Name: Keri Wyllie (AKA: one of those “Flower Girls”)
Current Town: Kew Gardens
Marital Status: Engaged to the “College Sweetheart”
Pets: Thorin, my puggle
Occupation: Lab Manager, adjunct instructor
I haven’t been a runner for very long. Early in 2014, I was overweight, pretty unhappy in general, and turning 27 which for some reason just was not all right with my mind. My father had been diagnosed with Type II Diabetes, my mother had just gotten through pretty rough time with diverticulitis and I didn’t want to end up with either of those things in my future. So I decided to finally lose weight and get into better shape to try and prevent that.
The first race I participated in was a Color Run. Luckily, I work for a university where I employ students and I can bribe them to join me in my crazy adventures. Three of them joined – my assistant manager, Katy; my graduating senior, Christina; and my pretty new to the lab student, Lisa Sala. We ran/walked/died through three miles (Lisa beat me, as she is so prone to doing even now).
I wasn’t sure I even liked running all that much but hey, why not sign up for another race and see? This time, the girls who signed up with me dropped out before they even got to the start line. Lisa and I arrived to the Jingle Bell Jog on December 6th together and had the same thought: we’re walking this. We went to the bib pick up, agreed that an hour in the misty rain on Hempstead Turnpike would be fine. We’d be accomplished even with that because running was probably the worst thing in the universe.
Then we realized that a) we had signed up as runners which meant b) we had a timing chip. Unwilling to put on record that I didn’t even try to run, I had to go for it. We’d done one 5k, so what was wrong with another?
Everything. It was the worst run I think I’ve ever had (minus that time in Vegas, which you’ll see later). We managed to get through it, coming back to the gymnasium where we heard about a Hot Chocolate 5k which would have been so much better.
But from that moment on, I guess the running bug bit hard. My first half marathon was that April, the first of many, and training became just what I did. In March of 2016, I signed up for the NYC Marathon fundraising for St. Jude Children’s Hospital, and started a year long running streak (I made it to 374 days). I ran the NYC Marathon (with Lisa, of course) and signed up for two more for 2017 (NYC again and RnR Las Vegas). I just broke the 2 hour half-marathon mark at the Long Island Half this year and I’m hoping to do it again in September.
I’ve also moved on to experiment in other sports. Tomorrow is my first triathlon (Jamesport) as a trial run through for the one next week: the NYC Triathlon, in which my swim in the Hudson may give me some sort of new microbe infection to teach my class in the fall about.
That’s the short and long of it! Thanks for asking me to be Warrior of the Week, Lou. And thanks to all of you guys for being such a supportive group of running friends