia and England. These days he has been doing what he considers short distance races, such as 5Ks, 10Ks, and sprint and Olympic distance triathlons. His favorite running distance, when properly trained for, is the half marathon and a trail ultra.

Lincoln has been reading and studying running form and training plans for 35 yrs. For advice, he goes to his friends who are national/world-class runners and coaches but doesn’t particularly have a private coach. He goes on to add that being in his 50s and after three and a half decades of running and two decades of triathlons, he knows what his body needs to do in training to perform at its best. He typically runs every third day, swims twice a week and bikes two or three times. All of this, of course, depends on work and family commitments on a given week. Family and work always come first for sure.

In his spare time, Lincoln loves being with his wife of 37 years and kids who he says are his biggest fans. He also enjoys fishing, camping, hanging out with his dogs, watching survival shows on TV as well as any endurance sport that might be on, spending time in the general outdoors and traveling. He has been blessed enough to have traveled to 30+ nations. He loves sweets and has to cut back a lot on sugar, sticking to his 1800 calorie a day diet while training.

Some of his proudest racing career moments include finishing the Kentucky Ultra Distance Classic 50 mile ultra marathon in 9:23, winning the gold medal/national championship in my age group at USA Triathlon’s Nat. Championships in ’12, finishing 6th in the world out of 95 guys from 50 nationals at the ITU Sprint Distance Triathlon in London and being the first Team USA member out of 15 in that race.

Lincoln finishes off by sharing with us that God has allowed him to do and accomplish more than he ever dreamed possible in running and triathlons. “I’m so grateful, honored and blessed!”, he says. He also added that he loves Fitletic products/belts. “I’ve used a lot of different brands over the years and Fitletic’s products are the top of the line! High quality for sure. I want to thank Fitletic for helping me with my training and racing! Fantastic company.”

When asked what his favorite inspirational quote is, he said, “I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure.” Eric Liddell, Olympic Gold Medalist who gave his life in the service of the Chinese people. Featured in the movie, Chariots of Fire.


Jacky Winer

Jacky Winer is a 52 year-old Colombian native who is an avid runner with a lot of love for the sport!  He is a family man and business owner who moved to the Florida in 1999.

Winer has always had a love for sports, most favorably soccer.  His passion for running started when he was younger but didn’t really get into the sport until his first marathon in 1998.  He first began casually running in Colombia with a group of friends just for fun. It was more of a group activity than a competitive thing. In 1998 Jacky ran his first marathon in NYC along with his Colombian running group.  The group had such a great experience that Jacky’s dream was to go back and run more marathons.

When asked about being competitive, Jacky had this to say, “When it comes to running I am not very competitive. My challenge is always to beat my best time but I don’t refrain myself from having fun, supporting my group and enjoying the run.” He goes on to say that his perfect distance is 13.1 miles. It’s still a good amount of miles but it’s not as much as 26.2.

Jacky used to train with a coach but few years ago decided to train with a program called Hal Higdon, which he notes has worked great for him. He started the Hal Higdon program 18 weeks prior to a full marathon. The rest of the year he participates in half marathons, 10ks and 5ks.  He also really enjoys training with his Aventura Runners group, especially on their Saturday morning runs. Aside from running, his hobbies include spending time at the beach, pool, and quality time with his family and friends.

As for his eating habits and special food interests, Jacky admits that his food habits are not the best and his favorite food is chocolate!  “Anything that contains chocolate, I like.”

Jacky’s biggest race accomplishment to date was a marathon he participated in Chicago in 2007 when he broke his own record of 3 hours and 28 minutes. His long term goal is to be able to continue to run marathons and triathlons and beat his own best time.  Jacky also incorporates swimming into his exercise routine twice a week.

We ended the interview by asking Jacky his favorite quote to which he advised is “I have met my hero, and he is me.”

Kevin McGinnis

What got you interested in running – and what keeps you active as a competitive runner?  I’ve always liked running.  When I was little you would see me glued to the tube watching the Olympics.  I grew up on Lake Washington and would water ski all the time with my brothers.  My brothers played baseball so my parents thought that I would like it too (this was not the case).   When I was playing baseball as a kid I’d try to get in trouble all the time because the coach would make us run laps if we were bad.  I remember one day I upset the coach so much that he told me to run till he said stop.  At the end of practice when my mother came to pick me up, she couldn’t find me.  She asked the coach and he found me running around the field.  He ask me why I was doing that and I said “you told me to run till you said stop”.  He then told me that maybe I should join Track instead of baseball.  That was the best thing my baseball coach ever taught me.nd road racing, and relay races.  I love the road the most.


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Give a synopsis of your running career to date.  I started running track in junior high back in 1977 and I haven’t stopped yet.  I’ve raced cross country, track, and road racing, and relay races.  I love the road the most.

Give a sample training program for a distance/race you particularly aim for. Do you currently have a coach, or have you had one in the past who influenced you?  I can’t eat till I get my run in, so I’ll get on the road sometime in the morning and I’ll run anywhere between 3-13 miles and then I can have breakfast.  A couple times a week I’ll get in an evening run and a speed workout.

Tom is my coach, the only other coach that has influenced me was my baseball coach that told me to try track and give up baseball.

Please tell us about a couple of races of which you are particularly proud, and why.  I’ve raced more than 1000 races over the years to pick out just a couple is hard.  I think I’d have to say the pre-race 10k in Coos Bay because it’s a very hard course and it brings out the best in me.  At the age of 46 I ran 3 life time PR’s …. 15:59 5k, 40:50 12k, and 1:14:26 Half Marathon.  People tell me that I’m supposed to slow down as I get older, but I never got the memo.

Do you do any specific exercises, stretching routines, etc.?  I like to bike both mountain bike and road.

Give a non-running fact about you no one knows.  I told my dad when I was a kid that someday I’d run the Boston Marathon, swim across Lake Washington and climb to the top of Mt. Rainier.  I haven’t made it to the top of Rainier yet L but I’ve got the other 2 notched into my belt.

What is your favorite moment of running (does not have to be a break through race…. could be workout, trip, motivational speaking, coaching, etc.)?  When I was 8 years old I watched Lasse Virén win the 10k in the Olympics after falling and ran over by the pack. He got right back up, caught the pack and won the race setting a new world record.  Days later he won the 5k by out kicking Pre and Gammoudi in the last lap and ran his last mile in the 5k in 4 minutes.  After watching Virén beating Pre I told myself that I wanted to race him race him and kick his butt.   28 years later I had my dream come true.  My prize from the Pre 10k sent me to Myrskylä, Finland Virén home town to run the Lassen Hölkkä (Lasse’s Run).  I never races any race over 10 mile and when there I found out Virén ran only the 20k at his race (offering both a 10k and 20k).  Still holding on to my dream I had to step up to unfamiliar grounds.   I’m glad I did because I beat Virén and found that I’m good at that distance.  Next thing I knew I was into Half Marathons.


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Brad Rininger

How did you get started running?  I started running casually as a soccer player throughout my school years. During high school my cousin was a bit of a stud cross country runner and that motivated me to run even more, albeit still as a recreational runner geared towards my soccer interest.

When was your first race? First official, sanctioned race was Tucson half marathon in December of ’11. It was a gear up to my first full marathon, PF Chang’s Rock n Roll AZ, in which I somehow managed to agree to run it with my cousin (mentioned above) on a bit of a bar agreement. Drinks may have been involved in that. I went 1:47 and change which, at that time, I thought was flying. Amazing how things change with time.

What is your most rewarding race? The aforementioned first marathon. My cousin Jack came out to AZ specifically to run it with me (he had run it numerous times before and really had to dumb down his pace to keep me company) and we had a whole slew of family out on the course cheering. Pushing through the pain and agony (couch to marathon in 10 weeks anyone?) and crossing that finish line with him pulling me along was priceless. I’ve since drug him down the triathlon rabbit hole. Payback I say.

 

What is your favorite moment of running (does not have to be a break through race…. could be workout, trip, motivational speaking, coaching, etc..)? There are so many it’s hard to choose. The affirmation from my cousin after the most recent Tucson marathon (he traveled out again to run it with me) when I realized he was proud of what I’ve done was one. But the most proud was probably sitting at a Thanksgiving 5k and hearing my 4 year old nephew state “I want to run like Uncle BT” (my nickname), as he was getting ready to hit up a tot trot. We need to work on his start.

 

Simply, why do you run? The joy, the purity of it all, the release and meditation, the pursuit of being better and chasing PRs. Running seems to allow my soul to smile, regardless of how it felt prior to lacing up the shoes.

 

What is your favorite running/motivational quote? While the exact quote seems to be unknown, Steve Prefontaine, “the only good race pace is suicide pace and today looks like a good day to die.” I love the competition that racing brings about and that pretty much sums up the attitude you need when it comes time to toe the line, regardless if you’re racing with the front pack or just trying to set your own PR. Give it all you have, absolutely all.

 

Anything else you would like to add? I’m single! Ok seriously, I’m just glad to be considered for runner of the month. We do this for nothing more than the joy it provides, anything else is just icing on the doughnut. Shameless plug for my running and life blog at www.liverunlove.com. And I’m single.

Amy Blake

I’m a web developer who’s been blogging semi-regularly since 2000 but most recently have been writing about running and other health-related pursuits at amyupnorth.wordpress.com. I’m also on Twitter and Instagram (@amyupnorth).
I make my home in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula with my husband, two kids and two dogs. Our summers are spectacular, autumns breathtakingly beautiful, and our winters are snowy. And long. And snowy. Did I mention snowy? We get, on average, 200 inches per year.


When you live in a place that has snow on the ground for a good 5-6 months of the year, you learn to enjoy it. Snowshoeing and ice hockey are favorite activities (and occasionally I can be coaxed into cross-country skiing).But of all the outdoor pursuits we’re fortunate to be able to take part in up here, running is my favorite.

Running wasn’t always my first choice. Sports for me involved aluminum implements (bats) or balls (softball, volleyball, soccer), and running was what happened when the coach got mad. And like a lot of people, I went through the college freshman 15 (or 20), bad break-up, realization that I no longer had the metabolism of a 16-year-old. So, I started running occasionally in my twenties, occasionally embracing it, but mostly keeping it at arm’s length, participating occasionally as a way to burn calories to keep my weight in check.

Ten years ago, during a dark period in my life, a friend convinced me to sign up to run a marathon. I had no idea what I was getting into, and that first summer of training, long runs, pouches full of weird gooey substances and long run iPod playlists was one of the best summers of my life.

I finished that marathon and caught the bug. I’ll be running my 11th marathon this fall in the Twin Cities (tcmarathon.com) and am shooting for a half-marathon PR this May in Green Bay. In between? A trail series, a 100-mile bike “race” out in the wilderness and anything else I can find. I love the excitement and competition of organized events.

I run for my health, to relieve the daily stress of life, and to set an example for my kids to get out there and have fun!  When I run, I’m a better mom, wife, daughter, and friend, human. For me, there’s no better way to travel through this journey called life, and I’m trying to enjoy every step.

 

Amy!


Wyatt & Teagan

This month we are highlighting Wyatt & Teagan as our Runners of the Month! We were so inspired and thrilled to see these awesome kids getting excited about being active and using our belts to help them on their journey. It is so important to us not only to inspire our youth but encourage and support them! This brother and sister team have been busy racing this past year! Check out all the races that these two have completed.

Wyatt is 7 years old (his birthday is in June so half the races were at 6yrs. old). In 2013 he ran the following races: 4 Mickey Miles at Disney World Florida, SMILE Mile Track Shack, Color Me Rad 5k, Shingle Creek Adventure Challenge (2mi canoe/1 mi run) family team, Disney Mt. Everest Family Challenge, Operation Giveback Mile, Splash ‘n’ Dash Fun Run, Turtle Krawl 5k, Track Shack Run Nona (night run), and he is finishing 2013 with Track Shack Turkey Trot 5k and Reindeer 5k.

His fastest Mile this year is a 9:49.  He runs the 5k’s with his mother and his 3yr. (now 4yr) old sister but at the very end I let him finish faster and his fastest 5k this year was 45:34.

He says he loves running because it is awesome and keeps him strong and healthy!

Wyatt is also on the Lake Highland Swim Team and is a beginner Wake boarder.
Teagan is 4 years old.  In 2013 she has run the following races:  2 Disney World 400 yd Dashes, Track Shack SMILE 1/3 Mile, Color Me Rad 5k, Operation Giveback Mile, Turtle Krawl 5k, Disney World Mickey Mile, Track Shack Run Nona 5k (at night) and she is finishing 2013 with Track Shack Turkey Trot 5k and Reindeer 5k.

Her fastest Mile was 12:11 and fastest 5k was 47:29.

She says she loves running because it is fun and she loves talking to all the people when she runs!

Teagan also takes Zumba and is a beginner Knee boarder.

Cyndie Nell

Name: Cyndie Nell
Age: 43
Hometown: West Jordan, Utah
Occupation: Faculty @ Salt Lake Community College

I have always been active ridding bikes, lifting weights, and walking the dog. I didn’t really start running until 2008. Since then I have ran 15 marathons and over 50 half marathons. I have ran a total of 5800 miles since I started running.

What is your favorite moment of running?

My favorite moment running is looking at all the beautiful scenery. I get to see 26.2 miles  worth of attractions and scenery.

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What motivates you to keep running?

What motivates me to keep running is I love to win medals. I have done so many races just to get the fantastic medals.

What is your running mantra or favorite motivational quote?

Some of the quotes I like are I am stronger than this challenge and this challenge is making me even stronger. Dig deep and Suck it up buttercup.

What are your furture goals? Any big scary ones?

Next years goal is to do a half Ironman

Anything else you would like us to know about you?

One other thing about me is my son is juvenile diabetic and I really had a hard time coping with all trails diabetes throws you. Running has really helped me deal.


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DAN ZIRBES

Age: 41

Currently lives: Ft Gordon, GA

Technician with the Minnesota Army National Guard as a Telecommunications Specialist.

I truly started running about a year and a half ago when I was going through my Warrant Officer Candidate School and needed to pass my 2 mile run. You see, before that time, I had just lost 70 lbs and was doing general workouts and cardio to lose the weight. When I started my school, and running, I was starting too really like running. One day, after one of my runs, I told my wife “I thing I am getting faster at the 2 miles” and she replied “Then run farther and see how far you can go.” So I did.

One thing I do love about running is being outside and enjoying the day no matter what had gone on before my run or was is happening after it. I run in all weather conditions because it is just “Getting out there” that matters to me. I also do love the competition of racing. Pushing myself to go farther, faster, and longer than I have before. To this day, I still think about what my wife said, “Then run farther and see how far you can go.” every time I train for a race. That one line changed the way I looked at running and how I go about getting mentally prepared for it. I guess I could say I am a running addict now and I can blame my wife (there are worse things, lol).

RACES COMPLETED:  2 – 10k’s, 2 -4mi Mud Runs, Duathlon Sprint, Olympic Triathlon, Half Marathon *please note Dan did ALL these races within one year!

UPCOMING RACES & GOALS: Carolina Spartan Beast, Polar Dash Half Marathon, His first Marathon and IN 2015 Dan is going to do an IRONMAN!!!

Cori Nicholls

Prior to 2010, I wasn’t a runner.  Not even close.  The last time I could remember running was in 10th grade with my friend Kimmy and I hated it and, therefore, didn’t do it often.  That all changed one day in January, when running suddenly became the most important thing in the world.

My dear friend and coworker, Anna, had just sent me a Facebook message.  Since I’m not on FB anymore, I can’t repost the message but the gist of it was “I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma last month.  I wanted you to hear it from me before I announce it at work today”
I was stunned.  Anna was the most active person I knew.  She ran marathons, for cripes sake!   How could she suddenly have cancer?!?!   Hubby strolled into the kitchen while I was still digesting this.  I looked up at him and said “Anna has cancer.  I need to find a run for Lymphoma and do it!”   Without batting an eye, he looked at me and said “But you’re not a runner” and I told him “I guess I’m gonna become one!”


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With that one statement – my world became a much different one than I had ever known.  I was a woman on a mission.   I searched and searched for lymphoma races.  I was thinking 5K would be good. Something to honour a friend and, maybe, raise a little money in the process.  I was coming up empty.  It seemed no one had a race for lymphoma.  I even wrote to the Lymphoma Foundation of Canada and, after taking their sweet time, they wrote back “We don’t hold any races but I think the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society does something”

A quick Google later made me wonder why something as big as Team in Training had never popped up in any of my searches!  Soon, my hopes were almost dashed by my mental state.  The shortest distance I could run for these guys was a half marathon.  And it seemed so huge – running that super long distance and raising THAT much money to do it.   But I quickly slapped myself upside the head and said “This isn’t about you – dummy.  You can totally do it and it would be a wonderful way to honour a friend who’s been pretty good to you over the years”

I looked at the races that were available, but the training had already started for them.  I spoke to the lady at the head office to see what races might be coming in the Fall and she started to list off what was coming up. When she said Nike Women’s, I stopped her.  That was a race Anna had done with her daughter a few years earlier.  THAT would be the race to do to honour her.

In late February, I started to teach myself to run using Couch to 5K.   It was really hard for me.  I was down about 15lbs from where I had started the year, but I was still carrying a great deal of weight and was still fairly out of shape.  The program made it manageable, though, and I found myself looking forward to lacing up my runners and hitting the pavement.  I signed up for a 5K goal race at the end of May to keep me motivated (and to allow me a few extra weeks in case I needed them).  Then I heard about another 5K race in early May that benefited the NICUs where my daughters had spent their first week and signed up for that too.  Suddenly I was signed up for 2 races and I hadn’t even finished learning to run yet!

At the end of April, I attended the info session for the Fall season of Team in Training.  I was a bundle of nerves – arriving early and anxious about what was to come.   I was sitting in the room when I heard a familiar voice behind me and I turned to see a girl who I had sat next to in a SharePoint course a few years earlier, checking in.  We immediately started to gab and get caught up and I felt my anxiety start to go away.  I had a familiar face who would be doing this, too (Anna’s daughter, was going to do it as well, but I didn’t know her that well back then). At the end of the presentation – I signed up and walked away with my training shirt and instructions for setting up my fundraising website.

A couple of weeks later, I started training with the team…and I ran my first 5K the very next day.

The months that followed are a blur to me.   I ran several more races as my distances increased, just to keep myself motivated.   I made amazing friends who became my running family.  I became a part of a community working towards a great cause.  And I became annoying to pretty much everyone I knew as I came up with new and creative ways to fundraise (that fundraising minimum is nothing if you pluck away at it in $200 chunks!)

Running had become a part of my life!  Something I couldn’t do without.

As I trained that summer, I found other benefits to this new lifestyle I had adopted.  The Saturday morning runs got me out of the house and gave me a break from the twin terrors, er…toddlers.  I got to talk with other women and relate on a level I had never related before.  Running made me a better mom to my girls because it gave me something that was my own and let me step away so I could come back stronger.

By September, the big race was looming.  Only one month to go.  I started to wonder if everything I had gained was going to just vanish when we were done being a team.   Turns out I wasn’t alone.   A few of us started to make plans to keep up the Saturday runs after we were done with TNT.  We discussed other races we could run.  We started to register to run these races together.   There was definitely going to be a running life after TNT!

Suddenly, it was the middle of October and hubby and I were on a plane to San Francisco, with the twinners left at home with Gramma.  I didn’t know it then, but that weekend in California was going to be one of the most emotionally wrenching of my entire life.  This was where we really saw the difference we were making for LLS.  This was where we really became a team.

Lining up at 5:30 am in Union Square with tens of thousands of other runners.  I found myself quite unprepared for the excitement of a big American marathon.   I knew I was ready to run this thing and I was mentally prepared in case I ended up running it alone, despite hoping to stay with my friends.  Anna was there too.  In remission and running her first half since her diagnosis.

I started the race with my friends, since we were good at keeping pace with each other.   Unfortunately, a poorly timed drink of water at the start line meant that I was suffering by the time we were out of the financial district.  I needed a portapotty and fast.  I thought if I could just run ahead of the group, I could get through the line and meet the girls at the other side.   That thought changed as soon as I saw the lineups.  I was stuck waiting.   Twelve minutes later (as per my Garmin pause), my friends were gone and I was on my own.

From miles 4 to 9 – I plodded on solo.      I was losing steam.  I was mentally beating myself up.  Then, at one point in that solo trek, I came to the mission mile…a mile dedicated to all of the people we were running for.  Each region had photo collages up and, as I looked for the Prairie region one…I saw Anna just ahead of me.   I ran to catch her and, with tears in our eyes, we had our photo taken with the collage.   I hugged her and ran with her group for a little bit and then I was ready to go again.  I took off, with renewed determination to finish this.  I now remembered why I was there again!

At the mile 9 marker, I stopped to take a self portrait with the sign and a girl came up to me and offered to take that picture for me.  Turns out she was on my team – I’d just never met her because she hadn’t trained with the rest of us.  We decided to finish this sucker together and get our pictures taken with the lovely Tiffany-bearing firemen at the finish.

Suffice it to say – we crossed that finish line.  We got that Tiffany necklace.  Then we parted ways.  For someone who I had never met and whom I had shared the end of an emotional journey with, it is odd that I never saw or spoke to her again.   But I’ll always remember her.  We may not have known each other, but that day we were a real team.  I wish I could have crossed the finish line with my friends, but doing it this way made me realize that I was doing it for a bigger reason than myself.

To this date, I still train weekly with people from my team.  They have become some of my dearest friends and I cherish every step I run with them!   Anna?  Well, she is now happily in remission and finally finished her maintenance chemo.  Next January, we are planning to do the Goofy Challenge for Team in Training to celebrate her success.

Since starting my running journey, I’ve run:
•    1- full marathon
•    7 – half marathons (I’m running my 8th on May 6 in Vancouver)
•    6 – 10K races
•    9 – 5K races
Craziness for someone who never thought she could be a runner!  But with as far as I’ve come – I am so glad that I have this in my life.  I’m glad that I am healthy and strong and can do this.  and I’m excited to see where this journey takes me.

Follow me on twitter: @khourianya or my blog at www.readwriterunmom.com

Cori Nicholls
Langdon, Alberta, Canada


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Ian Senior

Langhorne, Bucks County, PA

I started running for my health and my two boys.  In the Summer of 2010 my wife Shari and were playing in the local park with the boys when my eldest son, Micah (who was 3½ at the time) ran across the field and I was totally out of breath trying to keep up with him.

I had recently changed jobs and there was a gym on the campus where I worked.  I started with a ‘Couch to 5K’ program and did my first race over Thanksgiving (a 5 miler).  In the process of running multiple times a week I lost about 60 pounds (between August 2010 to April 2011).  My running has helped me maintain the weight loss.

 I started running further and further and did my first half marathon in April 2011 (Bucks County Half) and the Broad Street Run 10 Miler (my first ‘Big’ race) in May 2011.  The Philadelphia Broad Street Run is the biggest 10 mile road race in the USA.  My father in law had run Broad Street many times and I wanted to give it a try myself.  It was great.  My goal (as a new runner) was to finish and also in the back of my mind was to break 90 minutes.  I made my time goal…just.  I ran 89:55.

I had bought a copy of Runners World (January 2011 edition) which talked about the top rated Marathons.  It had an article about the Philadelphia Marathon which is close to home (I live in Langhorne, Bucks County, PA about 35 minutes drive from Philadelphia).  Then I saw that that the Runner’s World Challenge was coming to Philadelphia for the 2011 Marathon.  That made up my mind to decide to a Marathon (it was on the ‘before I’m 40’ list which was approaching in 2012).  I signed up and followed the training program from the website.

During the marathon (I think mile 22 or so) my body started to realize that this was the furthest I had ever run before and all I could think about was that I was so close I have to finish for my boys.  The best part of the day was that once I crossed the finish line my eldest son was there to meet me.  We walked back to the hotel together very slowly.  I finished in 4:06:48.  The Thursday after the marathon, my wife Shari, my father in law and I ran the Thanksgiving 5 miler together (which had been my first race the previous year.  I bettered my 2010 time by 6 minutes (43:32) less than a week after running my first marathon.

Now that my wife also had the running bug we decided to head to Walt Disney World for the 2012 Marathon weekend.  My boys (Micah 5 and Asher 20 months) ran the kids races, Shari ran the half marathon and I am ran the full finishing in 4:06:18 (beating my Philly time from 7 weeks earlier…again, just!).

Now Shari and I run our races together…well almost.  At 5’11” I am 1ft taller than Shari and I have longer legs but she is probably quicker and is usually very close to my time and mostly catches me up – plus she looks better running in a tutu!

In 2012 we are both running in Broad Street Run (May 2012) the Rock and Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon (September 2012) and I will be running the Philadelphia Marathon again while Shari will be running the Half (November 2012).

We will be returning to Walt Disney World in January 2013 where I have signed up for the Goofy Challenge! and Shari will be running her first full marathon.  This time I will be running for the charity “Autism Speaks.”

Kristy AKA Fancy Pants 

In 2007 I went through a few things in my life that had me looking for something to do for myself and not anyone else. I needed a spark to make me that happy person I once was, and figured doing some huge and exciting would do that. My dad has been a runner for about 18 years, so I was a spectator at many finish lines and always thought “these people are crazy”.


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One day he convinced me to wake up wayyyyy to early on a Saturday, and try running for myself. Well that one small 30 minute run turned into me joining him every weekend after that. The satisfaction of going farther and farther each week had me hooked. My dad was training for the the Long Beach half marathon that year so I figured what the heck might as well join him. I found out about a small running group that was training specifically for that race, so I got a few friends to join me and we were at the start line of our first half marathon in 2008. I finished my first half in 3:05, with a smile and a spark back in me! If some had told me then that by this time I’d complete over 20 half marathons, many 5k and 10k’s, I would’ve thought they were crazy. Last year I took my “self challenge” to a new level and ran side by side with my dad at the LA Marathon. We ran in rain, hail, and winds but still finished with smiles on our faces and a memory I will never forget.

With not many races on my calendar this year, I decided to make running more of a leisure thing to stay healthy. I often run alone to clear my head, or if I’m up for some laughs and chatting I’ll call up my group of running buddies. I do my best with my busy schedule to get in a run 2-3 times a week, with yoga and a gym session on my non running days. I took on some trail running recently that I’m absolutely in love with!

I absolutely love the Ifitness Ultimate 2 running belt with a slide on waterbottle attachment! It’s perfect for my Iphone/nano, lip balm, car key, I.D, credit card, and my gel packs. I don’t always need water for shorter runs, so I like the fact that the bottle can slide right off. I also use my belt for hiking and even sliding it under my tops when I go to theme parks and holiday shopping…beats carrying my giant purse!

I’m so excited to be the “Runner of the Month” for ifitness this month..THANK YOU IFITNESS! if you’d like to read more about my running adventures please check out my blog!

kristyleeruns.blogspot.com

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