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Record Breaking 81 Year Old Proves You’re Never Too Old to Challenge Yourself!

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Running strong at 81 years young, Anne Garrett is the American Age Group Record holder in the half marathon and 5k race. Congratulations Anne!

Born in Ireland, Anne came to California with her husband and daughters Jane and Joanne in 1968. “I never even thought of running, I didn’t even think I could run, nobody in my family had ever run, except maybe to catch a bus or a train. I just never knew I could run.” Anne doesn’t just run, she competes. She says, “I always like to pass people.” Amazingly, Anne didn’t run her first race until she was 72.

It’s not all records and races for Anne though, running gives Anne a sense of community “I have made so many friends through running. “ I’ll meet people in stores and they’ll say, “You’re Anne Garrett. I see you running over on Carlsbad Blvd.”

Equally, Anne inspires the community through volunteer work, “I go to the schools and talk to children about exercising and how good it is. Then we run together and they just love to try to beat me.”

“Goals can be reached no matter how big or small, official or personal, young or old, you’re never too old to challenge yourself, if it’s something you want, you can do it.”

• This year Anne ran a 2:13:32 at the Surf City USA Half Marathon in Huntington Beach CA for the record in the 80-84 age group!

• In 2012, Anne finished the Surf City USA Half Marathon with a 2:08:33 time and a pace of 9:49 per mile for the record in the 75-79 age group!

• Anne’s record 5k was at the 2012 Carlsbad 5000 with a time of 25:59. That’s an 8:38 minute per mile pace!

• Anne is the spokesperson for the Move Your Feet Before You Eat foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to health and fitness, targeting childhood obesity.

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Ultra Mom Turns Mileage Into Quality Time

Many Moms walk, do 5ks, pilates, yoga, half and full marathons, but Shawna Wentlandt thrives on ultra marathons. She has even finished twelve 100 mile or longer ultra races!

RtWwithMimiShawna is special and so is her family. “The fun thing about my family is all of us run.” The Wentlandts don’t mess around, “My 14 year old son has finished seven 100 milers finishing as the 3rd place male twice, My husband has done several 100 milers, my 8 year old daughter does 5 & 10ks and just finished her first half marathon, and my 19 year old son runs plenty serving in the Army. I am proud of the example I am for my kids and that a love for running has rubbed off on them.”

“I truly love the challenge ultra marathons present. If I can do it, you can do it, there’s nothing special about me except that I have the tenacity to keep going.”

Shawna isn’t going to let up any time soon, “I am looking to earn a new marathon PR this year.” Of course, Shawna reminds us it’s not all about personal records, “My ultimate goal is to have fun making memories with my family.”

• Running since 2003, Shawna started running to lose weight and get healthy.

• In 2010 Shawna started running ultra distances.

 • Shawna has finished twelve 100 mile or longer races.

 • Shawna’s favorite race is the Walt Disney World Marathon in Florida.

 

Mom and Daughter Bond Crosses Oceans

Caroline & Beth IrelandLast year Caroline Connolly was 3,193 miles away from home at school in Ireland when she decided to run her first half marathon. Running served as an instant connection with her Mom, Beth back home. “My Mom was super supportive, emailing helpful tips on hydration, pacing, nutrition and just completely motivating me.” So supportive that her mom even ran a half-marathon by the beach in New Jersey at the same exact time. “We waved to each other across the Atlantic. So, thank you Mom for helping me.”

They vowed to run a race together next time they were both in the same country. So, this year Caroline and Beth decided to make their first half together extra special—the Bahamas Half Marathon!

caroline & Beth Bahamas post raceWhat’s next for Beth and Caroline? Caroline hints, “A marathon seems pretty scary right now, but maybe one day.” Beth raises the stakes, “I would like to run more races with Caroline, hopefully, I can talk her into a marathon!”

You can bet that by next year Beth and Caroline’s full marathon will be checked off!

• Beth has been running since she was a teenager everything from 5ks to full marathons.

• Caroline has played soccer, basketball and lacrosse and found long distance running a great way to stay active in college.

• Like Mother, like daughter, Beth explains, “My favorite place to run is the beaches and boardwalks of Monmouth County, New Jersey. I love the view of the ocean as I run.” Caroline agrees, “I love to run the boardwalk down the shore in the summer, also my campus at Villanova is a beautiful place to run.”

•The Mother/daughter team share views on what running does for them, “Running helps me clear my mind and de-stress, and of course stay fit.” Beth adds, “Spending time with Caroline is really the best!”

Training For the Most Amazing Accomplishment of All

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Amanda took up running in preparation for the ultimate endurance endeavor: having kids. “I decided to get running and get healthy for when we had kids.” You got to be tough to do that!

When Amanda’s husband got into dental school, Amanda got busy changing her own world. “I had lots of extra time with him busy at school, so I started training for my first half marathon.”

“During my first pregnancy I backed off running. When my daughter was born, I started right back up.” In no time Amanda’s daughter was on the move too.  “I wanted to keep up with her and be an inspiration for her.” With experience and confidence from her first pregnancy, Amanda continued running through her second pregnancy. “Running just made me feel really good. I feel like my second pregnancy went really easy.” Amanda’s second child is now 7 months.

“Running gives me quality time, I run to clear my mind and be healthy for my kids.” My future goal is to get another half marathon under my belt.”

“I’m not fast, but I’m still out there doing it!”

  • Amanda has been running for 7 years.
  • Amanda is a Mother of two, and credits running with making pregnancy easier
  • Amanda’s favorite run is enjoying her beautiful New Mexico scenery.
  • Amanda’s go-to shoe is the Brooks Adrenaline.

Leading his son through their condition, Tony thrives

I can see it! I had just finished mile No. 13 and I could see the finish line approaching. I was in a tremendous amount of pain, but, when I saw my son extend his hand to greet mine, with a smile on his face, I had a sudden sense of wellbeing overwhelm my abused body. I realized at that moment why I love to run, race and push my body beyond what is was structurally born to do. Ironman 70.3 California was a challenge, but understanding the impact on my son makes it worth my struggles living and training as a disabled, long-course triathlete.

I was born with bi-lateral clubfoot, which means that my feet were completely backwards and upside down at birth. My son, now 6, was born with the same condition. He endured years of corrective casting on both feet. My case was an extreme case that required many experimental and painful surgeries. I had two major surgeries before I had turned 2, and was in casts and braces for several years after that. The doctors removed all of my bones, reshaped them, placed them back underneath the skin and stretched all the ligaments in both feet. But the procedure only served to make the foot look cosmetically appealing rather than correct the structure of the foot itself. I am missing several muscle fibers in my lower calves, which means my body has to work extra hard to compensate for the imbalances. This results in a significant amount of pain in both feet and my lower legs.

I was told my whole life that I would be wheelchair-bound with severe arthritis by the time I was 20. I would not be able to participate in normal activities. I used that as an excuse for many years to be lazy and gained a significant amount of weight. At my heaviest, I was 250 pounds at 5-foot, 8-inches. After Eli was born, I decided to prove the doctors wrong by losing 90 pounds and becoming a competitive triathlete at the age of 37.

I have raced at all distances of triathlon as well as several half marathons. I am currently training for Ironman Arizona 2012. After each race my feet are in severe pain, but it is worth it in hopes that I may inspire my son, Eli. He was given the same grim outlook as I was given. Well, guess what? My son is following in my footsteps. Eli finished his first triathlon two months ago, taking fourth place in his age division. I have told him that regardless of our physical limitations we can accomplish any physical task set before us, including Ironman. Eli’s determination, smiles, and playful youthful drive are why I love to run.

Walking proves difficult, so Amalie runs instead

It’s a constant feeling of walking under water; or with an anchor tied around one leg. That’s how I feel every day. Walking sometimes feels funny; my balance is always off. When complications of spinal surgery ten years ago resulted in permanent nerve damage on my right side, I was devastated.

It could have been worse. I could have been paralyzed on one side of my body. So I walked everywhere, and every chance I could. I would walk for miles, for hours. I tried to run, but could never get past the end of the block. So I stopped, and thought, “I can’t do this.”

But one day, toward the end of 2011, at the age of 35, I decided I would give it another shot. I signed up for a 5K scheduled for New Year’s Day. On December 4, 2011, I took that first step and I never looked back. My first time out I could barely run a quarter mile, and when I finally reached a mile it took me 16 minutes. That didn’t stop me.

I vowed to finish my first race in less than thirty minutes. And I did, finishing at 28:58, placing top ten in my age group. I was ecstatic and signed up for another race that same day. I improved my time with each 5K I did, finishing in 27:21, 26:52 and 26.39. I improved in just a few months’ time. It was exhilarating.

I was never considered an athlete. I was that shy kid in school who dreaded gym class and was always picked last on teams. But when I discovered I could run, I realized that there is an athlete in me. With my husband’s tremendous support and the help from an old classmate of mine (who’s also my coach), I’ve come a long way since that sixteen-minute mile. And I plan to keep on going. My current goals include finishing a 10K in under an hour, and a half marathon in less than two.

I love to run. It doesn’t matter how slowly or how fast I go. It doesn’t matter if, because of my ‘disability,’ that it feels like I’m dragging my leg with each stride. I love how free I feel when I’m out there, the camaraderie of fellow runners and the idea of competing against no one but me, always striving to be the best I can be.

It’s all about the mindset for superhero Meghan

I’m an undercover superhero runner. I have lost approximately 12 toenails, suffered through shin splints, experienced at least two horrific porta-potties, survived close encounters with aggressive poodles, rogue geese, sneaky felines and persistent beetle bugs. Some people say I am crazy when I come home drenched in gnat covered sweat with a twig stuck in my ponytail and river mud smeared on the back of my calves, but what they don’t know is that during the last hour I have combated threats against humanity, like poodle-sized super villains.

I’d like to tell people I have profound, motivational and inspirational thoughts that flow like poetry from my lips with each gazelle-like leap I take but the reality is that every time I lace up my dirty Brooks and take a flat -footed pound at the pavement, the one thing that keeps me going is my imagination. When out for a run my floppy posture and flailing arms morph into bat wings with the agility of Katniss Everdeen and I move at the speed of light, leaving hungry zombies and criminals in the dust. On my runs I am forever 8 years old and invincible.

Sometimes when I nervously chatter with fellow runners at the starting line and puff my chest to discuss my race plan my negative splits, pre-race meals and post-race recovery I think to myself, “You’ve got nothing on my lasso of truth…but your Batman utility belt is pretty cool.” However, every super hero has their kryptonite, and I suppose mine would be the harsh realization that takes place when I see my time flashing on the race clock and my “super-fast running” is actually just your average, ho-hum, 9-minute-mile pace.

So yeah, I may not have a Boston Marathon Q.T., but when I look across at my fellow runners as they push through the finish line, I can see it in their eyes, and they are all thinking “SHAZAM!” and having one of those “I am awesome” moments that only another undercover superhero runner can understand. So forget the PR, the QT, the negative splits and the calorie counts. Just run like the wind, think, “Shazam!” and kick some super villain butts.

Comfortable in her skin again, Anabelle makes a vow

I was 30 years old, 252 pounds, and dreading walking up the stairs to get the laundry because I knew how hard those 10 steps were going to be. It was going to be sweaty, I was going to be out of breath, and it was going to absolutely suck.

I was laid off the year before, and even then I was 200 pounds, but the added stress of losing our house and moving in with my parents, with daughter and husband in tow, literally ballooned me up into a woman I no longer recognized. It was no shock, I’d been “chubby” my whole life, too lazy and unmotivated to change.

Depressed, and horrified by my appearance, I disliked going out in public because I knew everyone stared and judged. I was a person just like them…I felt things just like them.

A girlfriend of mine mentioned how she started running and had lost 25 pounds. She looked great, and she was smiling and happy. I wanted to be her. In my early 20s I started running too, and I used to love it. Back then I went from 272 pounds down to 135 pounds in a matter of 10 months. Did I really gain most of that back? Why did I fail???

Because I stopped running.

I downloaded and printed off the Couch-to-5K program, I bought a cheap pair of sneakers and a pair of ugly sweats, and I literally ran laps around the yard with my then 3-year-old daughter riding her Power Wheels behind me. After three months of training to get to the 5K distance, I wasn’t fast, but I could do it, and before you knew it I’d lost 30 pounds. I finished my first 5K in 47 minutes pacing a 79-year old woman. I was addicted.

I have been running ever since. Almost three years now, 90 pounds down, I have my life back. I can breathe, I chase my daughter and I shop for clothes without being horrified. I’ve run two half marathons and this summer I start training for my first full.

Running has literally saved my life…and I’ll NEVER stop again.

Inspired by taunting, Albert refuses to get in his own way

“You mean to tell me you’re going to let an almost 50-year-old grandmother of two punk you?” Everyone has a reason why they started to run, and this was mine. In October 2009 I decided to run a 10K with no training, planning or thought. I registered on a Tuesday, raced on Sunday, and ran a 42:14. When I mentioned this to my sister-in-law, she told me I should run a Half Marathon with her in 4 weeks. I politely explained to her that she was crazy and there was no way I could run a half marathon. Her response is above.

Now, no normal 38-year-old man can stand an insult like that, and I was no exception. I have never played a sport in my life throw a ball at me and I will scream and duck. I was the last person picked to be on the team, after the girls and heavy guys. Yet I was going to show her, so I did what any sane person would do. I went to the beer garden at a local festival, had one too many, and crashed my bike, rendering my knee useless. I limped along for 3 weeks then managed a 5-mile training run the week before the race.

I could have claimed injury, but I could already hear the taunts and insults. So I showed up at the start of the race with my sister-in-law/nemesis. She began to do this strange “stretching” thing. I tried to imitate her but felt like she was tricking me to look like a fool. We got to the start and she asked me what my pace was. “What’s that?” She looked at me, shook her head and suggested I should probably go for 10-minute miles, which would have meant something if I’d had a watch. Well, needless to say, I ran a surprising 1:36:54. Unfortunately, I was wearing old shoes I found and my feet were covered in blisters.

The next week I went to a running shoe store, bought my first pair of running shoes, became best friends with the sales person who became a “coach” of sorts, and have now finished 43 races, the most recent my PR at the Boston Marathon 2012: 3:10:19 in the heat! My first full Ironman is in July and I am training for a 50-Miler in January 2013. To be continued…