Candace Gibson lives in Gulf Breeze with her husband Mark Gibson, who is her running partner for training and for races. She is a relatively “new’ runner and is honored to be featured in Running Wild’s Athlete of the Month. Candace and her husband also ride bikes and swim. She works out four days a week at Orange Theory and takes yoga classes two to three times a week! It probably sounds as if all she does is athletic events, but she also volunteers in one of their grandson’s classroom, they are active in their church and run/walk their four dogs!

 

Why did you start running?

“I started running in May, 2015. Prior to that, I had walked in many 5 and 8k races and come in ahead of runners. In March, 2015, my husband, Mark, who has been running for more than a decade, ran a half marathon, and I ran/walked a 5k in Mobile. After the race, I told my husband I wanted to start running with the goal of running/walking 5k’s. I ran my first 5k (Firecracker 5k) in July and placed second in my division. In November, I ran my first half marathon – the Pensacola Marathon – and placed first in my division, and Mark ran his first marathon. In April, 2016, Mark and I ran the Destin Marathon – my first marathon, and I placed first in my division.
Now, three and a half years later, I have run fourteen marathons and fifteen half marathons as well as numerous 5, 10, 15k’s and one 50k trail run! Additionally, Mark and I have completed five Sprint Triathlons (swimming in open water is my big challenge)!”

  

How has Running Wild helped you reach your goals?

“Running has become such an important part of our lives! We try to run every day (although we sometimes miss) including a long run once a week. Summers prove the most challenging due to the heat (I do not like heat), but we do persevere through it. One of the marathons we ran in 2018 was San Francisco – in July! Imagine trying to train in Pensacola during the summer for a hilly, chilly marathon!”

What is your greatest (most favorite) running accomplishment to date?

I would have to say the biggest running accomplishment was running and completing the 2018 Boston Marathon. This was my first Boston marathon, and it proved to be very challenging with the 30 mile an hour headwind, 38 degree temperature and driving rain for the entire course! In fact, the weather was the worst for a Boston Marathon since 1907! I finished the race, albeit purple, soaked and exhausted! Another accomplishment Mark and I are proud of is running the Asheville half marathon and marathon back-to-back in March, 2018. I was blessed to place first in my division in both races. In November, Mark and I ran the New York marathon (for the second year in a row) and at the 24 mile marker I reached mile 5000 since I began running. What a thrill!”

Top 5 products from Running Wild to help you achieve success?

My top five must haves from Running Wild are:
1) My Newton running shoes!
2) One of my favorite tools I got at RW is the Trigger Point set which has rollers in various sizes to help stretch out different muscles!
3) Injinji Toe Socks-  they are great for long runs!
4) Love wearing the inspirational Momentum braceletswhich have great mottos!
5) They always carry an array of safety equipment/gear that is much needed for my runs.

PLUS– Running Wild has been a great support of our activities. The biggest help is having the staff properly measure my feet so that my shoes fit perfectly. Since running, my feet have grown and spread out, so the staff taking time to check my measurements each time I buy shoes gives me the confidence and comfort I need to complete the races!

 

What is your next athletic goal and how do you plan to reach it?

“Mark and I have already registered for some marathons (including Paris in April) and half marathons in 2019, as well as other shorter races. Additionally, Mark will be participating in the Key West Triathlon and I in the Duathlon in December.

What I love about running is it affords me quiet time to commune with God! I pray during runs and races, which gives me a real sense of peace. One of my favorite scripture quotes that I rely on in long runs is from Hebrews 12: “Let us lay aside every weight and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.” This quote is so helpful, especially in marathons, because it reminds me to put off any sense of fatigue or doubt and to patiently complete the race with much gratitude!”

  

What is your message to those who are getting into running?

To all those new runners, running is not about pace or distance, it’s about enjoying the journey and embracing the challenge!