Hello, my name is Blake and I am a runner. (And, yes, I know that sounds like I’m in an AA meeting!)
But it’s only in the past couple of years, after dabbling in triathlons and running races, that I’ve come to this realization. As for how I finally became a “runner,” I’ll go back into my athletic career.
I began as a soccer goalie that lived in the 18-yard box. For those unfamiliar with soccer, the 18-yard box is that white line around the goal; goalies stay inside that box and don’t like venturing out of it. Needless to say, running was not my forte. Soccer practice usually involved running with the field players, and I often wondered why anyone would purposely do it.
After many great years playing, and not-so-great head injuries, I hung up my gloves and became a referee. The under-12-year-old games weren’t bad; the field was small and I didn’t have to run very much. But I liked refereeing, I was good at it, and, like most things in my life, I took it very seriously.
In just four short years, I moved up to the professional level. Then I learned there are fitness tests involved in going pro. Fitness tests that make you run … a lot … and fast. Suddenly I had to find running shoes and start doing what I always thought was a pointless waste of time and energy.
I took my running and training as seriously as everything else in my life. Two miles turned into three miles, then six. Soon, it was nine miles, and thought, “I can run a half marathon. What’s another four miles?”
As it turns out, four miles is a lot. The moment running became a part of me and my life was at the starting line of the Rochester Half Marathon. Surrounded by hundreds of other runners, the energy was intoxicating, and I truly fell in love with the no-longer-pointless sport of running.
Since that first half marathon, I have completed six full marathons, the IRONMAN 140.6, and two Half IRONMANs, along with many smaller triathlons and shorter road running races. Currently, I am training to qualify for the 2018 Boston Marathon by racing the Sugarloaf Marathon this May.
And of course, I’m very excited to be running the 2017 Marine Corps Marathon on Team InterVol!