This week’s Member Spotlight Monday is Carol Heunisch. Carol started running in 2005 and hasn’t looked back since, running countless 5Ks, 10Ks, and half marathons. She will be running 3 marathon majors this fall and will officially have completed all 6 in 2019! Thank you, Carol, for sharing your running story and for being an inspiration!

Q: How long have you been a runner?

Carol: I have been running since about 2005. Geez, why didn’t I start sooner?

Q: Why did you start running?

Carol: I started running basically for stress reduction. At the time I started running, my daughters were still in grade school, and my parents started having health issues that required me to help them out as well. And oh yes, I work full-time as well as a pharmacy manager in a hospital, so I’m pretty much always on call. One day I just decided to go out and run at Melas Park. I still shudder when I think of what I wore—cotton! Who does that? But I fell in love with running, ran outside all summer and fall, bought a dreadmill, and pretty much ran 5-7 miles every day. After about 6 years, I figured I should run a race—and it probably took me another year to get up enough nerve to run a 5K. In 2013, I signed up to run Chicago, and also ran an obscene number of half-marathons, 5 and 10ks. I got derailed shortly after that with my parents issues, but got back into running last year. I ran Chicago in 2017, and also ran Boston and London this year. And please note, I ran Boston for charity—I’m way tooooo slooooow to time qualify! I’ll leave that to you youngsters.

Q: How did you find BWRC and why did you join?

Carol: I found BWRC because after the CARA marathon training season ended last year, Jimmy sent out an email saying that he and Amanda were forming the club, so I thought I should join to keep myself motivated in the off season. I have always kicked myself when I hibernate over the winter and have to start training from scratch in the spring. I still don’t like running in the cold but I enjoyed running this winter with the group.

Q: Why do you run?

Carol: I run because I hope it’s going to keep me healthy and living for awhile longer. I’m happy to say that I don’t have many of the geriatric health issues that many people do, and I attribute that to running. It also helps to keep my weight in check and I generally feel better about myself and the world after a run. You know how you get anxious and crabby if you miss a run? Yep, that’s me. Plus runners are just awesome people, and our club has a bunch of the best. I usually don’t talk much when I run but I love to eavesdrop on everyone’s conversations.

Q: Do you have any upcoming races or goals we should know about?

Carol: It’s embarrassing but I’m running Berlin, Chicago and New York this year. Dumb luck, I got lottery entries for both Berlin and New York! I always run Chicago for the American Heart Association because my father had heart failure, and I myself had atrial fibrillation. And then I’m running Tokyo in 2019—completing my 6 star!

Q: What does BWRC mean to you?

Carol: What a great group of people! I’ve really gotten to the point of disliking running alone and always try to join a group run—and it seems like someone is running somewhere in the area every day.