ARC Interview with Sandy Cumming

20160430_111758For this Austin Runners Club Interview, we have a local celebrity. Sandy Cumming has been a member of the ARC for 20 years, has served on the ARC Board, volunteered countless times (but we definitely count on her) and is part of the amazing Al and Sandy Cumming team, a couple that has done so much for Austin running and the ARC. They lead the Ship of Fools intermediate training group, with 3 of our ARC training runs and the Austin Runners Club Marathon Training groups.

Sandy used to live in Burnet, TX, just up 183 and over on 29 from Austin. She met Al Cumming when she was the Race Director for the Bluebonnet 5K in Burnet. They married and lived there for a while. It used to be a tradition to attend two local races and end up at Al and Sandy’s house in Burnet, for local barbecue and donuts “as big as your face”, or “breakfast, immediately followed by lunch”.

Sandy has been running for fun for 25 years, starting when a friend wanted her to come run a 5K with her. When she met Al, he convinced her to try marathons. She hadn’t run more than 7 miles and wasn’t sure, but… She and Al have now run marathons in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, the coveted 50 and DC challenge – TWICE. She counts over 120 marathons completed. And, if that isn’t enough of an achievement, she once ran 6 marathons, in 6 states – in 6 days, in September 2015. It was a dream from the time she heard of it, but she’ll “will NEVER do this again, but I am very proud to have finished.”

Sandy now only races half marathons and has a new challenge coming this October, 7 half marathons in 7 states in 7 days. She is now on a series to run Half Marathons in all 50 states, and has completed 13. After October, her list will get a big boost.

She runs 6 days a week, several of those with the Ship of Fools ARC training group. Her race times include 5Ks around “22ish” and a marathon PR of 3:41.

We asked her about her training philosophy, and she says “it would be to just go run! It doesn’t matter how fast or slow you are…just go…have fun and meet new people while doing it. Al said my philosophy is to pass the woman ahead of me.”

Sandy is a retired Registered Nurse (RN). We can thank Seton Hospitals for bringing Al and Sandy to Austin from Burnet. She now runs a small weekly newspaper, helps out with the Ship of Fools training and enjoys running in the hills of Austin.