In 1986, I decided I would give running track a shot and fell in love with the longer distances immediately. I competed in the 800, 1 mile and 2 mile events for several years. I knew I was cut out to be a long distance runner at that moment. I ran on and off once moving to North Carolina in 1990 and through college, but didn’t come back to the sport until 2008.
I was 35 years old and was not happy with how I looked, where I was in my life, and who I was becoming. I worked full-time and loved spending time with my family, especially my husband and my daughter, Hayden, but I needed something that was mine, for me. I also had made the decision to quit smoking and felt then that it was the time to keep the positive changes coming.
I signed up in July of 2009 with a running group led by Marisa (Pirih) Carter/Evolve Multisport and I found myself training for a half marathon in November. It was tough and I learned a lot about myself and who my true friends were at the time. I met some great people and learned to love running again in the process. I completed my first half marathon in November 2009 and haven’t stopped running since that day.
I trained again with Marisa in 2010, bringing with me other friends who all had similar goals of running a half marathon and ultimately, an 18 mile challenge run in November 2010. By January 2011, we had a core group of friends who all ran together and we decided to work at training ourselves. Our group grew in size from just the 3 of us who started in 2010 to almost 20 runners by 2011. Though our group fluctuates in size, depending on injuries, work schedules, vacations, etc., everyone has found at least one Woo Hoo who is in need of a long run.
In June 2011, I started my training for my first full marathon. The experience was wonderfully tough and I knew that this would not be my only full marathon. I loved the challenge of the longer distance, but my heart will always be with half marathons.
Three years later, our Woo Hoo Crew and the Sole Sisters (some fabulous ladies!) have combined together to make one giant running group, the Woo Sole Crüe. We are one big loving and supportive group of runners!
Goals for 2015:
- Run this year smartly.
- Branch out and be brave.
- Continue running daily for my running streak
- Find ways to mix in cross training more
- Cook more
- 5K, Prediction Run 23:29, (January 2014)
- 5 miler, Old Town Beerun 5 miler 44:43 (March 2014)
- 10K, Hamilton Lakes 10K 51:37 (April 2014), 2nd place AG
- Half Marathon, Greensboro Half Marathon 1:55:51, 4th place AG (October 2013)
- Marathon, Richmond Marathon 4:39:00 (November 2013)
- Ultra, Crooked Road 24 hour race, 50 miles (November 2013)
- Trail 8K, Groundhog Gallop, 53:48 (February 2012), 2nd in AG
- Trail 8 miler, Lakeside Trail Race, 1:30:59 (January 2013)
- First trail half marathon, Owl’s Roost Rumble, 2:18:27 (April 2012)
…I had to do something to shake up my life and get back some sense of control and trust in the world and along the way fill the hollow space. I needed to rebel against those negative forces, to scream so loud and for so long that the anger living inside me would evacuate forever. But instead of screaming, I ran.
— Gail Kislevitz