In this blog series, we’ll get to know some of our new and veteran Distance Challenge (DC) participants. If you have a story you’d like to share, let us know! Interviews by DC Coordinator, Hannah Kanne firstname.lastname@example.org.
After years of perfecting my couch potato body, I decided enough was enough. Five years ago I decided to sign up for my first race, an Olympic distance triathlon. For those of you who don’t know, that’s a 1-mile swim, 25-mile bike and 10K run. At the time, running two blocks would leave me gasping for breath. After 8 months of training I finished… almost last in my age group but I finished. It was a proud moment. I celebrated by getting my victory turtle tattoo.
A year later, I ran my first half marathon in just over 2 hours. When I moved to Austin 2-1/2 years ago, I ended up living right along the race route for the Austin Marathon. We spent all morning cheering on thousands of runners and being amazed that the people were all sizes, ages and shapes. I made it a goal that day to run a marathon, and this is the year it’s going to happen. Prior to moving to Austin I lived in Chicago and loved running the lake shore trail. Its 18.5 beautiful miles. But I have to say, Austin’s Town Lake Trail and Greenbelt are just as great (except in July).
Since I’ve committed to running the Austin Marathon (and farthest I’ve ever ran in a race is 12.2 miles), I was looking for a way to stay focused and progressively train. The Austin Distance Challenge is perfect. With a race every month, each new challenge will come along just when I need it. I’m hoping to finish at least one half marathon in under 2 hours, and my goal for the marathon is to finish. I’m also looking forward to meeting other runners in the community, as it’s always more fun to run with friends.
I enjoy running with the Austin Beer Run group that meets on Wednesday evenings at Uncle Billy’s. It pairs running with my favorite beverage, which is a good cold beer. I manage the Total Wine in Sunset Valley, so yes, I sell wine and beer and liquor. I am partial to stouts, Spanish red wine and good bourbon. I have a fun job.
Do you run to music? NO. I know lots of people do but when I am running by myself, I listen to nature and my thoughts. If I am doing an easy run with someone else, a good chat is fun. I will sometimes listen to my Map My Run app if I am trying for a specific time goal.
What shoes do you run in? I mostly run in Mizuno. Currently using the Wave Rider 20’s. I think they are great shoes. But if you’re going to run the Green Belt get some good trail shoes. They are well worth the expense.
What is your favorite running accessory? Two in one running shorts. They are great at preventing chaffing on long runs. Fun tip: coconut oil helps a great deal, too.
Tell us about your family: My wife runs with me sometimes. She thinks I am too serious but she has done her own 1/2 marathon and did this year’s Cap10K. We have three sons, two in college in Florida (Go Noles) and one is in the Air Force.
Thanks for sharing your story, Kevin! We can’t wait to follow along as you #darethedistance and crush your goals this season.