With that being said, it’s time to meet a member of #teamsparkle. Up next is Joe, aka @run8va on social media!
Tell us about your past race/running experience:
Joe: I started running in 2011 after auditioning to join the U.S. Army band and needed to lose weight. I began with a 1-2 miles every 2 or 3 days. After a few weeks I thought to myself, “If I’m out running anyway I should sign up for a 5k.” Which became if I can do 3 miles then surely I can do 6 – then 13.1 – then 26.2. I went from running my first mile in September to running my first marathon in January just 4 months later. It’s not a path that I recommend people following, but it was the path that put me on the road. (Both figuratively and literally). In 2012, my first year of marathoning, I completed 5 marathons. It was during this year that I decided to set a bucket list goal of completing a marathon in all 50 states. Something that seemed daunting at the time, something that was a long shot and unobtainable. Since then I have completed 40+ marathons in 18 different states with 5 new states on the calendar for 2017. I have run back to back marathons in a weekend before, completing the Mitten Challenge in 2014 at the Wisconsin and Kalamazoo Marathons, and in 2015 I completed the Dopey Challenge in Walt Disney World running a 5k, 10k, half marathon, and full marathon on 4 consecutive days. I have been fortunate enough to join with pace teams at marathons around the southeast U.S. and help lead others to their goal race times.
We are so glad you are a part of #teamsparkle. When did you first join and what color was your first skirt?
J: I was fundraising for St. Jude as a participant in the 2014 Tinkerbell Half Marathon in Disneyland and reached out to Sparkle Athletic as part of an idea to push donations. The idea was simple, after reaching my fundraising goal I would commit to running the race in a Sparkle Athletic skirt, visor, and wings and I would let one person who donated choose the color. The donations rolled in and I met my goal in under a week! The first skirt that I wore was gunmetal, along with the visor and wings.
What/Who inspires you to continue running?
J: Since 2012, I have been committed to fundraising for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and have always strived to make an effort to utilize running as an outreach to do good stuff. I have run in over a dozen races through the St. Jude Hero program and have been fortunate enough through the goodwill of friends, family, and supporters to have raised over $12,000 benefiting the patients St. Jude.
We all know how much #teamsparkle loves their treats as much as they love running… What’s your favorite indulgence?
J: It is a challenge every day to balance out my love of running with my love of Oreos. But on race day, it’s the mid-race and post race donuts that I love to get my hands on.
Which Sparkle Athletic product is your favorite “go to”?
J: My visors! Everyday, every mile. I have over a dozen Sparkle Athletic visors that I wear. You can imagine the looks I get running around in small town, MS.
What is one of your favorite parts of racing in a Sparkle Athletic skirt?
J: As a self proclaimed founding father of #MenofTeamSparkle, wearing the skirt on the race course creates a statement of self confidence. It speaks to the world around you that the run is what’s important and the little bit of joy you can spread to the people you encounter on the run.
Thank YOU so very much for “joining the team.” Individually each & everyone of you is amazing, but as a “team” we ROCK.
Everyone has a story, and we want to hear YOURS! The #teamsparkle community is such a loving and inclusive group, but often times we are tackling our runs solo. Knowing your teammates can help you to feel more a part of the running community.
If you would like to share your story, whether it is about how you got started running, what motivates your running, why you love running, or how running has changed your life, please let us know! We would love to feature you on an upcoming “Meet The Team“ post – so email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!