Saturday Spotlight – Brad Hartman (5/23/20)

Name: Brad Hartman

Age: 33

Marital Status: Married to Cheryl Hartman (6 years this July)

Kids: Adam (3 years old)

Pets: 2 Cats – Layla (6 years old) and Zoey (a year and a half old)

Occupation: Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band Director at Bellport High School

Hobbies: Cooking, woodworking, puzzles, playing golf, and running

Hometown: Sayville, N.Y.

Current Town: Ridge, N.Y.

College: Bachelors of Music in Music Education and Performance from C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University (Brookville, N.Y.), Masters of Liberal Studies in Education from Stony Brook University (Stony Brook, N.Y) and Masters of Music in Wind Conducting from Messiah College (Grantham, P.A.)

Favorite Race: The Sayville Summer Running Series – Keith Nintzel 5k, Diamond Dash/Sayville FD 5k, Community Ambulance 5k, CF Waffle Run 4-miler, and the Hon. John P. Cohalan Sayville Summerfest 4-miler. As someone who grew up in Sayville, it’s great to see friends from high school and previous teachers while running through the “old neighborhood “.

Favorite Running Spots: Selden Hills (of course), Port Jeff Greenway, Old Field Lighthouse, The EPCAL Path at Calverton (although it has been overcrowded with large groups lately-for obvious reasons)

Hi Warriors! First, a big “thank you” to Lou for reaching out to me to take on this honor. It was quite a surprise, considering that I am still a bit of a “newbie” since I only joined last December. Since then, I’ve been added to all of the Roll Calls, except for the Gauntlet, so I guess I’m not as green on the hills as I thought. I was all set to race for our team at this year’s Kings Park 15k but we all know what happened there…

So here’s my story…

As a kid, sports were always important, but music always took precedence. I played soccer on a travel team through eighth grade, where I injured my patellar tendon by colliding with someone as we were going to head a ball (he landed spike-first on the back of my leg). As a result, I was out for the remainder of the season. The team broke up after that and there went my soccer career.

High school was a very difficult time for me. I was battling several “demons” which led to excessive weight gain, terrible acne, and hypothyroidism. Add this to not being part of the “cool club” and I’m sure you can figure out my high school years. Luckily for me, most of high school is blur, but luckily the music department practically adopted me for those four years.

So where does running come into this story? Well after I graduated C.W. Post, I finally admitted to myself that I was not ok with my physical appearance- specifically, my weight. I was starting to change my eating habits from college (I ate a lot of carbs, fried foods, and drank way too much soda) and downloaded the Couch 2 5k app. Knowing nothing about running, I reached out to fellow Sayville HS alum Brendan Barrett at the Sayville Running Company to help me find shoes to guide me on my journey. That October, I ran my first 5k on October 28th, 2012- right before hurricane Sandy hit with an official time of 25:37.

Since then, I’ve certainly caught “the bug”, entering many other distances from 1 mile to full marathon. Even though my last 5k (Winter Run Series at Sunken Meadow) was a 20:32, I’ll be the first to admit that I have no idea what I’m doing. I just go out and run. Maybe some day I’ll figure it out, but for now, I’m thankful to the many books I’ve read and to my coach.

While I don’t know too many of you, I look forward to being able to participate in group runs and races again, whenever that may be. As someone who dislikes working out at the gym with anyone, I’ve learned through this pandemic how much I appreciate the presence and company of other while running.

I hope that all of you and your families are safe and well during this different time. Thanks for reading this long post- I look forward to sharing more with you as the week progresses.

Stay safe and be well,