Ever wonder who’s standing next to you in your corral at the start line, or cheering you on when you’re about to give up during a race? As runners we all have a story, a motivation to run whether it’s a personal challenge, to stay fit, bond with friends, raise money for charity, or work through a difficult time.
As a senior in high school Rachael Johnson could barely walk from class to class without sweating or losing her breath. She decided enough was enough and started exercising regularly. When she hit a plateau a few years later, she decided to start running again with the hope of achieving her fitness goals. For months she struggled with running, but kept at it even though she was slow and had little endurance. In 2012 Rachael’s persistence paid off. She earned a medal for her first 5K, and eventually progressed to two half marathons in 2013. Rachael is now ready to tackle her first marathon at Rock ‘n’ Roll Denver on October 20th. “As a joke, I told my friend that we should run a marathon together. That joke turned into reality and here I am…I have lost a total of 90 pounds, participated in 18 races, and I recently ran my 20 mile training run, by myself, and at an altitude 4500ft higher than I am used to.” As a newcomer to the Denver area, she couldn’t be more excited to have a 26.2 road tour through the Mile-High City and cross the finish line with her friend. To finish out 2013, Rachael will also be running the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon on November 17th with Team Challenge for the benefit of The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA). “I want to continue inspiring others and helping THEM reach their own goals. I know how hard it can be to be obese, to feel the stares of bystanders, and never feel comfortable in your own skin”. Rachael’s goal is to become a certified personal trainer so she can continue to help others like herself that want a change but don’t know where to begin. “As the girl who used to dread the required gym one mile run, I am still baffled by how much running long distances has changed my life”.
This story is just one of many that brings motivation and support to members of the Rock ‘n’ Roll community. Share your personal story and you could be featured in our Runner Spotlight.