Sam Gardner is a great asset to the Fairhope running community. Sam participates in Running Wild group runs weekly, spends time training on the track, and races almost every weekend…all while working as a full time accountant. Sam always has a smile on her face and is kind and supportive to runners of all levels.
Why did you start running?
I was always involved in sports growing up and really got into running during college. I missed playing sports and running was a good challenge for me. It may sound cliche, but running really has changed my life. The reason that I started running pales in comparison to the reasons that I continue running. I met my husband through running and he has helped me to see running as a gift from God. I am so thankful everyday for the ability to run and do something that I enjoy so much.
How has Running Wild helped you reach your goals?
I really enjoy group runs at Running Wild. I always look forward to visiting with the staff and meeting up with friends to run. I definitely think that having a running group can be beneficial to anyone’s training and I am thankful that Running Wild recognizes this and offers group runs for runners of all abilities!
What is your favorite piece of run gear and why?
I am really loving the Amphipod Xinglet. I do a lot of runs in the dark, and this is great for staying visible during the dark winter months.
What is your greatest athletic accomplishment and why?
I have run the Spring Fever Chase 10K in Fairhope every year since I started running. I have an eight year streak going. It is by far my favorite race of the year. The first year that I ran the race, I remember being SO excited to have placed in my age group. This past spring I actually won the race for the first time, and that was such an awesome feeling. I guess I feel like my greatest accomplishment is putting in the work and improving my times over the years.
What shoes do you train in and why?
I try to vary my shoe rotation daily. My go-to shoes currently are the Brooks Ravenna and the Brooks Pure Cadence. I like the stability of the Ravenna for longer training runs and the lightweight feel of the Cadence for shorter, speed workouts and races.
What is your next athletic goal and how do you plan to achieve it?
My next running goal is to break 19 minutes in the 5K. I try to do a track workout once a week and I plan to focus on shorter repeats to help increase my 5K speed.