Meet Turnaround Dean!

Meet Turnaround Dean!

I started running in early 1991. In just over a year, I quickly progressed to running races up to the half marathon. After my first half marathon in April 1992,  I was felled by an Achilles tendon injury and a digestive illness. The recovery time from both extended into early 1993 where I had lost my fitness and motivation.  By Summer 1993, my desire returned and I embarked on my 90’s Golden Years of Running. For 5 years, my love for the sport grew.

By Summer 1998, my love began to fade. A recent career change to Computers had me working odd hours and overtime. In addition, I was engaging in old not so healthy habits (drinking, smoking). For the next 5 years, there were periods of time I didn’t run for months.

On September 9, 2003 I made a decision to get it together. My running shoes were in the corner of my bed room after being last used 10 months prior. I quit smoking, put the shoes on and went out the door. This first run/walk started my second running career.  I quickly regained my love for running and haven’t looked back.

I’m now over 10 years into my 21st Century running with no signs of stopping. I’ve completed over 180 races including six marathons, an ultra-marathon of 50 kilometers, triathlons and the recent Dopey Challenge. This consisted of 4 races over 4 days (5K, 10K, Half Marathon and Marathon – 48.6 miles total). I’m planning another marathon in March and ultra-marathon in May (where I plan to complete 50 miles in 12 hours).

In addition to all the miles I’ve logged, I’ve become involved with a  few running organizations. I’ve been a volunteer coach for the Bears Youth Running Club and it’s offshoot – The Polar Bears since 2007. I joined Team Eastern in 2010 and love being part of the Sea of Yellow at local events. In 2012, I became part of the Do Run Runners who participate in many USATF races.

My Team Eastern captain passed my name on to Coach Melissa from Girls on the Run. They were reviving the race around Lake Mohawk and adding a 5K. I was asked to volunteer and was very happy to do so. Since my first Girls on the Run volunteer job in May 2012, I’ve helped 3 times since. I’ve been designated Turnaround Dean after working the turnaround at the 5K in Sparta.  I greatly enjoy volunteering for Girls on the Run because it is such a positive running program. Everyone from the youngest girls to the coaches work very hard and the results are evident. At the last Fall 5K, I was amazed how the program has grown. The building at the Fairgrounds was much more crowded than the previous year. There were hundreds of girls and family members running the 5K. Being able to provide encouragement and pass on my love of running to Girls on the Run is a way I can give back to the sport which has given so much to me.