My running career started in 6th or 7th grade when a friend and I started running before school. We eventually signed up for a 5K put on by a new running club, Club South Runners, which went around the lakes of LSU. Before my dad let me do the race, he made me run two laps around Cortana Mall which totaled about 3 miles. I survived the training. I survived the race. And I never looked back.
My dad took me all over south Louisiana running every road race we could find. I also ran for my junior high school, several summer track clubs and two different high schools. I loved cross country but ended up despising track. I always ran the mile and two mile with a few special moments where I had to run the half mile as well. Fourteen laps of racing around an oval at one meet was not my idea of fun. Maybe that is why I don’t watch NASCAR.
During my sophomore year, I ran the old Baton Rouge Marathon a couple of days after my 15th birthday. I finished in 3:27 or so. That is still my P.R. to date. By the time I had switched high schools, sat out a year of eligibility, and suffered through my last season of track my running career came to a sudden halt. I was done.
Fast forward 17 years and I had now been married for 12 years to Christine with two kids, Lara & Mason. My only exercise in that time span was being on a 15 man paintball team in Texas and 3 or 4 years of Tae Kwon Do and Tang Soo Do. I had gained some weight and now had my stick man who swallowed a watermelon look. And I couldn’t keep up with my kids in the yard. It was time to start running again. So I did. And it sucked.
I had all the visions of what I used to be able to do and it was depressing not being able to do 10% of that. Or maybe even 5% of that. I got into a cycle of training, racing a 5K, sucking at it, and quitting again. It wasn’t until I started doing triathlons that I found something I could do where I wouldn’t compare myself to the past. I think triathlons started me down the path of “Why Not?”
In 2004 I raced in 4 triathlons while watching new friends do their first Ironman races. It was contagious. Without much thought to the pain and suffering, mine or my family’s, I signed up for Ironman Florida 2005. And that is where I found my other passion involving endurance sports: fund raising. I always said that if I did something that long and daunting, I would want some charity to benefit from it. So I did.
Since then, I have raised money for numerous charities while competing in triathlon and running events. Christine has run everything from a 5K to a marathon to a half-Ironman triathlon. Both the kids have done triathlons and are exceptional swimmers and athletes. I have also drifted back to my original love of running…….with a twist. It seems that 26.2 miles is not quite far enough these days. I have been bitten by the ultra-marathon bug. So far I have completed a few 50K (31 mile) runs, a 50 mile run and even a 100 miler.