During my last conversation with Lois, from the 50 States Marathon Club, she put me onto the Toledo Road Runners so I was excited to learn more, after all I consider Ohio as my second home. My parents are from Euclid and I still have a lot of relatives up there, so I reached out to both leaders of the club and I got a hold of Rob Simon.
Rob told me that he is currently preparing for a 100 miler in September, the last one he ran took about 28 hours. I asked Rob what got him into running, Rob said ‘At a Nascar Race at the Atlanta Motor Speedway I ate a ton, my chest felt heavy and I didn’t feel good. So I visited a doctor and nothing was wrong with my heart, which was a relief, but he told me I just needed to lose some stress. My career as an engineer produced a lot of stress,’ Rob replied. ‘So I started to run and my first run was a 3 mile course but I could only complete 1 mile. Fast Forward, 10 years to the day I am still running. I started feeling a lot better. I started doing 5k’s and I lost 15 lbs and it’s a better healthier lifestyle,’ Rob stated.
‘Basically I was drinking a case of beer a week to not very much now and I went from taking naps at lunch to not at all. I’ve met a lot of great people from running. Runners are a great willing group as everybody is out to help each other. I’ve had nothing but great experiences with events, for example during one of my events someone gave me their headlight as I forgot mine. I found that to be very typical within the running community, everybody is helping each other,’ Rob said.
‘When I first started running I became aware of a group called the Toledo Road Runners so I decided to join and make friends. I then started to go to meetings and I really liked it, so one year I got nominated to be on the board. I was a member for about 6-7 years and now I just started as the club VP,’ Rob replied.
So I asked Rob how much running he does per week, Rob said, ‘Out of training I run about 30 miles per week and in training I do about 50. I am mainly focused on Ultra Distances. I’ve done a couple 50ks and I want to do longer distances’.
‘Part of running in events is the experience I get, lately I have been helping other runners and I actually helped a couple runners PR, to me this is just as rewarding if not more rewarding than breaking one of my own accomplishments. I’ve run in four marathons the last year and a half and I ran with someone at each event and they all got a PR, to me this is rewarding!’ Rob stated.
I asked Rob about some of his most favorite events, Rob said ‘Boston is number two and my favorite is the burning river 100, which was my first 100 miler’.
I asked Rob if he tracks his distance, Rob said ‘I have an excel spreadsheet and a garmin, but I rarely share my runs with others. I started tracking in 2007 and I have completed over 10k miles since I started running 10 years ago’.
So I asked Rob what advice would he give to a new runner, Rob said ‘Be patient with yourself and enjoy the moment with all the people that you’ll meet on runs, don’t be afraid to sign up for that first 5k, take a chance on running it’.
Rob went on to tell me ‘I was also a race director, so I have experience on both sides of the coin, it was a 10 miler,’ Rob said. So we chatted a little more about the Toledo Road Runners, Rob said, ‘There are 1500 ‘great’ members and we are a non profit with yearly membership fee’s. We do some club events and we help with other races, loan out equipment, etc.. We have a monthly newsletter. We encourage our members to go to toledo metro parks as they put on a lot of events. We’ve given about $80k of proceeds to charities, annually, along with small grants to community organizations such as shirts to running groups.
As Rob and I concluded our conversation I asked him what goals he had for the remainder of the year, Rob said ‘Lots of running and participating in the following events:
- Burning river 100- July 24
- Running the vines 1/2 marathon in August
- Woodstock 100 mile – Sept 11
- Air Force marathon – Sept 19
- Detroit marathon – October 18
- Or Las Vegas marathon November
- Huff 50k trail – December 19
And for 2016, Rob said ‘ I plan on applying to a few ultra lotteries that are hard to get into and I hope to get picked. I also plan to participate in the Dream race which is western state 100 mile endurance run. I plan on doing my first triathlon and 3-4 marathons that I haven’t run before as I am just looking for a variety. Also it is going to be the 40th Glass city marathon so we have some really cool things planned for it that I am really excited about!
Thanks Rob – it was great chatting with you and good luck the remainder of the year!!! Keep in touch..