*What is your age, occupation, background, hobbies and other sports?
Age: 31 -Occupation: Crime Victim Specialist -Hobbies: Gardening, Trivia & Reality TV -Background: I grew up in Lockport, NY as the middle child of 3 siblings and attended Starpoint Central High School. There I ran cross country and track and field, and had the pleasure of competing in the NYS Cross Country Championships with my team 3 times in a row, as well as running a personal best of 4:55 in the 1500m run. After high school, I was lucky enough to continue running both cross country and track & field at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. After that I took a break from running and wasn’t sure if it was something I would ever get back into. However, that changed over time, and I eventually joined the Fleet Feet running group in Buffalo. From there I continued to get back into shape and started running farther than I ever had. Not long after that I was offered my current job in Albany and made the big move from Lockport. Since then, I have had so much fun exploring the area and participating in all of the running groups and races offered by the community, even surprising myself with a few new PRs!
*When and why did you start running?
I’ve loved running from a young age, but really got into it when I started competing on my high school’s varsity team when I was in 9th grade. I had an awesome coach who did a great job teaching me all of the basics of training/pacing, as well as how fun it could be to set goals for yourself and see how far they take you. Once I learned those things my passion for running only grew and I couldn’t get enough of competitive running!
*What’s your favorite race to date, and why?
My favorite race to date is the Steamtown Marathon in Scranton, PA. I only ran it once, but I had such a great experience when I was there! Besides getting to run the race with a good friend from college, it was the first marathon that I had trained for and I had my heart set on using the race to qualify for Boston. To my surprise, I ended up not only qualifying for the Boston Marathon, but also the NYC Marathon with a time of 3:09:05, plus a 5th place finish! I’ll never forget the feeling when I crossed that finish line!
*What is your approach to training? Do you follow a particular training plan, or do you work with a coach and if so, who?
When it comes to training, I really enjoy running with the ARE and Fleet Feet Malta Teams, led by Coach Dick Vincent and Mark Mindel, respectively. The Tuesday and Thursday night practices that they organize provide a great variety of workouts that keep me motivated season after season. In addition, being a part of these teams has also given me the opportunity to train with and get to know so many wonderful people, who both hold me accountable and make working hard so much fun!
*What is your weekly mileage in peak racing/marathon training season? What is your approach to the off season?
I typically like to get at least 40 miles in a week when I’m preparing for a big race, running two workouts and a long run each week. My approach during the off season is pretty similar, except for the fact that I usually like to take it a little bit easier around the holidays. This gives me time to catch up with friends and family, as well as recharge from all of the hard work that I put in throughout the year.
*During our cold winter days, do you brave poor weather conditions or stick indoors on the treadmill? If you do run outside, what safety measures do you take?
During the winter I like to try and get the majority of my runs done outside, making sure to dress warmly and use my headlamp if I’m running at night. However, my two exceptions are when the wind chill gets too low or the roads are too ice and snow covered. When that’s the case I’ll definitely take advantage of running on the treadmill.
*List your PRs:
Race, time, year: High School Invitational (1500)- 4:55 (2009); High School Invitational (3 mile)- 19:19 (2008); Buffalo Turkey Trot (8k)- 32:16 (2008); Saratoga Palio Half Marathon- 1:29:59 (2019); Steamtown Marathon- 3:09:05 (2019)
*What is your favorite distance?
When I was younger my favorite distance was definitely the 1500, but now I would say that I enjoy the longer races more, with the half marathon and marathon being my favorites. I would attribute a big part of this to how much preparation goes into running such long distances. I love the process of researching the best courses, training, anticipating, tapering and finally getting to race day and seeing what I can do.
*Your favorite shoe for training and racing?
Training: Adidas Adizero Boston Racing: Adidas Adizero Adios Pro 2
*What are your favorite pre-race and post-race meals?
Pre-race: Chicken Parmesan
Post-race: Steak and potatoes
*What challenges/races/adventures are you planning for the coming year?
My next big adventure will be running the NYC Marathon in November of this year. After waiting so long to run this race due to COVID related delays, I couldn’t be happier to finally start preparing for it! It will be my first time running this marathon, and if all goes well it will mark the second star that I earn towards the famous Six Star Finisher Challenge!
*What is the greatest piece of advice you’ve ever received in the sport?
Run your own race and just have fun with it!