TSR Runner of the Week-Benjamin Clark

By: Kayla Dodd

Congratulations to TSR Runner of the Week, Benjamin Clark! He has been on his running journey for just over two years (27 months to be exact)! His first race was on July 11, 2015 in Huntington, WV at the Be a Hero 5k. He holds a current 5k PR of 30:34. Ben’s current running goals consist of running at a pace of 9 minutes or under per mile, completing a half marathon and a marathon and just to continue to keep on running and enjoying it all!

Ben is motivated to run by his family and the health benefits that he receives. “The ability to stay active and play with my children continues to motivate me to run. I never was that active before running, but running was a catalyst for me to become more active. I love running with my wife (when we get a chance to). Finally, beating my wife motivates me each time I go out.” His running calendar currently consists of signing up for as many races as he can, that do not interfere with his children’s soccer games. He enjoys spending lots of time with his family, but also enjoys getting out there and participating in races!

Beginning his running journey 27 months ago was a huge change for Ben! “I never was that active in my youth, but when I saw my oldest brother change (physically) from running, I knew I wanted that. My wife used to run in High School, so picking this up was nothing for her. Each time my oldest brother would come in from Louisiana, I would see a difference in his personality and I knew I wanted that to happen for me. For me, I started going for walks with the family, and then I began running. Every time I would get down from a bad run, my wonderful wife would lift me up. I would not have made it this far without her, and I’m so thankful for the support that she and my brother provides.”

When asked if there were any dream races that he was working towards, he said, “My wife and I are working towards the Star Wars Marathon at Disney. I’m a huge Star Wars fan, and I would love to compete in that race.” His favorite running/motivational quote is, “Running is nothing more than a series of arguments between the part of your brain that wants to stop and the part that wants to keep going.”

His best experience from running has been being able to get into shape! “Ever since I started to run, I’ve been able to see my weight drop and I have been able to gain muscle.” He feels much better about himself and has a lot more energy to put into running!

Ben’s favorite brand of running shoes are his New Balance running shoes. “Since I’m flat-footed, I’ve had some issues finding some good shoes, but the New Balance brand has helped.” His favorite piece of running gear is his iPhone/music. “It keeps me going when I want to quit.” 

When asked what advice he would give to a beginner runner he said, “Never give up. I still feel like a beginner and I continue to learn new things each run. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice/help. Always be proud of your run, whether it was half a mile or 15 miles. You made the choice to get out there and run instead of sitting at home thinking about running. Finally, there will come a time when you cannot run, don’t let that stop you. Once you are able to get back out, go!”

Running has had such a positive impact on Ben’s life and has benefitted him in many ways! “I have dropped over 55lbs between running and changing my eating habits. When I started, I could barely run .2 miles without walking and now I can go so much farther than that.” Running also provides him with the chance to clear his head and recharge from a bad day at work. Running has helped to improve all aspects of his life. “I hope that I will be able to continue to run as long as I’m alive, but I know when I look back I’ll be proud of how running changed my life.” Congratulations to Ben on all of his runner accomplishments, Team TSR will see you at the finish line! 

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