Meet our July Athlete of the Month- Hunter Stewart

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Hunter Stewart is a recent graduate from Pensacola Christian Academy High School. He has been living in Pensacola with his loving family for all 18 years of his life and he has been running for 6 years. Between school and running, Hunter doesn’t have too much free time. When he does have down time, he enjoys reading and like most teenagers, watching Netflix and playing games. Last summer, he got serious about his running since it would be his final year to compete in high school sports. Hunter ran all summer and then would run 6@6 at RW in the mornings before school, shower, and make it into his first period class just before the bell. Now he’s squeezing in runs after church or running 6@6 before he goes into work at PCC Publishing helping make textbooks for the Academy.

Hunter runs because it makes him, feel better physically and emotionally. He loves pushing his body to its limits and seeing himself improve over time. Running also keeps me him shape so his diet can include many cookies and ice-cream :)

Read all about Hunter’s passion for running..

 

hunters5Why did you start running?

“My dad told me to try cross country in 7th grade and though I didn’t have much interest, I soon took a liking to the sport. I continued to run cross country and track throughout high school and those meets and practices have been some of the best memories regardless of winning.”

 

How has Running Wild helped you reach your goals?

Running Wild helped me become serious with my training this past year by helping me reach my goal of 500 miles before cross-country season. I wanted to medal at state which I did and I broke my school record with a PR of 16:01. I know I couldn’t have done it without all the help of harder training and longer runs at Running Wild.”

 

What was your favorite thing about training with Running Wild?

“At Running Wild, I was running much longer distances and with people who were much faster than me– things I was not used to but that were very beneficial. My favorite thing about training with Running Wild however would be the friendliness and genuine care of everyone there for my success as a runner and as a person. I came into the store just to log a run on a course that wasn’t my neighborhood, but I was immediately greeted by friendly faces and engaged in conversation. A year later, and these people are some of my closest friends. There’s also something special about running with someone and getting to know them more which is really nice and an experience you can’t get elsewhere.”

 

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What is your greatest (most favorite) athletic/running accomplishment to date and why?

My favorite running accomplishment was at the T.R. Miller XC Challenge this past cross-country season. It’s called Challenge and not invitational for a reason: this is the hilliest 5k course I have ever run! I pushed myself to beat my competitors and to set a new course record and (then) PR of 16:18 which I was very happy with on that course.

 

TOP 5 Products from Running Wild to help you achieve success?

1) Injinji Toe Socks: Multiple variegated pairs of Injinji toe socks!!!! These socks are very stylish and feel amazing. If you don’t have these, you need to go get some right now!
2) A good pair of trainers for the daily runs: I personally like the Brooks Ghost since they have so much padding and last a long time. I have well over 1,000 miles on mine
3) Garmin Watch: GPS watch- Garmin forerunner 620 to track your pace and mileage is very nice
4) Tasc RW Shirt: Running Wild shirt- Support the store and feel comfortable too
5) Short shorts: The distinguishable mark of every runner (bonus points if they’re a bright color) .

 

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

As I was training for cross country, the Long Runs at Running Wild definitely strengthened my endurance and gave me the extra boost I needed to succeed. I have realized I enjoy the longer distances now having run some unofficial half marathons on Saturdays with the group and am now training to run my first marathon before April and qualify for Boston next year.

 

Running Wild is thrilled to watch this young man grow into a strong athlete (cheetah)! Keep on pushing Hunter, we are right behind you every step of the way!

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Meet Our January Athlete of the Month- Suzy Bajjaly

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Suzy, a senior at Pace High School started training with Running Wild’s My First 5k program in July, 2016. Since then she has crossed the finish line to TWO 5k runs… with flying colors we might add. Her next goal is a personal best time at the Bayou Hills 5k in March!

She shares what she likes to do (other than running), upcoming goals and her favorite training tools!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

What is your daily grind?

“I go to school, the gym, take our dogs for a walk or do some other type of workout like run at Running Wild or in my neighborhood. Then I come home, do homework, go to sleep and do it all over again. I also like to bike, go to the mall, take my dogs for walks, listen to music, take pictures, go shopping, go to church, and hangout with family, friends and animals.”

Why do you choose to run?

“To me, running is a relief from stress, anxiety, worry, or whatever the case may be. I run because over the years I realized it is very important for not only my physical health but mental health as well. I run after school in the evenings. I choose to fit it in because I love running and it’s good for my health and is also really fun.”

Why did you start running?

“I started running to bond with my dad, to lose weight, to feel better, and to get active. ”

How has Running Wild helped you reach your goals?

“Running Wild has helped me reach my goals by helping me to run longer than just 2 or 3 minutes without having to stop to walk. It helped me run a 5k without stopping, no matter how hard it was for me which was one of my goals. The people I have trained with are so nice and supportive and I love them for that. They are the best.”

What was your favorite thing about training with Running Wild?

“My favorite thing about Running Wild are the trainers and staff. They are so nice, helpful and knowledgeable. I loved the core work, trigger points, intervals, running tips and warmups/stretches.”

What is your greatest (most favorite) athletic/running accomplishment to date and why?

“My greatest running achievement is when I ran the Ho Ho Hustle 5k without stopping. It may have been difficult at times, but I was determined not to stop until I finished. I was very proud of myself for achieving my goal.”

TOP 5 Products from Running Wild to help you achieve success?

1.Brooks Ghost- Favorite shoe!
2.Moving Comfort Sports Bras- Supportive and comfy must-haves.
3.Balega Socks- These socks are soft, stay put and keep your feet as dry as possible.
4.Trigger Point- I love this kit. Hurts so good!
5.Tops and shorts- The right clothes make all the difference when running.

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

“My next goal is to run a 5k in 30 minutes. I plan to reach that goal by training a lot more and eating healthier.”

“It was so great having Suzy run with us. She is always happy with a smile, great attitude and had the best tunes! After finishing the Bridge to Bridge 5k she has become hooked on not only running but striving for personal improvement. You can’t ask for a better example than that!”

~ Coach Nina

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