We all run for different reasons. What is interesting for Randi Walters is how the reasons and character of her running has taken on additional aspects through the years.
Randi was active in high school. She participated in the team sports and even tried out a Cross Country practice once but decided it was not for her. It wasn’t until she was in graduate school in California that she watched a close friend finish a half marathon. This friend had always told Randi that anyone could run. So, Randi gave it a try.
She jumped right into running at the half marathon level. She ran a three-quarter mile run for her first training run and built from there. The more she ran, the more fit she became. She found that running complemented her graduate studies in that it gave her something else to focus on, to balance out her time. There is so much that feels out of control in graduate school; running became a space where she could see more immediate results. “You can finish a half marathon a heck of a lot faster than you can finish a master’s degree.” Completing her first half marathon is still one of the high points in her life.
Randi soon discovered another aspect of running. “The more I did it, I started noticing…my fitness was increasing, I just felt better, I felt clearer, like my mind was clearer. I felt happier. It was one of those things where there were just too many pros to not run.” As she kept at it, she joined communities of runners and got better. The better she got the more she wanted to keep doing it. “I started to feel more competitive. I started to place in my age group for events, and I was like, ‘Oh, maybe I am not too bad at this.’”
The drive to compete soon became another component of her running. “It’s not that I felt competitive with the people I was racing against, but I started feeling more competitive with myself.” She began pushing herself and seeing results. As the results of improved times continued, she figured, if she keeps pushing herself, who knows what kinds of results she might see.
Running communities have also added a significant layer to her running. While in California she ran a number of Ragnar Relays and experienced the joy of being involved in team competition running through the night. A highlight of the last Ragnar Relay she ran was taking first place in the open women’s division.
When she and her husband, Austin, decided to move to Boise, they looked up the Boise Area Runners (the BAR) on meetup.com before they even arrived. The BAR has been a big part of her running since relocating. It was at a BAR run where the idea to train to qualify for the Boston Marathon was planted. She trained all summer, running a number of fast laps with the BAR on the Boise High track, and completed a Boston Qualifying time at the Sunriver Marathon this last September. Her training for the Boston Marathon in 2017 begins this coming January.
As Randi reflects on her journey through running and the added dimensions it has taken on, she says, “I still feel at my core I am running for the same reasons, but now it’s like there is this added challenge of trying to do it a little bit faster.” And that is why Randi will be out there running for years to come! See you out on a run!