1. Where are you from? I am originally from Durango, Colorado, but my father’s company transferred our family every two years as I was growing up so that by the time I finished college I had lived in Colorado (twice), Oklahoma, Texas (twice), Florida, Louisiana (twice), Wisconsin, and Minnesota. In my adult life I have added Alabama, Arkansas, and Georgia to my list. I moved to the Savannah suburbs at the beginning of 2011, and have now lived here longer than any other place in my life.
2. How did you start running? On April 10th, 2015, my wife brought home a shelter dog for us to keep for the weekend so that his foster parent could go to Atlanta for the weekend. We ended up adopting the rat terrier Charlie. His limitless energy required that I walk him twice a day else he would destroy our house. He would always pull on his harness (even anti-pull) when walking so I got some athletic shoes and started running with him. Understand that I was a couch potato and after our first run I took a two hour nap! So Charlie became my coach and we started running a three mile loop around the neighborhood daily. Over the next eight months my neighbor Rick Paduszynski recognized my progress and encouraged me to enter a race. He had just completed the 2015 Savannah Bridge Run and shared that registration was very cheap when done so far in advance. So I committed with an eleven month lead time to get ready and Charlie & I started running twice a day.
3. Why do you put so much into your racing? Once I registered for my first race in 2016 I had a reason to improve my performance. Instead of chasing my dog Charlie, he was soon chasing me. My first race ended up being the inaugural 2016 Tour de Ford 10-miler (I had never run further than seven miles,) I placed second in my age group and won a pair of socks! I was hooked.
My second race a month later was the Milestone Half Marathon where I recognized many runners from the previous race (Leah and Brandon Mitchem, Lori Carter, Melissa Bragg, Frank Mikula, & Robert Migchelbrink) and realized the social aspect of races by meeting additional runners (Alice & Eric Carpenter, Checo Colon-Gaud, Matt Rogers, Matthew Syno, Matt LaPaglia, Priscilla Westfield, Randy Totten & Kerry Cosneau.) I found races to be a big organized party!
My third race was the 2016 Rock N Roll Savannah Marathon where just by luck of standing in line to enter the Expo I met the Brendan Vasher (2018 ERS Champion.) We quickly realized that we lived near each other and decided to ride together. He introduced me to other runners and additional races. He encouraged me to consider shorter distances of 1-mile, 5k, & 10k. And the rest is history. We have become good friends and find ourselves racing together almost every weekend.
I consider myself fortunate to have started running late in life. At my age most runners are doing their best not to slow down. Because of my late entry I am still getting faster. In 2019, I set personal best times in
half marathon 01:35:37
I have full confidence that I have not yet set my lifetime PR at any distance. My drive is to be the best that I can be.
4. Favorite Local event of 2019 would have to be the Love Chocolate half marathon. The weather was perfect, the competition was fierce, and the attendance was ‘through the roof’! I love the course set in the beautiful neighborhood of Southbridge with its lake and smooth streets. The course has just enough elevation change to get the attention of this local flatland runner. The vast assortment of chocolate themed refreshments at the finish encourages runners to mingle and celebrate their accomplishment of the day. I managed to crush my previous best in a half marathon and potentially qualify to run the New York City Marathon in 2020.
5. Who can we thank for your success this year?
Brendan Vasher is my best friend who runs ten seconds a mile faster than me. I am better because of it! He has introduced me to all of my favorite non-ERS races: Chilly Bean, Gate River Run 15k, Gulfstream, Volksläufe 20k, Brooklet Peanut, & Baxley Fitness.
Bill Briggs is the patriarch of my running team. He has taught me to “Embrace the Struggle!”
Kevin Faircloth is as close as a brother and supports me like one. We have driven thousands of miles together to race and I hope we have the opportunity to do many more.
Eric Carpenter is a friend who provides sound advice whenever I have inquired. He has helped me to heal when injured and supports my success.
Holly McGee is my cheer squad leader! She runs every race that I do, and when I run farther she is at the finish line to cheer me in.
Pam Howe is my coach at running improvement. She introduced me to Hansons Marathon Method which I use to train for marathons. I completed five marathons in 2019. With her help (and shoes selected by her husband) three were personal bests.
Tonia Davis is my inspiration for getting out and running. She shows up at every race ready to run often driving many miles to join. She gives her all and inspires me to do the same.
Laurie Householder inspires me to be the best that I can be! She has steadily set new personal bests since I first met her at the 2017 Sunburn 10k. Her work ethic and dedication to running show me what is possible when you commit to being the best! She logged more than 3000 miles in 2019, unbelievable!