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All American Sets Sights On World Tri Championships


Christopher Walden makes goals a way of life. Many of us make unrealistic goals and when we don’t reach them, we give up on goals. Christopher’s secret is to start with smaller, shorter goals. Re-Imagine what you can do with a new approach to goals!

Christopher’s 2016 goal is to qualify for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships. He needs to place 1st in his age group in a Ironman 70.3 qualifier, then he’s on to the Ironman 70.3 World Triathlon Championships! Earlier this year, he qualified for the ITU World Championships in the Olympic distance and will compete in Cozumel, MX next fall. When we spoke to the devoted triathlete he was on his way to Palm Springs for a Half Ironman, where he placed 1st in his age group and 6th overall. He laughed, “A body in motion stays in motion.”

And, a body at rest stays at rest. After a swimming career which included a scholarship at Cal State University at Northridge, Christopher took about a 10 year break. He put on a bit more weight than he was comfortable with and took action, “I started by just walking and then jogging a mile. I had terrible shin splints, but I kept going.” Christopher did his first triathlon in 2008. Today training is a lifestyle and a release for Christopher with masters swimming 3 times a week at the Mission Valley YMCA, running track workouts with the Invictus Endurance Team and San Diego Track Club, and rides with the Tri Club of San Diego on Saturdays.

What advice do you have for someone interested in triathlon? “Sign up for a race, begin with small, short goals. Train by doing each stage of the race 1-2 times a week. Don’t worry about equipment; use a beach cruiser if you have to!” What about transitions? “Watch a video, seriously, I have to remind myself sometimes that this isn’t the Olympics.” Maybe not, but we’re impressed. Christopher’s goal system has taken him to the top 1% of the country! Remember, start with a realistic goal, reach it, feel great, make another, Repeat!

• He has the fastest time in the country for the 400m IM in the 35-39 age group.

• One of Christopher’s many mantras for good form and attitude throughout races: “Patience, Perseverance, and Integrity.”

• Christopher typically runs tempo10Ks at Balboa Park and Lake Murray.


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With Only Two Races Under Her Belt, Jessica Sets Sights On 3:45 Marathon Time In 2016

Rock n Roll picSetting good goals is always a challenge. Making them happen is even more of a challenge. With each new year, we have the chance to re-imagine ourselves, or at least re-imagine what we think we’re capable of.

That’s exactly what Jessica Takac-Cronan of Denver, Colorado is doing in 2016. Jessica plans to finish her next marathon, which will be her third marathon ever, in under 3 hours and 45 minutes. Just for reference, that’s running 26.2 miles at about an 8-and-a-half minute pace.

Pretty quick, right? Well, here’s the kicker. Jessica just started running a year and half ago! She says, “Running is definitely new to me and does not necessarily come easy- I have the flattest feet ever.”

And as if that’s not amazing enough, she’s also a mom. She says, “My husband and I have 2 children: Margot, 5, and Micah, 2, along with our pup, Suzi.  They keep me busy at ALL times.”

So, how did Jessica get into running? In August 2014, her husband had an accident, breaking his hip and femur. She says, “My daily routine changed in that I was caring for my spouse and children and unable to make my regular [morning] aerobics classes at the gym. I was pretty concerned that my mental and physical health would suffer because of it. I reached out to a friend, who suggested I run a half marathon with her. It sounded crazy at the time because I don’t think I had ever run over 5 or 6 miserable miles in my life. I stuck to her six-week training plan and fell in love with running.”

Since running her first half-marathon in 2014, Jessica has run the Colfax Marathon and Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in Denver, finishing the latter in 4:02. She says she feels like she’s just getting started with running. “I’ve got too much momentum and I don’t want to stop,” she explains.

Well, we don’t want you to stop either, Jessica! Keep movin’!

•    Jessica played competitive volleyball through high school. “I haven’t picked up a volleyball since, but have always enjoyed staying active.”
•    At the 2015 Denver Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon, Jessica ran the first 13 miles at 8:20/mile pace.
•    Other hobbies: “I enjoy cooking and I aspire to master the art of hosting dinner parties.  I also love getting my hands in the dirt and gardening.”


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46-Year-Old Tackles Triathlon For First Time

2015 CYW_Battista

Taking on a challenge makes life exciting, but it can definitely be a little daunting. Especially when it’s something you’ve never done before. But, like those cat posters say, you just have to “Believe In Yourself” and take the leap of faith to somehow come out the other side a changed person.

Barney Battista is taking a leap of faith in 2016. He’s taking on his very first triathlon at the age of 46.

He says, “The idea’s been in my head for a while now. But a few weeks back, I did a 10K in the morning and then that same day started a three day cycling trip with a buddy of mine. I was like…. this kinda thing is doable.”

A triathlon is a big goal for Barney as he’s dealt with weight issues most of his life. He started running about 20 years ago to keep his fitness in check. He explains, “I’ve always been a little on the heavy side, so it’s been part of my ongoing battle against my tendency to get spherical.”

So, why a triathlon? “I cycle to work. On my off days I take the dog and go jogging. When the weather is crappy, I swim laps at the pool. So, I really enjoy all three of these sports and would like to try doing them in rapid, painful succession,” Barney explains wryly.

He continues, “Plus. I had originally hoped to run a full marathon (so far the longest I’ve done is a half). But even with a half marathon I begin to feel it in my joints. I’m hoping a triathlon will have less repetitive impact stress while still affording me the opportunity to tackle a bigger scale event.”

They say variety is the spice of life. Maybe that’s why triathlons are so popular these days. It’s tough enough to take on a single event, but to take on three sports in a single event—well, that makes for a super exciting challenge. We wish Barney the best of luck in 2016 as he embarks on this new journey.
• Original Hometown: Waterford, Connecticut
• Current City: Seoul, South Korea
• “I came to Korea kind of on a lark and just ended up staying. I got my masters degree at a Korean university and married a nice Korean gal.”
• Other hobbies: “Constantly trying to improve my Korean is somewhere between a hobby and a soul-crushing compulsive addiction. The hobby I actually enjoy without self-flagellation is playing chess, and when I had more free time in my life, I enjoyed the heck out of studying Japanese.”

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Female Web Tech Tackles Strongman Competition


Some people are naturally driven, and others rise to meet specific goals. Jackie Meader has the unique combination of both.

Jackie’s 2016 goal is to compete in her 2nd Strongman competition in February. She first competed 2 months ago and was hooked! Jackie got 1st in her class and didn’t train specifically for the event! But don’t think you’re going to just show up and win. Jackie has been lifting since she was 17, and has a background of power lifting, kick boxing, body building, and MMA. Let’s face it, not many people can just get out there and start flipping 300 lb. tires and hauling Atlas stones!

Despite her success, Jackie is faced with setbacks just like anyone else. She underwent micro fracture surgery on her right knee at the end of 2014. Jackie was on crutches just last year, and 3 weeks ago she leg pressed a personal record of 720 lbs! Physical therapy, a positive attitude and determination made that happen.

For her upcoming Strongman competition, Jackie will train at 24 Hour Fitness, UFC Gym and CrossFit Indivisible both in Spring Valley, NXPT in Kearny Mesa, and The Arena Gym in Point Loma where she will have access to implements used in Strongman competition like metal logs, 75 lb. kegs, and the super yoke. This time Jackie is looking to win not only her age group, but overall! Jackie’s goal is to “kick some 20-somethings’ butts” and win a Strongman competition. What goals will you tackle in 2016?

• Jackie’s favorite shoe is the INOV-8 F-250
• Jackie played high school field hockey
• She PR’d in the Nike Women’s Half 3 years ago

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By Ryan Schuler


Take a look at Blake Sterger.

He may look like any other athletic 16-year-old, but what you don’t know is how long fitness has been a part of his life.
Growing up in a fitness-oriented family, Blake has always been active. He played baseball and soccer growing up, but fell in love with lacrosse at the age of eight and has continued it ever since.
“My friend Sam’s dad asked my parents if I could go to a clinic. The second I got there, I said, ‘This is the sport I’m playing. I’m playing lacrosse.’’’
Now as a sophomore at Rancho Bernardo High School, Blake will be starting on the varsity lacrosse team after spending last season on junior varsity!
In order to play at the next level, Blake knew he had to step up his training, so he started working out two hours every day throughout summer and beginning of this school year. His workouts are primarily weight lifting, but Blake also works in cardio for speed and to stay agile.
Not only is Blake motivated to do well on the lacrosse field, but also in the classroom. Last year as a freshman in high school, Blake struggled with organization and procrastination, which hurt his grades.
As a sophomore, he has made more of an effort to be organized, setting a nightly routine of homework followed by working out. The results are easily seen.
“I’ve been doing all my homework and getting better grades on my tests,” Blake said. “I’m way more organized.”
Blake knows there is a link between his training and improvement in school, and he encourages kids his age and younger to adopt the same lifestyle.
“If you have that motivation in one aspect, it will carry over into the next aspect,” Blake said. “Get that motivation to be healthy and it will work out with your schoolwork. You’ll be able to choose what you want to do with your future.”
The motivation is something Blake hopes to carry with him for the rest of his life. In the future, Blake would like a job in fitness and to coach lacrosse.
•    Blake’s is a fan of action and suspense, so his favorite television shows are Bones and Hawaii Five-O.
•    His favorite workout is abs because you have to push yourself.
•    Blake loves photography, hiking and going to the beach.
•    Blake competed in a 20-mile bike race on his eighth birthday.



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Sloan Says Keep Exercise Fun!

Nine-year-old Sloan Theios of San Diego knows how to put the F-U-N into her R-U-N! Just this year, she covered herself in UV glow powder to run the wild and crazy Blacklight 5K. Then she took on the Awesome 80s Run and dressed up in a neon skirt and bowtie.

When asked, “Who’s fastest? You, your step-mom, or your Aunt?” Sloan paused and said, “Me, I think.” Confirmation came from the Awesome 80s Run that she is, in fact, fastest when she crossed the finish line in front of her family!

Sloan balances out her activities with gymnastics and surfing. When surfing, Sloan likes to do lots of turns and assures us that when she is older she is going to “jump.” Sounds like she’ll be catching air soon!

Sloan has two younger sisters, Reese and Grace. Sloan says the best thing about being the big sister is “I can babysit them with my own rules when I’m older.”

An amazing daughter and awesome big sister, Sloan enjoys a fun mix of activities to keep her happy and feelin’ healthy. Sloan says the best thing about running is, “I get exercise and it’s fun!”

Sloan’s Favorite Food: Lasagna
Sloan’s Favorite Shoe: My Blue Shoes
Sloan’s Favorite Vacation: Hawaii

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5-Year-Old Born To Run

2015 Nov CYW Story_E#65D714 (2)Meet Ella Lemig. She’s five years old. And she LOVES to run. Her super fast, zebra-striped Adidas running shoes give her away.

Her mom, Mandy, explains, “Ella took her first steps at nine months, and she basically started running the next day.”

Ella’s dad, Steve, began running with her in a stroller when she was four months old. “By the time she was about ten months, she didn’t want to be in the stroller anymore,” he says. “She wanted out and she’d run along side me—a half mile or more at a time.”

Now five, Ella has run up to two miles all at once, and has hiked more than five miles without stopping. But, her parents don’t force her to run. She just loves it. She says, “I feel excited when I run.”

In fact, she says, “I run with Dad. Every time I win.” Then, seeing Dad’s surprised look, she adds, “Sometimes Dad wins.”

When asked what else she likes to do, Ella says, “Jogging, running, scootering, going fast, riding my bike, skiing, rock climbing, hiking.” Then she looks at the Wall-E robot she’s holding in her hand and asks, “What are your favorite sports? He says, ‘Waaaall-E!’ He doesn’t talk very well.”

Looking ahead, the Lemig family is excited to enter their first race as a family next spring. The principal at her elementary school challenges students and families to a race each year. Ella will be there and, whether or not she crosses the finish line first, she will no doubt win.

Some of Ella’s favorite things:
Favorite food: Morningstar veggie sausages
Favorite color: Green (was blue last week)
Favorite movie: Wall-E
Favorite animal: Hippopotamus (was a zebra last week)

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How Do You Get 500 Heroes Fully Energized?

Socks for Soldiers, Road Runner Sports, and YOU team up every year to donate thousands of fresh, cushiony socks to U.S. soldiers and let them know they’re cared for and supported every step of the way. Enjoy these stories from our soldiers around the world.


Recently Shannon Alvarez shared a story with us we had to re-tell. While Shannon’s husband Senior Chief Louie Alvarez was busy working, a buzz began around the base that quickly spread among the 500 member Navy battalion. Care packages had arrived full of socks, LOTS of socks. Senior Chief Alvarez didn’t think too much of it, probably just general issue socks. As the excitement peaked, Louie had to go check it out. As Louie made his way to the center of the sock frenzy he quickly recognized the sock packaging. The Senior Chief let his battalion know, “You guys don’t understand, these are GOOD socks! I use these socks; they’re from Road Runner Sports!” Louie couldn’t believe it. All 500 members of Louie’s battalion got awesome socks that day.
When Louie came home from work with his two bags of socks, his wife Shannon said, “They even say, ‘You are our hero’ in the band of the sock! How nice is that?”

Shannon and Louie Alvarez live In Port Hueneme California with their daughters Mia and Eva, ages 3 and 6 months. Shannon says, “Staying active through running and Crossfit really refreshes us and keeps us going.” Shannon and Louie are VIP Family members and enjoy running along the California coast.

•    Louie & Shannon recently found out they love Brooks shoes!

•    Louie feels rewarded having represented our country in Japan, Cambodia and the Philippines.

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Ex-Marine Helps Others Train for Life

Socks for Soldiers, Road Runner Sports, and YOU team up every year to donate thousands of fresh, cushiony socks to U.S. soldiers and let them know they’re cared for and supported every step of the way. Enjoy these stories from our soldiers around the world.


Mike Rodriguez never stops. When he’s not patrolling our nation’s remotest and busiest border areas by helicopter on guard for drug trafficking, he’s coaching Cross Fit at his very own CrossFit Oracle in Chula Vista, CA. Mike served 9 years in the Marines as a Platoon Sergeant and spent the last 9 as a Border Patrol Agent. Mike says one of the most powerful takeaways from his military service is the brotherhood and lasting bonds of friendship.

We caught up with Mike and his beautiful family, wife Rosy, 3-year-old Kylie, and newborn Keilani at our Road Runner Sports San Diego store. Rosy is pretty busy too running the gym and coaching CrossFit classes until Mike comes in after work.  Rosy shares that, “I did CrossFit all the way through my pregnancy, I like to empower female athletes and to break stereotypes. My friend Melissa thought she could never do this and now she can’t stop!” Mike adds, “Coaching is so important for learning proper techniques so you stay injury-free.”

Mike also volunteers coaching at other CrossFit boxes and helps coach high school wrestling, football, and track. Mike got into CrossFit when he was training for the Border Patrol, “It was tough for everyone, but I noticed the guys who were doing CrossFit were having just a little bit easier time of it. In 2008, I tried my first workout and couldn’t finish it.” Mike powered through of course, “At CrossFit Oracle we promote a family-like experience. If you’re training for the CrossFit Games or to lose sizes, that’s great! But, we also train you for life; mobility, strength, flexibility, and a strong mind, that way if a major health issue does arise you will respond and recover better.”

•    Every year Mike runs the Baker to Las Vegas relay with the National Border Patrol Team.
•    Mike went on deployment to Iraq in 2004-2005.
•    For running Mike swears by Nikes.
•    Mike’s motto: The body can achieve what the mind perceives!

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The Jones Family Proudly Serving Country, Charity & Community

Socks for Soldiers, Road Runner Sports, and YOU team up every year to donate thousands of fresh, cushiony socks to U.S. soldiers and let them know they’re cared for and supported every step of the way. Enjoy these stories from our soldiers around the world.

IMG_9546From the far western Pacific Ocean, on the tropical island of Guam, Lisa Jones gives a shout out to the sailor she is most proud of, “My husband Steve has served in the Navy for 21 years and is one of five Master Chiefs in the career field of Mineman, and is a runner.” Soldiers & sailors put their lives on the line everyday and we think of them as super beings. The truth is soldiers and sailors need running and fitness to relax and calm their nerves just like the rest of us. Maybe even more!

Master Chief Petty Officer Steve Jones believes “Running is an opportunity to clear my head, gather my thoughts and plan my day.” Given Steve’s duties, a clear head is important, Steve describes a Mineman’s work, “At sea we detect and neutralize mines and unmanned underwater vehicles, and on shore we maintain service on training mines and supplement missile loading and torpedo maintenance teams.”

Steve, Lisa and 6-year-old son Brody all run, workout and give back to charities. Lisa says, “We love supporting groups like Team Red, White & Blue who connect veterans to their communities through physical and social activities like running, coffee meetups & just hanging out. Twice we ran the Marine Corps Marathon supporting The Fisher House Foundation. They provide homes away from home where military and veterans’ families stay while a loved one is getting treatment. As a veteran myself (Lisa served in the Air Force for 7 years) we want veterans to know we are here for them and appreciate all they have done for us and for our country.”

Steve & Lisa also enjoy CrossFit, weightlifting and cycling. Lisa says, “I love yoga for the stretch, flexibility and mental benefits.” Let’s not forget about little Brody, “He’s run over 20 races now and even has his own medal holder!”

• Steve and Lisa met in Virginia and have lived all around the U.S. This is their second tour on Guam.

• Steve – “Guam can be a culture shock for some, it has taught us to live a simple life and you don’t need all the department stores. If you love the outdoors there is always something to do.”

• Lisa – “We love the island life and a beautiful beach within a mile of our house. I love that our son gets to have this experience and I love the close relationships we have formed through the Navy and the running club.”

• Favorite Running Shoe?
Steve: Asics Nimbus
Lisa: Asics Nimbus
Brody: Asics Pre Contend 2
Yes, we are an Asics family!

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