We had the opportunity to coach Suzanne Burlew during the Summer 2013 session of our popular My First 5k class.  Suzanne was chosen this month as our Athlete of the Month as she was completely dedicated to her training and inspired us all with her story.  Thank you Suzanne for choosing us and we are thankful we get the chance to work with you again as a Level 2 Athlete in the My First 5k program. Suzanne will be finishing her second 5k at the Ho Ho Hustle 5k on Dec .

*As a treat, we are giving away a Garmin Forerunner 10 on Sept 17 to one lucky runner/walker.  See the details at the bottom on how to enter.

Why did you sign up for the My First 5k program?
For the last 5 years I was pretty much out of any exercise. I worked and took care of my husband. He had MS all our 25 year marriage but in 2009, he started a long downhill road of illness. He was always upbeat and never let a wheelchair keep him from a full life. On August 9,2012, he finally left this world. In my grief and not knowing what to do next, I found myself just sitting for hours at home. One day I saw your ad in the paper about the 5k and I realized I needed to do something drastic to get out of my chair. When I went to the first training class I realized the race would be run on his birthday. So I did it also to honor his life and example.
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What stands out in your mind in your experience with the 5k program?
The coaches pushed but were also accepting of my physical condition! I am 62 years old, sedentary, and having a hard time forcing myself out of the house. They motivated with kindness. I also met some new friends.
Firecracker 5k training group on race day (2)

What was it like finishing the Firecracker 5k race?
Finishing was so emotional for me. I truly ran most of it with a few walking times so I was proud.  My middle daughter and her husband came here from Alabama to go with me. I felt that I did honor my husband’s life and memory. I couldn’t wait to put that 5K sticker on my car!
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What is your favorite running gear and why?
I didn’t have a lot of gear, yet! I like my shoes and want to buy more and I want to buy a sports watch. I love my Running Wild shirt! It says I am a runner!

What is your next goal?
I have registered for level 2 of the next 5k training to do the Pumpkin Run. I hope to totally run the whole thing! Another thing I have done is get some running books for a half-marathon. Who knows! Even if I walk/run!  My goal is to just keep on. I do wish I had a running buddy close to me- maybe I will meet one in the next training.
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In honor of all our athletes who have crossed the finished line we are giving away a Garmin Forerunner 10 this month!


…yes you read that right! Entering to win is easy, just click on this link and enter your email address: [sc:button-large-center link=”http://bit.ly/rw-giveaway” text=”Enter Garmin Giveaway Contest!” ]

Interested in learning how to run or know a friend who you can inspire? Brand new My First 5k class kicks off on Sept 24. It will change your life, for real. Check it out.