Happy Monday, BWRC! This week’s Member Spotlight Monday is Richard Thomas. Richard competes in many races throughout the year including most recently placing second in his age group at the Wisconsin Half Marathon in Kenosha! Richard found running after becoming bored with walking for exercise and hasn’t looked back since! Get to know Richard more in his answers to our questions below:

Q: How long have you been a runner?

Richard: I started running sometime in the summer or fall of 2010 as a continuation of my weight loss agenda. I had started out just walking, doing 10k steps a day.

Q: Why did you start running?

Richard: Although I have always been physically active and thought I was in decent shape for my age, during a routine annual physical when I was 63, I discovered I had high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and at 160 pounds on a 5 foot frame, I was considered obese. I had picked up some bad eating habits after quitting a 2 pack a day cigarette habit, and apparently those sweets and junk food had caught up to me. Obese!!? I’m already short, old, hard of hearing, missing half my teeth and have questionable social skills, I don’t need to add obesity to the mess.

The change in eating habits was actually not that hard. I simply stopped eating crap and with bossdears help, and her being a skilled and creative cook, we both started healthy eating. And with a few minutes on Google, I found that one of the best physical activities for weight loss was simply walking. So, I walked. And walked, and walked and walked, and bought a pedometer and walked some more, 10,000 steps a day. Every single day. If I needed some steps to meet my daily goal, I would take a walk around the block at 10pm. Or do laps around the living room. Or march in place in front of the tv. I was driving bossdear nuts. But. It worked. At my next physical, my blood pressure was normal and my cholesterol numbers were all good. And I had walked from 160 to 128 pounds. But, having met my original goals, I was quite frankly getting really bored with walking. I wanted to maintain my 10k steps per day goal, but, I figured if I started running, I could get it done faster.

So, bottom line, I started running because I was bored.

Q: How did you find BWRC?

Richard: Someone from another running group mentioned BWRC on Facebook. I think there was also a photo with someone wearing a green BWRC shirt.

Q: Why did you join BWRC?

Richard: I have been running in Busse Woods almost from the start. And I was always on the lookout for local running clubs or groups. I heard about AMP’D via Runners High and Tri and quickly joined up with them. Then I saw the mention in Facebook about BWRC and it sounded like a good fit, so joined up. I also run with HIP and the Deer Grove Trail Runners on occasion. You can’t have too many running groups but believe it or not, I really enjoy running mostly by myself.

Q: Why do you run?

Richard: I run for fitness, for stress relief, for solitude, to challenge myself. Also for wine and donuts.

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

Richard: I’ll be running the Got2Run 8K in Arlington Heights on the 19th of May. I’ll be running with co-workers in the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge on May 24. I’m running the half marathon/5k challenge in Sioux Falls South Dakota in September. I’m still trying to decide about running the Des Moines Marathon. One of my goals is to break 5 hours in the marathon.

Q: What does BWRC mean to you?

Richard: I’m not a very social person, so BWRC helps get me out of my comfort zone. Because, let’s face it, BWRC is VERY social. I’ve never seen such an active group. There is always something going on. Sometimes I get exhausted just reading over the upcoming events list.