TSR Runner of the Week-Michael LeMaster
By: Kayla Dodd
Congratulations to TSR Runner of the Week Michael LeMaster. He has been on his running journey for almost 4 years now and is loving it. His first race was the Biggest Loser 5K in Charleston, WV. He said that he was talked into running the night before the race by a friend, and had no prior training…which was a terrible idea! Michael has running goals for himself to run a 50 miler one day and to improve his race times from previous years! His current 5K PR is 21:23. His next race on his race schedule is the Kanawha Trace 50K, and then the WV Trilogy this fall.
When asked what motivates him to run he said, “I have to say my running group the KT Trail Running Club keeps me motivated, and gets me out the door for those early Saturday morning long runs when I just don’t feel like getting out of bed. I am also motivated by the health benefits that I see from running, I am a Type 1 Diabetic, and my blood sugar levels seem to be much more stable when I am running consistently.”
His coolest/weirdest experience on a run was when he was being chased by farm animals along the Kanawha Trace. “You never really know what you are in store for out there…aggressive roosters, cows, bulls, and goats are all a possibility!” His favorite running/motivational quote is, “Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must, just never give up!” ~ Dean Karnazes
Michael said that his best experience from running is all of the inspiring people that he has met along his running journey! His favorite brand of running shoes are Altra and his favorite piece(s) of running gear are his blood glucose tester and extra snacks! “As a Type 1 athlete I never run without my blood glucose tester, and extra snacks. Maintaining a stable blood sugar can be a real challenge, and without these tools running for me wouldn’t be possible!” His farthest race distance that he has ever ran was the Highlands Sky (twice), which is a beautiful and difficult 41 mile race through Dolly Sods.
Michael’s advice to a beginner runner is, “Get a good pair of running shoes that fit you properly, they make a world of difference. Definitely don’t worry about your pace in the beginning, just decide on a distance be it a half mile or whatever and just work on getting there. Try and find a running group or a running buddy as it makes the bad runs better, and helps keep you accountable. Lastly remember we are all runners, some run faster or farther than others, but there is no such thing as a fake runner!”
Running has truly impacted and changed Michael’s life for the better and in many ways. “Besides the obvious health benefits, running has introduced me to a great group of amazing friends that I wouldn’t have met otherwise. I also met and became friends with a fellow Type 1 runner, and just knowing that you have someone else out there running with you that totally understands the constant struggles and additional challenges you face on a daily basis is awesome! The runners in the Kanawha Trace group constantly inspire me and make me want to become a better runner!” Congratulations to Michael on all of his running achievements, Team TSR will see you at the finish line.