Howard and Barbara are from Alabama but have lived in the Pensacola area for 60 plus years. They are high school sweethearts who have been married 51 years (in August). Both are very sports minded and have participated in sports all their life. They enjoyed softball, flag football, bowling and now running!
Howard is retired from International Paper Company and now has his own business, B & H Panhandle Irrigation Service. Barbara retired from Westinghouse Electric and after a short stent of retirement when to work at the University of West Florida as an Office Administrator in the Marketing & Economics Department. GO ARGOS! They have 2 children and 4 grandchildren.
Read all about Barbara & Howard’s journey and determination..
Why did you start running?
“After Howard retired, he was looking to lose weight and find an exercise he would enjoy. We both joined Running Wild in 2013 and took a couple classes but didn’t stay with the program. Howard joined again in 2015, and committed to a regular running program, which helped in his weight loss. I saw how much fun he was having, the commitment of the coaches and camaraderie with the other runners, I wanted to be part of that group.”
How has Running Wild helped you reach your goals?
“Our first goal was to commit to the My First 5k training program and be faithful in attendance. The challenge of running a 5K when you could barely run ¼ of a mile seem unattainable. Each week we ran a little farther, breathed easier and before we knew it, the 12 week program was completed and we ran our First 5K. We couldn’t have achieved this success without the coaches helping us with form, how to breathe, core training and telling us when the body hurt, pay attention. Lynne Virant is a physical therapist and she is always telling us how to prevent injuries and she genuinely cares about the runner’s health.”
What was your favorite thing about training with Running Wild?
“Our favorite thing about Running Wild is the experienced coaches. They all bring something different to the program which is an added benefit; their knowledge, personality and styles all complement one another. Because we are older than most of the runners in class, they have embraced us and included us in many of the outside activities. When you hang with people younger than you, you feed off their energy and push yourself to compete at a higher level.
What is your greatest (most favorite) athletic/running accomplishment to date and why?
Howard’s greatest running accomplishment was the Double Bridge 5K this year. He achieved one of his best times and finished 2nd in his age group. He was finally able to run the entire race without stopping. It was such a high for him to be able to run continuously without stopping. He’s very competitive and always strives to beat his own time! I haven’t found my favorite race but I think it might be the Bushwacker 5K. I love running near the water and especially the beach.
TOP 4 Products from Running Wild to help you achieve success?
2) Headsweatz Visors. Visors/Hats are must have while running in the Florida Sunshine.
3) Socks.Socks.Socks. Best running socks are ones that are made from synthetic materials because they’ll wick away moisture. RW is always stocked!
4) Amphipod Handheld Water Bottle. A NECESSITY in hot and humid weather like ours.
What is your next athletic goal and how do you plan to reach it?
My next goal is to train to run an 8K in Washington, DC in April 2018. Howard and I are training for the Bridge to Bridge 5K and the Pensacola Perfect 10 & 5 Miler. To reach this goal we have to be focused, dedicated and commit our time weekly to run. With the help of Running Wild coaches and the friends we’ve made through the classes, we can do it!