Did you participate in track or cross country in high school or college?
Yes, track in high school.
How did you become interested in running?
I’ve run on and off since high school but I really recommitted myself to the sport back in 2011. Thanks to the club, I’ve not given it up since then. Up until that point, I had never done any races so that was actually the start of my competitive running.
What’s your favorite race?
The Claw!, an extreme, rugged trail run like no other in Alafia State Park.
What do you consider to be your top running accomplishment?
Completing a marathon that I didn’t train for. I just went out and did it. It was brutal and a very dark day for me. I considered quitting but thanks to my BRC friends, I found the strength to keep going and finished. It was actually my second marathon, but it was the hardest. I wanted to see what would happen if I didn’t train.
Why are you involved with BRC?
When I joined the club, I was so motivated and encouraged by the runners that welcomed me. I started running in the summer and there were a few people that kept me going. I learned eventually that the club needed help and wanted to give back. The club had done so much for me as a runner and I want to do whatever I can to share that experience with others who are considering running or joining the club.
How long have you been on the board?
I joined the board as the Secretary in May 2013.
Do you have any favorite memories from your time with BRC?
When I started running with the club, I ran the Tuesday route but for the first several weeks, I only ran 3 miles. I had convinced myself I couldn’t do more than that. Then Christy Snellgroves recommended that I run with Chuck Van Duzee. She said, “Oh, just run with Chuck. You’ll be fine, he’ll talk you through it.” I thought that meant he would coach me through it and give me pointers. As we passed the water stop at the marina, and began the trek down 4th street, he just kept up the conversation. We talked about everything from where I was born, his fear of dogs, and whether or not I found any of the guys in the club attractive. If you know Chuck, nothing is off limits with him. Next thing I know, we are headed back over the bridge. I was pretty gassed but I was so intrigued by his conversation I kept going, and next thing I knew, I finished my first six-mile run without stopping for the first time in my life. Not one time did we talk about running or how I felt. We were just running and chatting. That’s when I realized, he is a mastermind. It was my first lesson in focusing my attention elsewhere and not staying in “my head.” I will forever be thankful to him.
How have you seen BRC positively impact the community?
Through the Turkey Trot we have made some great contributions to local charities. Raising thousands of dollars and collecting materials for the less fortunate fills a real need.
Moreover, this club is so special and has such a dedicated following because of our sense of community. Mostly because we are so welcoming and friendly. Once people meet us and realize that we aren’t here to judge or criticize other running capabilities. We motivate, encourage, laugh and share stories. All are welcome, regardless of speed or experience and that is clear from the moment you run with us. Running isn’t for everyone, but being a part of this club is for anyone who wishes to push themselves and is looking for a group to help them along the way. It’s not just about competing, it’s about fellowship.
What is your career?
I am a department supervisor for Guardian Pharmacy, a long-term care pharmacy that provides prescriptions to nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities. I have been in the pharmacy industry for 18 years. I used to be the chairperson of the Scrap Happy Recipe Club for 3 years but that group dissolved.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Joining a running club is BY FAR the best thing you’ll ever do for yourself as a runner. It provides consistency and comfort and you will begin to look forward to coming to the runs and local races. We have large groups of runners at races from Tampa to Fort Myers because we have formed great friendships through the years. THAT is what makes this so great. Celebrating each others’ accomplishments and seeing familiar faces really does make a difference. Even if you don’t ever want to race, just being a part of a group with purpose will provide you with opportunities to learn and grow and you will certainly make friends along the way. Don’t be shy! Don’t be intimidated. We all started somewhere. No one is clocking you and there will ALWAYS be someone else that runs your pace. We promise.