Run Wild Missoula Members Come in All Shapes and Sizes

By EVA DUNN-FROEBIG

The members of Run Wild Missoula come in all shapes and sizes, and a variety of ages and speeds. They join Run Wild Missoula for many reasons: Some want to get faster by going to track workouts, some want to check “marathon” off their bucket list and join a training class; others are looking for a community of running or walking friends, while others are going through a divorce, a death or trying to make healthy changes in their lives.

Run Wild Missoula members—all 1,250 of them, although different—are ALL inspiring in some way whether it’s taking their first steps to start training for a 5K, winning the Missoula Marathon or running to maintain physical or mental health.

Run Wild Missoula had a chance to acknowledge a few of our inspiring members on a lovely evening at the Moon-Randolph Homestead last month. Those individuals are:

  • Donna, 66, who ran her first marathon—the 2011 Missoula Marathon—with acute digestive issues and a stress fracture, coming in next-to-last in seven-plus hours. She finished with a smile on her face, celebrating success, and talking about the next time.
  • Within the last couple of years Carol, 42, recently had major surgery for a tumor around her carotid artery and lost 120 lb. She trained faithfully for the Missoula Marathon, including a 16-miler on a treadmill at a motel in Cheyenne and the 26-miler in Bozeman. Carol did her 26-mile training run in 6:15. When she found Donna having so much trouble, she stuck with her to the end, giving up her chance for a better time. They finished the Missoula Marathontogether.
  • Bruce, 62, broke his ankle last year. He was new to running when he joined the Missoula Marathon Galloway training class in January 2011. He had gained weight after the ankle injury and worried that he would never be able to run the half. Not only did he finish under his time goal, but he is now aiming for the full marathon in 2012. He has also organized a Galloway training group for the Sweathouse Half, and has become an active and impassioned presence at all Run Wild events.
  • Coreen, 28, works several jobs and is a single mom yet she found the time to train for the Missoula Marathon this year. She also volunteers regularly for Run Wild Missoula and is an activemember.
  • JB, 64, started running less than two years ago. His age doesn’t slow him down as he runs an average of 50 miles a week, attends track workouts regularly and continues to get faster. JB finished the Boston Marathon in 3:33 earlier this year. He was also a pacer for the Missoula Marathon this year.
  • After taking up running just a couple years ago, Ryan, 43, has already added Marathon Maniac to his credentials. Like JB, Ryan makes running a priority and shows up for just about every Run Wild Missoula group run. Ryan took it easy during the Missoula Marathon this year and documented it and still finished under four hours.

The best part about my job is getting to know the members of Run Wild Missoula and seeing the difference running has made in their lives. Some of them are winning marathons in sub-three hours while others are the last the cross the finish line in seven-plus hours.

Running means something different for each of them and those reasons are all inspiring and important regardless of pace. I hope these six people inspire you to make a healthy change in your life through running, walking or another activity that benefits your body, mind and heart.

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Like this blog?  Chances are you’ll also like reading these:  Missoula All Women’s Diva Day 5 K Run, Missoula Celebrates Runner Friendly Community Designation,  Missoula Marathon 2011 – Bragging Rights to #5, Missoula Running Buddies, and When do you run? Be sure to leave comments in the Facebook Comment box below, and click the +1 button too–it’ll bring Missoula Marathon runners luck!

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Eva Dunn-Froebig is the executive director of Run Wild Missoula and has been running since the seventh grade. She moved to Missoula 12 years ago from upstate New York to attend the University of Montana’s Journalism School graduate program. Eva never dreamed that she would have a running-related job and feels lucky to be a participant in Missoula’s vibrant runningcommunity.