Growing up, I was surrounded by running. My dad was a runner (a 2:40 marathoner at that) and my mom was a cross country and track coach. So naturally, running was the last thing I wanted to do! I played just about every sport as a kid, but didn’t find my way to running until the end of high school. What drew me in? Someone telling me I couldn’t do it. “You can’t run a half marathon,” they said. And because I’m stubborn and had to prove them wrong, I started running. Fourteen years later, I’m still lacing up the sneakers on a daily basis.
Had you told me when I started that my life would revolve around running, I would’ve called you crazy. But alas, running surrounds me. I train daily to set new PRs in every distance from the 5K and half marathon. I work full-time as the Race Manager for the Louisville Sports Commission, a local nonprofit tasked with attracting new sporting events to the city and making our citizens more active. As Race Manager, I’m in charge of our Fall Runathon: the Louisville pure tap® 5K, the Norton Sports Health Great Pumpkin 10K, and the Urban Bourbon Half Marathon presented by Jim Beam®. My family is all runners; my friends are all runners; and my business is all running. I’d have it no other way.
While I’ve focused on the marathon more lately, my favorite distance is probably the half marathon. My body isn’t built for shorter distances, so my 5K and 10K speed is lacking. But I’m full of endurance and grit, so the longer distances suit me well. I’m currently training to break 2:55 in Dayton this fall and hopefully dip below 2:50 in Houston or Boston in 2019. The marathon is a beast, and I feel like the half is a lot more manageable. I was finally able to break 1:20 in the half this year, so look forward to being able to drop that time even more post-Boston 2019.
Do you have any running/walking advice you’d like to offer?:
There’s a lot of advice that’s been given to me over the years, but there are a few key pieces that stand out.
· Have fun! There are going to be days when running isn’t fun, but the majority of days should be enjoyable. Races should be fun, too. Smile at the spectators, take in the course scenery, and don’t focus on the pain or discomfort you may be feeling. Enjoy it!
· Find a group to run with. This goes hand in hand with the previous piece of advice. Running groups can not only push you and make you a stronger runner, they can make running enjoyable. There are so many groups in Louisville, and I’d be happy to help anyone who needs a group connect with one.
· Don’t compare your speed or ability to others. Much easier said than done, I know, but it’s important to not pay attention to how much faster or slower than someone else you are. Running is all about challenging yourself, beating your own set goals. Don’t let someone else’s times become your goal or distract you from reaching your goal. Running groups are great for pushing you, but don’t let them push you directly into the ground.
Why do you like running River City Races events?
I’ve been running RCR events ever since I started running, and I’ll continue to as long as I can. As a fellow Race Director in the city, I know how difficult it can be to put on a quality, worthwhile event. RCR’s team does a great job, pouring a lot of passion and dedication into making their events top-notch. I’ve always appreciated that as a runner, but appreciate it now even moreso since I’ve started directing races.
Additionally, I love how River City Races supports the local running community. Louisville’s running scene has blossomed into a strong, thriving presence in this city. I love how many great people I’ve been able to meet through running, and how much we all support each other. River City Races contributes to that community and continually improves upon it.
Anything else you’d like to share?
As a Race Director, I always like to bring out the human side behind races. A lot of runners forget that the people putting on the events are human; we put a lot of hard work into what we do. Sometimes we make mistakes. Sometimes things don’t go exactly as planned. But make sure to remember that we’re working hard to make races as smooth as possible. Tell us what we may have done wrong so we can improve upon it, but also tell us what you liked. Tell the volunteers and police officers thank you as you pass them on the race course. I love getting to work with the running community, and can’t wait to pour my heart into our city’s events for years to come.