Hello All! My name is Danny Chester and I am a 45 year old runner from Louisville KY. As a “player of other sports” I didn’t start running until I was in my early 30’s. My journey began late night in a St. Matthews bar when a group of friends asked if I wanted to run the Chicago Marathon. As a nonrunner I had to ask what that meant and was shocked to find out it meant running 26.2 miles. I accepted the marathon challenge 14+ years ago and have grown to love the distance. Running marathons was not always as enjoyable as it’s grown to be.
When I started running the marathon distance my only goal was to cross the finish line and enjoy the company of friends. Without any other goals, I learned that not suffering in training-from time to time-meant I would suffer during and after the marathon; my first 15 marathons were very painful.
I started running with my neighborhood group-Audubon Running Club-in my late 30’s and my training runs began to speed up and go longer just by association with these Boston Marathon qualifiers. At the time, Boston qualifying wasn’t on my radar but I decided it was time to take my training to another level after missing the qualification time by 3 minutes at the KDF Derby Marathon.
I qualified a few months later at the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon and have qualified 20+ times since. I was always of the opinion that I didn’t need to get faster, I just needed to get older but Boston qualifying requires some work!
My current goal is to run all 50 states with a 3:20:00 marathon time or better. I am halfway to my goal and it’s been an amazing experience. Aside from the running experience, I have visited places that I would have not visited, if not for running. Places such as Anchorage AK, Charlevoix MI, and Blowing Rock NC; incredible towns and people. I’ve met so many great runners and the overall experience has been priceless. Watching a Moose chase a runner-about 10 feet-in front of me was pretty EPIC! No person or animal was harmed during this exchange and made for a few laughs later in the race.
Do you have any running/walking advice you'd like to offer?:
Running/walking is different for each individual so my advice is to find out what you want out of running and You do You! Just as I mentioned before, I was content with running long, slow, and on 0ccasion. Marathons/half-marathons may not be for you and they don’t have to be. Running a new PR each race may not be for you and it doesn’t have to be. Don’t feel pressured to run with a group, if you like to run alone, or listen to music, or do all your runs on a treadmill. It’s your life, live your best one!
If you’re new to running don’t be intimated by the experienced runner as they have all been there before. I have found that most if not all runners are very encouraging. Running is natural yet we all look a little different while doing it, but don’t worry about that-you have the look! I personally do not like how I look while running, but I most definitely don’t plan to change it. Set small achievable goals and keep crushing them. If you’re like me though your goals will change, and that meant that I had to change- if I wanted to Boston qualify or run a sub 3 marathon. For me slowing down was a way to speed up so “fast days fast, and slow days slow” I got comfortable with being uncomfortable and that meant harder work outs, and more miles, but it also meant that I needed to be more knowledgeable about the importance of nutrition and sleep.
Do not underestimate the importance of Nutrition and sleep! For strength training you don’t need a gym membership or fancy weights as body weight exercises like Bulgarian Split Squats, jump squats, burpees, and bridges are easy to do at home, and at work, and at the grocery store, and…. well you get it. If you want to run faster you have to run fast and that requires the feet to move quickly so do track workouts, tempos and hill workouts.
I like to chase goals and not people so I don’t compare myself to other runners! There will always be someone better, and I am extremely thankful for those humbling situations; I was once beat in a half marathon by what appeared to be a 9 month pregnant women, once beaten in a 5K by a 9 year old and a year later beat by a 10 year old. I will get him one day!
I am inspired by so many great runners in our running community! Yes, I am in continuous awe of the speedsters; however, I find my inspirations from the mother of 4 that’s running 80-100 miles a week and is able to balance family, or 70 year old that’s run (2) 2hr 54 min marathons within 2 months, and the injured runner that’s fighting back from injury yet has this great enthusiasm and attitude about their circumstance. Talking about no excuses! These people have shown me what’s possible so find your motivation, stayed inspired, and Run Happy!
Why do you like running River City Races events?:
I love the River City Races for many reasons but most of all the sense of community. River City Races puts on many races throughout the year and it’s an opportunity to share a great running experience with friends and family. I have missed a few races this year due to my marathon schedule but I look forward to the Grand Slam 4 miler, and the Polar Bear Grand Prix every year. I am extremely thankful that River City Races brought back the Downtown Doubler and I’m looking forward to seeing this event grow each year. Let’s keep these races around.
Anything else you'd like to share?:
We have a great running community in the Louisville and Southern Indiana area and ‘Im thankful to be a part of so many great running groups and people from the Audubon Running Club (ARC), Derby City Run Club (DCRC), and KorfEdge groups. All 3 groups are unique and welcoming. Anyone can join these groups and the only requirement is that you have a positive, enthusiastic attitude for running! Aside from these 3 groups, there are many many more groups in our community that are welcoming.
Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a questions regarding running groups, a question about an upcoming marathon, general running questions, or my strategy for keeping up with an 11 year old in a 5K. See you on the road! Get Running!