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Thankful Thursday-Stories of giving back to the communityHi Y’all,

As another Thanksgiving comes to a close, I want to introduce you to another person I’m thankful to know. In case you have no read about some of the other people who embody giving back, check out Alissa Palladino, Katie Rosenberg, and Harley Eisenberg‘s efforts to help others with their training. Each person you’ve met and will meet really gives of themselves.

Now that you’ve met the others profiled to date, meet Bob Wells.

Bob Wells in his signature pose!

For those in the Atlanta Track Club community, it’s highly likely that you’ve heard Bob before you’ve seen him.  He is always giving time to training participants, members, and Kilometer Kids.  Bob shows up and does it in style. Whether he is cheering ladies during the Atlanta Women’s 5K in a running skirt he won at some point or pacing a fellow runner during races, he is loud, happy, and just what is needed.

Besides those efforts, he is a champion for the Kilometer Kids program. Bob is all in with the program.  He shows up at practices and events alike.  Ina n ultimate show of caring, he helped project manage the Kilometer Kids CHarity Chase this summer. You may have read about my participation running overnight.   Bob was there and ready with a smile. Learn more about the program: Kilometer Kids.

That all being said, let’s learn a little more about Bob.

Occupation: Independent IT consultant.

 Hometown: Born in West Palm Beach, FL. Moved to the ATL when I was a toddler (dad landed a job at Lockheed).

 How long in Atlanta: Oh my! Let’s see, I’m 56. What’s toddler age? 3, 4 maybe. Let’s go with 52, 53 years, give or take a few days.

Bob told me a little about how his running journey started. He started running “in 2004 with the hope of saving a marriage and avoiding a divorce (as a 20 plus year smoker at the time, I could barely run 100 yards without feeling like I was going to DIE!).”  While things didn’t go as Bob planned, he says he “received the gift of running, and ha[s] been running ever since.”

As many can relate, Bob continues to run for his “[e]motional well-being, wholeness. Intellectual well-being, wholeness. Physical well-being, wholeness. Relational well-being, wholeness. Spiritual well-being, wholeness.” He shared, “Soni (the kids’ mom), and I get along great, and share in the celebration and support of our two beautiful adult children… Austin (27) and Amber (26).” Bob’s perspective as running as a gift plus being essential to well-being and wholeness goes to show a little of his why and how he gives back to the community

I also asked him to answer some fun questions.

What’s the most unlikely (weirdest) thing in your gym bag?

Beetroot juice.

What’s your favorite post run/workout food?

Tropicalia.

What is your pre-race ritual?

This may fall into the category of TMI, but you asked… wake-up early enough to poop, pray, cup of coffee (black), Generation UCAN, one mile warm-up. Might eat something if running more than 13.1 miles.

If you could do a race anywhere in the world, where would you race?

Without hesitation or question… Boston, MA on Patriots Day.

If you could have run or workout with anyone, who would it be?

In no particular order… Brad Blitz, Meb Keflezighi, Fire on the track Steve Prefontaine, Galen Rupp. Inspired by these guys; love these guys.

What is your favorite time of the year to run/workout?

Anytime temps are at or below 52 degrees Fahrenheit. For what little it’s worth and if I remember correctly, Runner’s World data states 52 degrees Fahrenheit is the temperature at which most PRs are obtained.

Now that you know more about Bob, I want to let you know why I’m thankful for him.

Bob was there for me too.  A few weeks before my first marathon, he asked if I minded if he crossed the finish line with me. I’m was grateful for his presence in my journey. It says something about his respect for people that he would ask, but even more than that he ran his race and then came back to be that needed distraction. Even more important, when I needed more mustard, he sprinted off to get me more packets.  I love it that he was willing to give his finish to me.

Bob is just one of those people who is selfless when it comes to the running community of all ages. Thanks, Bob!

Telling you to be a little selfless for your community,

TJ


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