Wednesday, February 07, 2007


More of the same. Another 10-mile run this morning - just without yesterday's hills. The weather still sucks. It’s finally warming up to nearly double digits in the afternoon. However, that does me little good when I’m running at 5:30 AM. At least it wasn’t snowing today.

My string of interviews has hit a slow patch. I guess I shouldn’t have posted 3 interviews within a week. Oh well, I could sit on them to space them out, but that doesn’t seem right either. With cross-country nationals this weekend, I may try and contact some of the Team USA Minnesota runners again – especially if they run well. I think the key with them is going to be keeping the interviews short-and-sweet. 15 questions is probably a little over-the-top. They’re probably more likely to respond to 5-10 questions. At least that’s my new theory. Or would it be hypothesis?

Since I don’t have anything else exciting to talk about, I thought I’d share a new project I’m working on. Here’s the introduction;

In the last issue of RunMinnesota I posted a “want ad” seeking runners with interesting stories that I could track throughout 2007. Think of it as Reality TV, in print. What my in-box was lacking in quantity of respondents was more than made up for by the quality of the respondents.

Each of the seven runners that replied has a unique story that is unlike the others in the group. We have a new mom, first time marathoners, Olympic Trials hopefuls, college students, triathletes, etc. You name it and I think this group has it. This article serves as a quick introduction of these runners and their stories I’ll be tracking throughout the year.

It’s not uncommon for runners to miss a race here or there due to injuries, but how about missing an entire racing season? That’s what happened to Amanda, 27 of Circle Pines, MN in 2006. We’ll track her physical and mental recovery, as she plans on running two marathons this year, Grandma’s and Twin Cities.

While Karen, 45, of Moorhead, MN has been running for 33 years, it took her 31 years before she ran her first marathon. In her second attempt, she qualified for Boston. This April she will toe-the-line in Hopkinton for her first Boston Marathon.

Last July, Marc, 41, of Fargo, ND was “stricken with adult-onset athleticism.” At the time he tipped the scale at 295 pounds. He has since lost 50 pounds and plans on losing another 75 pounds. Along the way, he’ll be running his first marathon.

Keenan, 23, of Mankato, MN is looking to “take steps toward getting back to a decent level” of running. We all know “a decent level” is relative from runner to runner. For this college student, it means sub-15 and sub-32 for 5K and 10K, respectively.

After giving birth to her first child last August, Kerry, 26, of Oronoco, MN feels in “better shape than ever.” She will be training for two half Ironman events and two marathons this year. Her biggest challenge will be time management, as her husband is also a triathlete who’s training for Ironman Wisconsin.

Speaking of triathletes, Braden, 40, of St. Louis Park, MN is training for his first Ironman in August. The newly minted masters runner is also a Clydesdale, weighing in at 205 pounds. In the fall he will be looking to garner his first Boston qualifier in 14 attempts.

Last but not least, Angie, 30, of Minneapolis, MN would like to qualify for the 2008 Olympic Trials Marathon by running 2:47. That means the UM medical student will have to shave 11 minutes off her personal record. We’ll follow along to see if her “ambition outweighs her talent”, as she has said.

There you have it, the seven runners that I’ll be tracking throughout the year. We’ll laugh. We’ll cry. We’ll vote people off. Oh wait, we won’t be voting people off. However, we’ll do our best to chronicle their unique, ever-evolving stories throughout the year. Stay tuned.

Chad Austin, 37, of Apple Valley, MN has never given birth, never weighed more than 160 pounds and has never had a shot at qualifying for the Olympic Trials Marathon. He has run Boston, he has completed an Ironman and he has been injured.

Quote of the day;

“Sports is life with the volume turned up.” – Barry Mano


Laurie said...

Following the 7 runners is a great idea! Will their stories be on your blog or elsewhere?

Trisaratops said...

That sounds like a really cool project!

Your bio's crackin' me up.

Chad said...

Laurie, the stories will appear in the bi-monthly MDRA magazine. I'll probably post them here too.

Sara, I kind of got the idea from blogging. It's sort of like following 7 bloggers for a year, however, it'll just be all the fun, cool, exciting stuff. Not the boring, this weather sucks, stuff.

brent said...

very cool idea.

Anonymous said...

You are really coming into your own with this writing thing. Is writing a hobby or is it something you do professionally as well?

Anyway, really cool idea. It will be fun to follow. Also, props to MDRA for not slapping exclusivity on the content, and allowing you to post it.

Chad said...

Thanks. It's just a hobby, although I have received a nice tank top, long sleeve shirt, "commemorative" Ron Daws MDRA issue, some pizza and pop (thanks Heidi).

I guess MDRA knows that only about 6 people read this blog. Besides, it's a good way to get feedback before an article is published. And otherwise, the articles would only appear in print.

Laurie said...

I think you have a few more than six readers, they just don't all comment.

mg said...

I'm glad you're going to post the articles here, since this sounds really cool and I'm not a MDRA member. I'm really looking forward to reading about Kerry - she kicked my butt before she got pregnant and if she's in even better shape now then this should be an interesting race season.

Chelle said...

Angie's my girl...I've got those same stinkin' 11 minutes between me and the trials in Beantown too!

Love the bio, very cute.