I always wanted to be a runner, but never had the motivation or drive. Once I started, with endless support from my running community, running became a lifestyle! After my first marathon, receiving a Boston qualifier, I signed up to for the 2013 Boston Marathon! Unfortunately, my experience there turned into a nightmare. Emotionally scarred, with PTSD, I had to rely on running peers for support. I signed up for races, no longer to compete and enjoy the thrill, but for exposure at the finish. Racing no longer brought joy, but panic attacks. In recent years, in order to try to overcome this, I have taken the focus off of competing, and put more energy towards helping others. Pacing both the Gazelle Girl Half Marathon and the Fifth Third River Bank Run the past years, has given me a new purpose for running – helping other runners reach their goals. I hope to share my support and enthusiasm, and make the race a great experience from start to finish!
I have been running for 2 years, went through a big transformation about 3 years ago, I use to weigh 220 pounds and now at 135. Running saved my life really! I have met so many amazing people in the running community! I have done all kinds if races from 5k’s up to 34, and even a 50 miler. I recently qualified for Boston and Chicago which I am super excited for! I have paced for the Grand Rapids Marathon and with many of my running friends to help them achieve their personal PR. I am a consistent runner and love to have fun and talk and just have fun!
Growing up in the running community and GR area I started off volunteering at the River Bank Run in high school with the track and XC team. After that I started running the 5K for many years until I decided to challenge myself and signed up for the 25K. I realized pretty quickly that training for a 25K was much more difficult than 5K training and sought out the local running group, RunGR. Training with them allowed me to surpass my initial goals and I even somehow got talked into doing a marathon (Bayshore)... and another (GR)... and because I qualified, I finished off my road marathons with Boston. The past few years I've been getting back to my XC roots, after battling some injuries, and have completed a trail marathon, 50K, and in 2018 a 50 miler. Even though I primarily stick to the trails when I can, the River Bank Run holds a special place in my heart for bringing me to where I am today as a runner and I love being able to help others achieve their goals.
Running is an emotional and physical roller coaster. 2012 was my beginning where I watched the training programs trudge through winter sleet and powdery snow. They powered through all their training to finish the race as I spectated, taking photos and videos for my marketing project as I wrapped up school. I also was working at a run specialty store (still do) and realized I needed to try and achieve what all these people had done. Since then, it's a blur and all the races wash together bun one thing remains. The friendships born through running. My network blossomed into an ever growing running family. I now lead a group every Wednesday night, all year long at Founder's Brewing on a 5 mile trek through downtown Grand Rapids experiencing the hills and stairs of the city with my beautiful wife Kaitlin. Running to me has evolved from a personal goal oriented viewpoint to one that wants to help others achieve their goals. I hope to see you out there on race day.