TSR Runner of the Week-Steve Sisson

By: Kayla Dodd

Congrats to TSR Runner of the Week Steve Sisson! He has been on his running journey for 17 years now and loves it and is also an inspiration to several other runners. His first race was the Ripley, WV 4th of July 2 mile run in 2000. The race name was the "Firecracker 2 miler”.

Steve holds several PR’s since he competes in multiple race distances. Here are some of his great accomplishments: 5k – 23:57, 1 hour 57 minutes for the Parkersburg News & Sentinel half marathon and 2 hours 15 minutes for the Charleston Distance Run. He has done one marathon so far which was the Columbus Marathon in 2014, which he did in 4 hours and 32 minutes.

At 61 years of age, Steve has been constantly pushing himself over the years and enjoys races and running. He does not have any current running goals other than to just continue running! He said, “I am hoping I can continue to keep running into my 70's and beyond. I am inspired by runners who continue to run in their later years.”

Steve said, “I am a draftsman/steel detailer, which is a very sedentary job. Before I began running I was putting on weight and feeling sluggish. Before Ripley's 4th of July parade, they have a 2 mile run. As I watched the run I had decided I would set a goal to run the Firecracker 2 miler the following year, so I began a training program to be able to complete that goal. After that I became hooked. Next I started participating in 5k's regularly, then moved to half marathons. Then I set a goal to run the Charleston Distance Run in 2006. I just ran my 12th Charleston Distance Run this year.”

One of the cool things that he has experienced on runs over the years has been the beautiful scenery. He said that seeing the beautiful sunrises in the morning while running next to beach on vacations over the years has been great!

Steve stays busy with training runs and races and said that he usually tops out his training with the Charleston Distance Run each year, and then tapers for a while. However, he will still be running the "Mountain Mama 8K" on September 23 in Morgantown. He is also currently doing the St. Albans racing series, and always looks forward to the Charleston Winter Series runs to help keep him fit and hitting the pavement during the winter months.

Steve mentioned that he has seen some really great motivational quotes over the years, but one that stands out to him and is one of his favorite running quotes is: "Running is not about being better than someone else. It's about being better than you use to be."

He has had many great experiences from running even beyond the health benefits! Steve has found that over the years that runners are some of the nicest people. He said that runners always encourage new runners and support each other and that there is a real kinship and bonding between runners!

He has tried out many different brands of running shoes, but really likes Brooks. Without a doubt, his favorite piece of running gear is his GPS watch. “I can't run without it. It creates a virtual running log, and being a draftsman I am a numbers guy anyway.” His furthest distance so far is 26.2 miles when he did the Columbus Marathon in 2014.

When asked what advice he would give to a beginner runner he said, “My advice to new runners is to set goals and make them reasonable goals for yourself, and be patient and build up slowly so as not to burn yourself out.” Steve also said that when he slows down with work or retires one day that he would like to make a run for the Boston Marathon qualifier time. “I learned from the first and only marathon I had done that training for one is a big commitment. I think at age 65 I would maybe be able to qualify with some hard work and training, but for now my training is more in line with half marathons.”

Running has benefited Steve in so many ways, but in a nutshell it has become a lifestyle for him. The health benefits are immeasurable. He said that he feels better, sleeps better and as an added bonus he has made many new friends over the years. He would like to encourage anyone who is looking to step up their physical activity to give running a chance. Congrats to Steve on all of his running accomplishments, Team TSR will see you at the finish line!

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