Note. This is a not-typical profile of a runner who joined Palm Beach Marathon Training 9 years ago. Vikki Clifford now resides in San Diego CA. This is her story.
I have always been a NON-athlete. Drama, Yearbook, Pep Squad, yes, but no athletics!
No running for sure!
When I got to college I did become a gym rat, and even did some suggested running time to stay fit. I did as I was told…
But no real love for running yet…
Then I graduated from college and really got into spinning and STEP classes at a local gym. One day at the gym I stayed for a Team and Training presentation on running a marathon and raising money for Leukemia and Lymphoma. The charity got me inspired, not the running. I trained, I raised money, and I did my first marathon at Florida’s Disney World. I actually hated it!
Definitely NO real love for running…
Months later, when the memory of the agony had subsided, I heard about the Palm Beach Marathon Training group, and I thought a ½ marathon couldn’t be too bad, right?
Was there SOME love, after all?
With a goal in front of me, I was actually enjoying myself so much with my own training during the week, and then the camaraderie of the group running on the weekends with the group made it even more fun! I quickly changed from a ½ marathon to the FULL.
Was I starting to have a real love for running?
At the end of that marathon, I was hooked!
Yes, I had finally developed a love for running!
I have since done MANY marathons including some in Florida like Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, and Palm Beach, the Austin Marathon, Chicago Marathon, New York Marathon, Arizona Marathon, Honolulu Marathon, and numerous ones at my home-base now in California! (I also qualified for Boston one year but was not fast enough to register before it was closed!) I am planning one in Oregon and Nevada soon, so maybe do one in each of the 50 states one day?
Half marathons are too numerous to name. But I have started to get into the ultra-marathon world (beyond 26.2 and usually trail running) with a handful of 50K’s and even a couple of recent 50 milers!
Yes, I do the occasional 10k and 5k if have to, like at my local school district’s races this morning,
But the LOVE for running is definitely THERE in any shape or form!
Now I am the Running Coach at my school, and I get to encourage kids, families, and other teachers to run, run, run! In fact, the annual Jogathon at my school is my real baby, where due to my passion, I am usually the TOP fundraiser, and I run the entire length of the Jogathon for the most laps.
Now I want to inspire others to love running!
Running has indeed changed my life!