Saturday Spotlight- Rich Poccia

Name: Rich Poccia

Age: 52

Married to Jacqueline Poccia

one 13 yr old child Elizabeth

current Hometown: Patchogue

originally from East Northport

work : Netsmart Technologies Software QA Anaylsis sr

years running : 3

hobbies – lots of them.

First off thank you Lou for asking me to do “Warrior of the Week”. When I was asked to do this, I was only with the group several months and asked to do an August WOW. and thought I am a newbie why me. However, being a gamer I said why not, so here i am still with the group and going strong.

From reading the past wow’s it seems most were at one time athletic during their school years. I was the opposite, i was not into athletics primarily was a tv person and did a lot of working off the books at a local pizzeria in East Northport. to keep it short i was very Nonathletic. However that all started to change at 17. During that time in my life channel 5 use to play really bad karate movies on Saturdays. I got into it, and my road to exercise began. i started marital arts training. I stayed with the martial arts for about 20 years earning my black belts in Ed Parker Kenpo Karate. This got me involved in other areas such as weight lifting, bowling, skiing and walking. Notice I left running out, I hated running at this time of my life. I eventually stopped martial arts, due to life and distance from the studio I was studying at. Wanting to stay in shape, I then got involved with taking boxfit classes and other group workout type classes. I always found working out with others was more fun then just doing something on your own. As indicated before I always liked to walk, so when the company I worked for started participating in the Marcum Challenges I would do them. Then about 3 years ago, I had just transferred into a new department at work, there were a couple of runners in it and after the challenge they asked me when was I going to do my first 5k run. They were relentless, every day they both would say “Rich when are you going to do your first 5 k” one of them always adding there was this app called couch to 5k. This happened every day for about a month. I eventually gave in and downloaded the app, and followed the program. It was hard but I eventually finished my first 5k. I then realized how social running really was and all about those great after parties after a race. Making friends was also easy when there is nothing to talk about , talk about running. I then entered a few more local 5k’s and ran into people I knew at the gym. One of them mentioned there was a group that ran out of Hoptron in Patchogue on Tuesdays. I eventually joined this. As I mentioned before ,I like the group workout mentality and this was a group, and they ran a distance I could do. They also liked to drink and eat at BBQ. (taco Tuesday , 1 dollar tacos at a local bbq spot), if you did not pick up on it i also like to eat, this was a double bonus. I then was running the other 2 days on my own. In 2018 I did the Patchogue St Patty Day run. I received an email afterward, and found out a new group just started running on Monday’s out of the Brickhouse Brewery. I started running with them as well. For those that are worrying about my liver, I am not a drinker so all I had to worry about would be the food intake, their Monday specials are good (50 c wings normally then for running group, 10 dollar fajita’s and 10 dollar pitchers). I continued with these groups. As i was training the friends from work where now harping on me to do my first 1/2 marathon, since i was already doing longer distances on other days to make my 5k easier I went along with it. Toward the end of my training for my first 1/2, I was introduced to the hills, the spring of 2018. Several of us went out one Saturday with the objective of running the hills and then eating at kebab shack. That was completed and then i ran my first 1/2, Nassau County Half. I then did another 1/2, Suffolk County. I wanted to improve on my times for my 3rd half a return to Nassau county. So in the winter of 2019, I showed up on a Sunday at 8 am and officially ran the course, got my sticker and became a member. I continue to try to make it to the hills as often as possible, being older I have to pace myself, if i am not there it is normally due to a race or too much exercise the week before. Although there is no official beer tap after each run, the people are friendly and enjoyable and inspiring to be around, the workouts are incredible and every month there is a birthday run, so I do get a food fix.

see you on the road