Saturday Spotlight – Kristina Hershberger (5/2/20)

Name: Kristina Hershberger

Age: 40

Marital Status: Married to Michael (2016)

Kids: 1 on the way (August)

Occupation: Special Education Teacher

Hobbies: Run/walk, golf, bowling

Pets: 2 cats (GreyGoose and Scotch)

Hometown: Lindenhurst Current Town: Medford, NY

College: Too many to list. BS from Plattsburgh and MS from Touro

Favorite Race: I think I’d have to say Cow Harbor.

A little more than a year ago, Lou asked me to be WOTW and I accepted to only realize as time got closer that I couldn’t do it with my crazy spring work schedule. So I pushed it off and never really thought of it much. As I started to see newer and newer members announcing themselves, I can say I became jealous that I wasn’t asked again. So, finally just this week Lou reached out again and made it happen. Thank You Lou for this opportunity a second time.

I joined Selden Hills in April 2018 but didn’t run the entire course until that July. I am an original Couch to 10k’er. I have to give credit to my sister-in-law Nancy Haddock for telling her sister Colleen Marie (who also completes the program too with me) on Easter that year about the program. I was listening in and thought it was a great idea to do it too. I have run before and saw all that “red” and “it’s just a hill” at many races, but I’m not the person to go up to someone and randomly start talking with them so I would have never joined if it hadn’t been for Nancy. Thank you for that courage to get out there and meet people and try something new.Prior to the Hills, I had never really been athletic growing up.

I am the youngest of 4 kids (2 sisters and a brother). We would play in our neighborhood all the sports you can imagine. We had a ton of kids our age so it was never a dull moment. Soccer, kickball, street hockey, basketball, manhunt, etc. I never really played league. I was on soccer as a little kid but was scared when the ball came my way…but loved the trophy at the end for never playing. Kickball was my grades favorite recess game, but I always got picked last. My older sister played volleyball in middle school, so I wanted to do that too. I tried out and failed


I never tried out for anything again and went back to being a loner. Even if I wanted to play sports in HS it wasn’t much of an option. My school was always on austerity and sports and buses were the first things cut. If we wanted to play sports we had to pay and that wasn’t an option for my family. As for the buses, I can say…I walked uphill both ways in the snow barefoot just to get to/from school.. Just kidding, but we did have to walk at least one way daily, since both parents had to work.

After high school I ventured to Cortland (hated it and failed out). When I finally got my act together academically I went to Plattsburgh, where I met a bunch of the cross country team. Randomly one cold winter night, I turned to my suite-mate and said let’s go for a run. Which we did. One time and done!!! So how did I end up running? I saw a sign one day for an adult co-Ed kickball league. I was intrigued and rallied up some friends to join. The first night, I pulled a hamstring because who needs to stretch to play kickball? I limped for weeks, but never sat on the sidelines. One of my teammates, a girl I had never met before, said she runs every morning. I was interested so I didn’t hurt myself anymore. I never met her early mornings but we’d meet up in the evenings for a quick stroll in the park.

Our first run was the Rugged Run and then the following weekend the Post Office Cafe (with unlimited beer). My kickball career never took off. I broke my wrist during season 2…never had it x-rayed because I’m strong and just got bumped and bruised. About 6 months later I finally couldn’t deal with the pain and went to the doctor. Surgery was now needed to rebuild the damage I neglected. I still managed to play year 3 of kickball but then it was all done. While I was awaiting surgery, I kept running and joined the GLIRC training runs. I knew I wouldn’t be able to complete the LI half because of surgery and healing but I lasted as long as I could. Running in single digits was no joke.

After surgery, I joked with my doctor about the training runs and the half and he told me go for it…cast and all, but I’m clumsy (2 left feet) so I knew it wasn’t in my best interest. I continued after the cast came off and to this day I’m still going. That was in 2014.I have to give credit to Lea Gjodesen for donating her time to the Couch to 10k program and the push to keep me going after. If it wasn’t for her, the friends I’ve made along the way, and this wonderful group, I would have quit long ago…corona virus is proving that to me that teamwork keeps one going.Looking forward to the week ahead