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Tony's Running Story Posted on March 20, 2014

When I was in grade school, I was chasing girls...well a girl. There was this girl whom I liked that was pretty good at this thing called “running.” Everyday in PE class I would challenge her saying that I would beat her in this event or that event. She destroyed me in anything running related that we did in class.

I participated in cross country when I was in 7th grade. Thinking that I was faster than my classmates, I ended up finishing almost dead last at the one meet that we had. My thought was that I wasn’t good at running but I just sound like I was good at it. Eventually it was proven that I wasn’t the best at it and even started to realize it myself. Maybe I just needed to challenge myself more to become better. My parents owned a restaurant when I was younger and I would help out after school or over the weekend. The problem was that I would have either walk or run to get from my home to the restaurant (or vice versa). I didn’t enjoy walking back then, unless there was a girl walking with me, so I decided to run. Eventually I started to challenge myself to see how fast I could get from one place to the other.

In high school, I ran 3 years of cross country and 4 years of track. Most people did not know that I was a sprinter my freshman year of track. This was due to the distance coach saying that the distance guys are going to run 5 miles for their first track practice. My mind was blow thinking “I can’t run 5 miles!” and decided to do sprints instead. Towards the end of the season I ran a couple of 800s and realized that I was better at longer distances than the shorter ones. This is when I got converted to distance and began running cross country my next year.

Senior year of high school rolled around and the team travels to Joplin every year for the Southern Stampede, a bigger meet and faster course. The morning of the race, I was not a happy camper. I didn’t sleep very well, I couldn’t eat breakfast at the hotel, and I felt sore all over my body. I ended up getting a huge PR(Personal Record) at this meet! It was almost a 2 minute PR and I was super pumped about it. I didn’t even realize I did until my coach congratulated me. Hearing it just brought up some memories of me running the same race 2 years ago. I ate 3 sausage biscuits a couple hours before the race. I’m sure you can guess what happened after that…

After high school, I wanted to run at Truman State University, the college I attended. When visiting Truman, I talked to the coach, and the coach said something to me that I was baffled by, “Anyone can run a 2 minute PR at that course (referring to Southern Stampede).” Long story short, I didn’t end up running for Truman, but I continued running and was known as “The guy who runs on campus” which I only did half of my freshman year! Ended up running a marathon my sophomore year because one of my running buddies wanted to run one.

Senior year of college, I decided to run a fast 5k. A buddy and I went to Emporia State University to run one of the last outdoor meets in May. I personally picked this race because I knew that some of the Truman guys will be there and I wanted to race them. When I toed the line, I didn’t see any Truman guys on the line with me, but I did see the Truman coach sitting on a bench right next to the 200m mark. Every lap I came around, I saw the coach was sitting there watching, maybe waiting, but I could tell that he was not happy. After crossing the 2 mile mark, I didn’t see him anymore. In my mind, I smiled thinking that he was mad about the situation, that I was running a great race, and decided to leave without seeing the end.

My story is a little different from many others because I wasn’t able to run for a team in college and yet I was still able to run a minute faster than I did when I was in high school. No one told me that I had to run or was forced to run. I did it because I enjoyed it and I had goals that I wanted to hit. After all of those words that you just read, hopefully it gave you some motivation.


*Tony is a freelance blogger for the More Miles More Smiles team.*



by Mark Spewak

1 Comment

Timothy Kieser on On 03/20 at 07:58 PM

So…….will Tony be writing a follow up to this? I mean, the girl, did he ever catch her? Did the runner end up getting the girl? Talk about capturing an audience and then leaving them hanging, sequel?
Run happy my friends.

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