It’s end of July -- time for a summer check-in! Heather welcomes Joe (her hubby) back to the show to talk about his running and racing over the past couple of months, and new role with MRG (check out his happy smile on the new site here.)
Joe’s racing has included the Bayshore 10K and helping cheer on Heather and Emma as they finished the marathon. They also talk about what they’ve been up to lately with their family (a day trip on the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail most recently). We'd love to hear where you're exploring in Michigan this summer -- send MRG a note at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Also …. <drum roll> … Heather and Joe share some exciting things happening with MRG, including the MRG Box.
This episode also includes race news and deals you’ll want to check out as you look to fill your late-summer, fall, and winter race schedules.
Mentioned during this episode...
Local race happening in July in Glen Arbor, Mich.: 12th Annual Running Bear Run
"I think the mile requires a hybrid type of athlete. We’re half sprinter and half distance runner. I think that the mile race itself is just long enough to create a dramatic anticipation for that last lap, and then this explosive finishing kick where really anything can happen. It’s a sort 4-minute story that’s really exciting to watch." ~ 1996 Olympian Paul McMullen, who grew up in Cadillac, Mich. and now lives in Grand Haven
On this latest episode, Paul talks about the allure of the mile, his amazing talent for this distance, both in high school and on the collegiate level -- his best mile time was 3:54 -- and what it was like to become an Olympic athlete. Paul, the father of three children, also shares what eventually propelled him beyond the mile and toward much longer distances, including the ultramarathon. He ran this year’s Boston Marathon and also participated in an especially grueling ultramarathon in Spain. Paul also is candid about how his relationship with running has changed over the course of his athletic career.
Paul, who is running this fall's Holland Haven Marathon, has a passion for encouraging young runners. Through his youth running club Chariots of Firein west Michigan, he is inspiring kids ages 6 - 13 to enjoy running. Through play, these kids have a fun place to discover and develop their gift of running, Paul says.
Paul also talks about how In 1997 he lost parts of two toes when his foot slipped under a lawnmower he was operating. He returned to the sport in December 1998 and was able to run even faster than before the accident. Runner's World referred to him, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, as "the world's fastest eight-toed miler."
Paul is an eight-time NCAA All-American who graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 1995. At his specialty of 1500 meters, he was the 1996 Olympic Trials 1500-meter champion, 1995 USA Outdoor champ and 1998 USA Indoor mile champ and tenth at the 1995 and 2001 World Championships outdoors. His personal bests are: 1500m-3:33.89 (2001), Mile-3:54.94 (2001) and 800m-1:45.71 (2001).
West Michigan runner and race director Kevin Curley vividly remembers hearing fellow runner Veronica Constantine's journey of living with a chronic health condition. Her story, of continuing to be active despite having Hydrocephalus — which involves excessive accumulation of fluid in the brain— left a lasting impression. And when Kevin learned that Veronica and her family were behind a local race that raises money for Hydrocephalus, he decided to get involved. "Running has been her way of not letting Hydrocephalus run her life," he says. "The race has always been a way to make more people aware of this condition."
The Brainy Day Trail Run 10K and 5K, now in its 12th year, is set for August 11 in Nunica, Mich. Taking place on privately-owned trails, this event benefits the Brainy Day Fund, a nonprofit organization helping those affected by hydrocephalus.
Race organizers say the event has drawn a solid number of runners over the years — and they're excited to welcome even more this summer. With its beginner-friendly 5K course and a challenging-and-satisfying 10K course, finisher medals for both distances, cool post-race party featuring Odd Side Ales brew and live music, not to mention unique age-group awards (fresh produce from the farm across the road!), this event is a great one to place on your race calendar this summer. AND: race organizers have generously provided a race discount code — MRG2018 — for listeners and readers. Get signed up here
According to the Brainy Day Fund's web site, the goal "was to not only help families, but also create research grants for medical professionals looking to end hydrocephalus." For the past two years, the organization has been working to develop programs that it can manage as a small organization and that can also be very helpful to the community.
Thanks to the guidance of the Hydrocephalus Association, the Brainy Day Fun decided to launch two programs in 2018: a scholarship program for graduating high school seniors in Michigan living with hydrocephalus; and a research grant program.
The organization has raised more than $100,000 since the first race in 2007. The goal is to double that by 2025. "We would love the opportunity to help as many children heading off to school as possible, at the same time helping scientists find a more reliable way to manage hydrocephalus and continue to explore how to cure this condition," according to the site.
A third program still in the works is an education platform. The idea is to reach as many medical professionals in Michigan who have patients with hydrocephalus. "We want them to be made aware of the resources we provide as well as that of the Hydrocephalus Association."