Saturday Spotlight- Heather Riddiough

Name: Heather Riddiough
Age: 41
Nickname:Umm Heather(original right lol)
Marriage Status: Married with 3 kids 12, 9, and 6
Home Town: Baldwinsville NY(Syracuse area)
Current Town: Massapequa NY
Favorite Races: NYC Marathon, Ironman Lake Placid
Occupation: Physical Education Teacher 17 years short at Calhoun HS
College: Hofstra University

First of all I’m so honored to have been chosen for this and am nervous! I know some of you and am always inspired by everyones story and posts of their runs. I apologize this is a late post in the day as I literally just got home from too much fun at the Brewery Run!
Ah where do I start. I grew up in upstate NY(not westchester that is not upstate people lol) near Albany and then went to high school in Baldwinsville near Syracuse. My whole childhood I loved and played club and school soccer. I was die hard practicing in my back yard and going to tournaments every weekend with my dad. In the winter(that lasted from October until May up in syracuse lol) we had to play indoors obviously but I played on my club team and with the boys. My dream was to play on the US team someday as many girls do…When I moved to Syracuse I was so mad to have to leave all my friends so I focused on soccer and hated my parents hahaha. In 9th grade my new friends introduced me to lacrosse. I could run fast so they recruited me and I practiced all winter, ran around my house with a stick to learn to cradle, and then I broke my ankle playing indoor soccer. If you knew my dad you’d laugh, he’s like your ankle is fine just sprained as it was dangling omg! I also did winter track but really just to keep in shape for lax. The joke with my coach was that he got mad I didn’t want to run in the meets and told me it wasn’t a fitness club. Anyone who did winter track knows how late those meets go!
So fast forward a year I made varsity lacrosse and tried out for this school girls team( nowadays there are clubs but back in the 90’s not so much for girls lax) and I made the team and got to showcase in the tournament where college coaches were. I started getting letters my junior year from a lot of top programs to play lax so I pursued it and ended up (at my parents decision because of the scholarship offer ) going to Hofstra on a almost full ride to play lacrosse and soccer. The ironic thing is that I had gone to Hofstra when I was 15 and was like who would go to school here, it’s so weird in the middle of nothing. When you live near Syracuse University and compete on their campus you have a big college to live up to in your head.
I had a great 4 years at Hofstra and decided after a stressful senior spring to stay on long island and work as an Exercise Physiologist in the city. After 3 months I hated the commute so I went back to school and worked at Hofstra to get my masters in Physical Education which is what I’ve been doing for 17 years. When I left college I lost that competitive entity that had filled my whole life and I missed it so I tried out for the semi pro Soccer league with the Lady Riders. I played with them on and off for a few years and loved it. I never did make the US team but I was able to play with and against some of the best players in the world. It was an amazing experience. My body couldn’t handle playing soccer forever so in between all that I attempted the long island half marathon and then my husband and I decided to start our family. After my first son was born my friend and I decided to train for the LI Marathon. From there I did races here and there, a few cow harbors and in the past 6 ish years have gotten a little more competitive with it all. Basically after my daughter was born(my third kid) a friend asked me to run philly with her and then stepped it up and said lets try to qualify for Boston. So I trained my butt off and did! Shortly after that a friend from college did Ironman Lake Placid and I had only done a few sprints and was intrigued. I started training with her and her crew and loved the triathlon game. It took me a few years to learn the bike strategy and to swim open water more but now I’m addicted. So 12 years after running my first Long Island Marathon I’ve done 8 and completed 2 70.3’s and 1 full. I’ve focused that competitive nature once again and found some amazing people to enjoy the process with.
Along the way I met Joe Jensen and was introduced to the hills in 2017. It was a difficult yet fun run to see everyone out there on New Years Eve. I hope to get out there more in 2019!
My favorite thing about all of this is the supportive community in both running and triathlon. I’ve met so many great people along the way and continue to. I love being able to watch others succeed and they all help to push me to reach goals too. Everyone is so amazing and inspiring!