Q: How long have you been a runner?

Fred: I “kind of” started running between my Junior and Senior year of high school. It was all very covert; I would wait until it got dark so no one would see me. I would run/walk up and down Addison Street from my house to Wrigley Field (about 2 miles). I did that all in one summer then I stopped running. I only started back up a few years ago. So there were many, many, many years in between.

Q: Why did you start running?

Fred: After high school, I started smoking and didn’t exercise too much. Every now and then I would go to the health club with my friend and afterwards we would light up a cigarette as we were walking out. It was like this for at least 10 years. After my wife became pregnant I knew I had to quit smoking. After struggling with quitting, my love for junk food took over and I really started gaining the weight back that I lost in high school. I used to donate blood every now and then, and they initially run a quick test to see if you are ok to give blood. Well, one time the phlebotomist told me that my cholesterol and BP were too high to give blood and that I should schedule an appointment to see my doctor. After finding out from my doctor how bad my numbers were, I knew something had to change. Starting running again was so tough; it seemed like I could barely go a block before I had to stop. Luckily for me I persisted, and even though my numbers aren’t great…they have gone down considerably since I started running more.

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

Fred: I found BWRC after the CARA training for the Chicago Marathon last year. I always ran alone because I felt I was too slow to run with other people. When I was training with CARA, I found out how much I liked running with others and that there are runners of all paces. I definitely wanted to keep running after the marathon and it seems like a lot of runners who trained with CARA are with BWRC now, so it all worked out great!

Q: Why do you run?

Fred: There are so many reasons, but mostly I keep running for the health benefits. I want to be healthy enough to do things with my family, and be there to watch my kids grow into adults. Running is definitely a good way for me to relieve stress as well, sometimes I will just put my headphones on and anything that was bothering me goes away. I can be tired, sweaty and have sore legs, but still feel great mentally after a run.

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

Fred: I’m currently training for the Chicago Marathon. I haven’t committed yet – but I want to do the Amita 1/2 and the Alpine 1/2 in September.

Q: What does BWRC mean to you?

Fred: BWRC is the main reason I was able to keep running after the marathon. I have met so many amazing people in this group and everyone is so supportive and knowledgeable. It truly is like one big family. I’ve gotten so much advice on running and non-running things. I’m not that big of a talker…but I do like to listen, especially on runs – I guess it takes my mind off of the running. BWRC really makes me look forward to running.