Name: Jim Brennan
Runner Since: High School. I ran my first marathon in 1981.
Jim and I are kindred spirits, albeit 3,000 miles apart. We share at least two passions: running and writing. I am not ashamed to admit that Jim trumps me in both. As running goes, Jim is the real deal. An accomplished marathoner, Jim has run more races, and logged more miles than even he cares to count. Our running/writing blogs crossed paths a year ago, and since then we became fast friends. With every post in Jim’s blog, Rite 2 Run , I draw inspiration and become more sure of my own journey as a runner and writer.
1. Every runner has a “WHY.” Why did you start running? Initially I ran to stay fit, but shortly after I started running I found that it grounded me and kept my stress level under control.
2. What pushes you to keep going? It just feels natural, and balances my life. Come to think of it, without running I’d be a basket case.
3. What is your running/fitness routine for a typical week? It varies. I’m beyond the point in my life where I count miles. I try to take an hour run several times each week, and a 10-12 mile run every other week. I cycle more often these days, and now do as many cycle events as foot races during the riding season. I started doing yoga about six months ago, and have become a devotee. It’s an excellent way to strike a balance.
4. What is your favorite distance to run? Why? Marathon, for the challenge and the feel—it just feels right.
5. Best running memory? That’s a really tough question, Chuck. There are so many. There is the Steamtown Marathon that I ran while my daughter attended the University of Scranton and she watched me cross the finish line of my Boston qualifying race in 2004. Of course, the Boston Marathon was a thrill. There is my first running award for placing third in my age group at the Bermuda Marathon in 2006. Another third place finish at Run the Rockies Half-Marathon in Frisco, Colorado is special to me because the course is at 10,000-feet elevation and I’m a sea-level guy from Philadelphia. More recently, I was excited to cut forty minutes off of last year’s time at the Bucks County Marathon along the Delaware Canal in Pennsylvania.
6. Trail, track or road? Trail… anywhere off road, anytime!
7. What’s the craziest thing that’s happened to you on a run? A lot of memories there too, Chuck. One that jumps out at me was a woman who came out of the crowd in Bermuda and gave me a kiss. I was so surprised I didn’t think to get her phone number.
8. Do you race for the medals or the memories? Memories. Many of my family members and friends have my race shirts. There just isn’t enough room in the drawer. These days, I give my grandkids the medals. I do keep some for myself, especially the special ones like Boston and Bermuda.
9. What is your worst running moment? Hmmm. Oh, limping through the Sea Isle City Beach Run 10-miler on a torn meniscus.
10. Give your younger self some advice about running. Soft surfaces and cross-train. The two, combined, will extend your running life. Trust me!
How do you connect with other runners or runner communities? By entering races and writing. As a fellow-blogger, you are familiar with Rite2Run, and you know I just published my memoir Twenty-four Years to Boston a story about the effect running has had on my life and the joy it has giving me.
Editor's note: Photo, courtesy Jim Brennan