Meet our July Athlete of the Month- Hunter Stewart



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.”



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) .



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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Why You SHOULD Set New Year’s Resolution(s)…


noun | a firm decision to do or not to do something.
Synonyms: intention, resolve, plan, intent… etc.

New Year’s Resolutions get a bad rap. Why? Do they seem like a lost cause? Considering only 8% of people’s “NYR’s” are deemed “successful”, it makes sense that the tradition is ho-hum.
So, why only 8%? Is it a lack of willpower? Are our goals unreasonable? Not inspiring or exciting enough? Or do our original goals change in time? Maybe it’s all of the above.

Why make NYR’s anyways? Who needs to think about silly little plans or changes in order to achieve, right? If it’s important enough, we’ll do it without needing a plan.
But what about going on a vacation, buying a new car or crossing the finish line of your first 5k like our Athlete of the Month, Suzy?
suzy_dad_coachrachel Those achievements typically don’t happen without a plan. The accomplishment of those goals provide joyful experiences, strengthened confidence and bring life to you AND your loved ones. Making plans brings life! Not to say that life doesn’t happen without a plan but some planning is required for experiences that can be life-changing.

We’re pretty familiar with the benefits of purposefully setting goals and implementing a plan to get you there. That whole “marathon thing” requires resolutions left and right. From the initial decision to run, to what your time goal is, when you will be able to get your daily runs in, equipping yourself with the right shoes and running gear to keep your body healthy, etc. You might be able to finish 26.2 miles without a training plan but race day will be ugly. A structured plan will ensure a MUCH better outcome. You will become stronger, mentally and physically every week, your race day will be more successful and GRATIFYING. Most importantly, you never know who you are inspiring by your works.
Don’t just take our word for it, read about these first time marathoner’s experience at the Pensacola Marathon and their thoughts on “the training plan”.

So why not put in the little extra effort? Be purposeful in all you set out to do and don’t shy away from aiming high.

Start here:

We invite you to plan big (and starting small) in 2017.

  • Set two small goals that can be attained by the end of January (ex: “I will exercise for a minimum of two days a week” or “I will call/reconnect with one person every week that I haven’t talked to in awhile”) this will help keep the goal setting attainable and keep you encouraged. Reset for February with two goals to maintain through the month. Etc.
  • Then one mega goal for 2017 that you work on for the year (Maybe your first half-marathon? Start small with a 5k! We have training programs for that!!! ). Daisy Weckerly, Derek Olford and Barbara White can all attest to small goals leading to BIG change! Along the way, maybe the big goal changes and that’s OK! The main goal is to keep setting goals, as small as necessary, to stay motivated to truck along in becoming the best YOU that you can be.
  • The Key to Your Success: GET YOUR TEAM! Gather your trusted crew (or maybe just one accountability partner) and ask them to support you in your goals. Check in at least once a week and share your progress AND the obstacles you may have faced. Encourage others to join you in setting goals and be their support crew, too. It’s a big circle of love. Spread it!
  • Reminder: life is not black-and-white. It is a kaleidoscope of ever-changing craziness. I mean, where did 2016 even go?! SO if the original goal gets knocked off track or it becomes lack-luster, don’t fret! Simply readjust what that next small step needs to be. A “step (or five) backwards” (and we WILL have them) this doesn’t mean that the next step won’t be forward.
    Planning for setbacks is just as big a part of the puzzle as the ultimate achievement.  

    Here’s some of our staff’s 2017 resolutions:

    Small goals:
    1) To exercise joyfully 6 days a week for a minimum of 20 minutes…at least. Exercise can include but not limited to air squats, push-ups and planks. A yoga class, swim class, run or bike ride would be the icing on the cake!
    2) To reach out to an old friend to make a “new friend” OR a family member once a week. My brain also needs to be challenged to remember names. I’m really bad about that.
    My BIG goal for 2017: To get a few triathlons in and secretly to beat Mike Overton in just ONE of them so that I can have bragging rights in the back office…until the next race. (There’s been big time rivalry/love going on between these two for some time now…. we expect 2017 to get a little dicey).
    Small goals:
    1) To take a continuing education course in fitness/nutrition. I have my masters in Business, a Bachelors in Exercise Science and am now craving knowledge to improve my personal training.
    2) To strength train 2-days a week. I run and/or ride almost every day but have started to feel fatigue in my muscles.
    My BIG goal for 2017: I’d like to do at least one 70.3 (Half-Ironman triathlon). This will require lots of small goals to prep for. (Watch out, Cherie!)
    Small goals:
    1) Educating myself on proper nutrition. It is so important to properly fuel yourself, especially when exercising. I’d like to be informed on what my body needs, for example, more carbs before exercise and protein afterwards.
    2) To begin a meal prepping routine. First by getting a menu together for the week, then creating a grocery list. I’m thinking shopping on Saturdays and cooking on Sundays!
    My BIG goal for 2017: To be eating all nutritious, home-cooked meals. Breakfast, lunch and dinner that I have prepped for myself. You get one body, gotta take care of it!

SO, get out a pen and paper and write out your 2017 Goals.
We’ll have your shoe, apparel, and fitness gadgets covered! As well as group runs and training programs, too!

Happy New Year’s, wild friends.

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