This week’s RIF – The Club profile is Michelle Walker #124. I had the pleasure of meeting Michelle at the Leading Ladies Marathon in August. I also got to see her take home some age group bling at that race! It was at that race that I also realized Michelle is a Marathon Maniac (and I heard she reached Platinum/ 8 -Star status - Woo! Congrats!) so she obviously runs A LOT of marathons. I thought it would be fun to see which ones were her favorites…and how she finds the time.
Meet Michelle, the marathoning machine:
Years Running: Marathons – 5.5 years, Half Marathons – 8 years, Shorter Distances – 25 years
Favorite Race Distance: 26.2 – The marathon distance never fails to provide me with a challenge, even after running 48 marathons.
Favorite PR: Leading Ladies Marathon – 3:35:20
Favorite Race: Missoula Marathon
Favorite Bling: Minneapolis Marathon (2011), Leading Ladies Marathon (2012), Rock n Roll Mardi Gras (2012)
Next Race: Omaha Marathon – Sep 23
What Makes You FEEL Fast? Breaking race time barriers I once thought to be impossibilities.
FUN RUNNING QUESTIONS
What’s the most beautiful place that you’ve run? Missoula, MT: I love the West and its jaw dropping, natural beauty.
Have you ever worn a costume during a race? What was it and for what race? The 2011 Marine Corps Marathon was held the day before Halloween. Thinking many runners would be in costume, I dressed up as a bumblebee. To my dismay, very few runners were in costume. Once the race started, so many people (spectators, Marines, and other runners) were cheering for the bee that I felt like an entertainer rather than a runner. The positive reinforcement I received from the bumblebee costume encouraged me to dress up more. I helped pace the 2011 RnR Las Vegas Marathon in a Mrs. Claus outfit.
What is the thing you splurge on after a race? Starbucks’ Mocha Light Frappuccino! Actually, I’m addicted to Frappuccinos and have one almost daily after a workout. (Who needs chocolate milk when you can buy a $5 Frappuccino? ) After a race, I really indulge – adding the whipped cream and chocolate drizzle.
Why do you race? I have six kids! Yes, that’s right: a half dozen! Being the mother of six is often stressful and overwhelming. Training and participating in races not only serves as my stress reducer, but it fulfills my need for accomplishing measurable goals. My family and I have greatly benefitted from my passion for running.
Big races or small races? Why? I prefer mid size races. I enjoy the social experience of the marathon. A medium sized race allows me to meet and connect with people, without feeling lost in the crowd.
What is the one piece of running gear you can’t leave the house without? My iPod Shuffle! Music motivates me! My running playlist is filled with fast, upbeat music. I have opted not to pace marathons because I am too reliant upon my music to get me to the finish.
What running moment are you most proud of? I was the third overall female to finish the 2012 ET Marathon. I am especially proud of this accomplishment because I wasn’t feeling well during most of the race. I had forgotten my headlamp, as well as the suggested hydration. Despite feeling dehydrated and nauseated, I met my goal time. When I crossed the finish line, I realized I had a mental toughness that I previously didn’t know existed.
So…Michelle has run 48 marathons so far…and she has 6 kids! It kind of makes any excuse about not running I might have fly right out the window! What I find very cool about Michelle is that even after 48 marathons, she is still excited about running them, having fun (like the bee & Mrs Claus costumes!), and pushing hard at each marathon. She’s setting PRs and bringing home age group awards. Here’s one more of Michelle at the Tupelo Marathon with some of that very bling:
Thanks for sharing Michelle. Good luck and I know you’ll Run It Fast at the Omaha Marathon!
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[All photos submitted by Michelle Walker and Joshua Holmes]