Saturday Spotlight – Keri McLaughlin (9/19/20)

Saturday Spotlight

Name: Keri McLaughlin

Age: 39

Marital status: married to Mike

Kids: Aiden 8, girl Ryan 6

Occupation: Italian and Spanish teacher in Longwood

Hobbies: Aside from running….lacrosse, crafts with my kids, skiing, playing ANY/ALL sports

Hometown: Middle Island

Current town: Rocky Point

College: SUNY Binghamton and Università di Siena in Italy

Favorite Race: Suffolk County Half Marathon (so far)

Frequent running spots: all over Rocky Point and Shoreham (and now the Hills)

I’m honored to have been chosen for WOTW! I’ve only been around since June and already met more amazing people than I can count. Melissa Lynn gets the award for most persistent requests to get me to come run the hills and I’m so glad she never gave up!

I grew up in a family that played every sport we could get our hands on. We all played tennis at an early age and I segued into Soccer, basketball, softball, and lacrosse. I love all sports, but lacrosse is my favorite and I played at Binghamton (a while ago now). I started running in junior high as a way to get in shape in the off season, and did some triathlon relays with my family. I usually swam and let the studs do the running. I did fun runs here and there and it’s only been since I had my kids that I developed my passion for running. First as a way to get some quiet time with an enormous jogging stroller, and then as a way to clear my head as my kids got bigger. My “running” career was pretty much jogging in the neighborhood and 1 half marathon until I ran the Seaside Sprint in Disney and discovered I ran the mile in about 8 minutes. A silly one mile fun run with NO chips, timers, or finish line was the turning point for me to start working on speed and learning more about running.

Since then I’ve narrowed down some goals: a sub 2:00 half and a 4:00/4:15 Marathon. I’m pretty close to the sub 2:00 half, but have lots of work ahead to hit that marathon goal. I’m thankful every time I hit the hills for Melissa, Krystal Cardillo, Kristen Petraco, Elissa Gravinese  for becoming my own personal pacers. Sometimes I feel bad I’m not able to push anyone else like they do for me, but then I remember they get extra miles as they loop back and keep me going.

I’m so grateful for all my new friends! Thank you all for being the most inclusive, motivating group I’ve ever been a part of!