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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Strides: Happy Feet

This is a series on runners participating in the 3rd Annual Dean of Students Half Marathon Challenge on November 14, 2010. Today's post features Phil Beyer. He graduated from Trinity in 1999 with a BS in Physics. Phil is training for the full marathon. On one nine mile training run he showed up with nine miles already under his belt. Phil trains in FiveFingers running shoes (gloves for the feet!). He is cheerful.

The background
I was then and am now, mostly a science nerd. I love exploring the universe... small, large, close, and very far away. These days my learning takes the form of securing information from prying eyes in the professional world, and teaching my children how to learn and explore for themselves.

When did you start running and why?
I started running to chase my lovely wife, Jean (Higdon) Beyer '96, but I slowly grew appreciate its effects (read: it took a few years). A little over a year ago, I felt moved to give long distance running a try, so on a Saturday morning, I just ran as far and as long as I could. For future reference, I don't necessarily recommend that 2.5 hr experience to anyone, since my lack of training, a good pre-run meal, and any water resulted in significant pain. However, I did emerge with a new found enjoyment of the practice. I've been running farther and faster ever since.

What is something that other half marathon Challenge runners don't know about you?
Half Marathon last year... Marathon this year... Ultra Marathon next year... Ironman after that... Grand Slam of Ultrarunning... Badwater...

What is it like to be an alumni running with the Trinity group? Strange?
The runs have been quite fun. I expected it to be more awkward, but instead, it has turned out much the way I hoped... comfortable, social, educational, a little nostalgic, and marked by a subtle intensity. We all have our sights set on a respectable goal, requiring focus and a little levity from time to time.

What advice would yo give non-runners?
I recommend running to just about anyone who is willing to listen. It is a rewarding activity that returns in health and energy much more than the time you put in. Start slow, very slow, and just keep going. If running with other people helps, there are groups all over the city, state, country, and world who can motivate you. If it's inspiration you need, read Born to Run by Christopher McDougall or watch Spirit of the Marathon .

Editors Note: Links by Phil.

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