Runners Spotlight - Let me Introduce Gene

Every runner has a great story, that pushes them and drives them to do what they do.  I find it fascinating to learn about others, and in return it also inspires and motivates.  I know I am not the only one who feels this way.  So Runners Spotlights are now a weekly series I do every Thursday.

This week I'd like to introduce Gene.
I asked Gene several questions, to help tell part of his story and introduce you all to him. 

Gene Blogs at Run for It!!

First I just have to ask, on your blog you have a beautiful picture of a forest trail run.  Will you share with us where this trail is at? 

This is at Falls Lake in Raleigh, NC It is part of the Mountains to Sea trail. 

I see you run everything from 5k to Ultra’s.  Do you have a favorite race distance? 


What is the furthest distance you have ever run at once? 

100 miles at the Umstead 100 Mile Endurance Run. Finished in 26 hours 55 minutes 

Like myself a lot of us marathoner’s have toyed with the idea of going Ultra.  For let’s say those who’d like to eventually make the jump to a 50 miler, what is the best training tip you can give us? 

Build slowly. Focus on becoming strong mentally as well as physically. One of my favorite quotes comes from Lao Tzu: “Anticipate the difficult by managing the easy.” 

Trails, roads, hills… You do a bit of everything, what type of road is your favorite running surface?

Single track trail is my favorite! 

Do you have a favorite race you have done?  Why is it your favorite? 

The Hinson Lake 24 hour run is my favorite! Just a great atmosphere with great people running and volunteering. 

What states have you run races in?

I have run in NC, Virginia and W. Virginia  

If you could run any race in the entire world, which one would you pick and why? 

I would like to run the Lost Worlds race in Europe, which is a trail race series. I would love to run trails across Europe! 

Do you hope to be a lifelong runner?  


What inspires you or motivates you? 

Reading or hearing about other people racing or training hard! 

I noticed you are a Vegan.  I know it can be hard for a runner to make the switch to vegetarian, let alone vegan.  But I know lots of runners wonder about trying it.  Any tips to share?  
Being a Vegan, can you share with us what is the best way to get your protein in? 

The biggest thing I hear from people trying to go from vegetarian to vegan is giving up cheese. You have to be willing to sacrifice, but I find the results are worth it. My recovery times are very quick now. I eat a lot of tofu and beans and also supplement with a hemp protein shake every day.  

Do you have any other hobbies you’d like to share? 

I like to read and to cook, especially since eating out can be tricky! 

I noticed you teach a spin class.  Can you tell us how cross training with spinning can help us become better runners, or just better athletes overall?  

With spinning or cycling you are getting a great cardio workout in without the impact on the legs. You are also using different leg muscles as well, so you will have a more balanced leg and avoid injury. 

You’re a fitness instructor, what is the most rewarding part of your job? 

Having people come up to me after class and thank me for kicking their ass! 

Not only are you a fitness instructor, ultra runner, but you are also a father.  How do you fit it all in, how do you manage your passion of running/fitness with the rest of your life? 

I have to remind myself often that it is about balance. It is a full life, but I would not want it any other way. I have also been blessed with the ability to function on about 4-6 hours of sleep a night! 

Tell us, when you go “new” blog searching.  What types of things grab your interest, what types of blogs do you love to follow? 

I like to find blogs that are out of the mainstream. Quirky blogs about ultra runningvegans  and humorous people intrigue me! 

Tell us about your blog, what do you blog about?  What can readers expect if they follow your blog?

I generally blog about my experiences running and training for ultras, being outdoors and products that I really like and use every day. I try not to take myself too seriously and inject humor into my writing whenever possible. 

You can find Gene's Blog HERE


I enjoyed doing this spotlight!  I haven't spoken to a lot of Ultra Marathon Runners who have done the 50 and 100 mile races.  (I have hopes to work into it one day:).  I enjoyed learning about Gene and why he runs.  Look forward to following him in his future running endeavors:)


  1. Great spotlight! Off to check out Run for It :)

  2. Great Spotlight, I have learned allot,I want to eat more healthy and would like to try the hemp protein shake and tofu, this has really helped me learn about Gene, and now when I visit his blog I can get a better understanding about the person behind the blog. Thanks so much!

  3. Nice job and interesting to learn about vegan runners. Thanks for sharing.

  4. A Vegan Runner, awesome, that's not something you see everyday.
    Great spotlight.
    Gene come to Australia we have some great ultra runs here too, oh and some fantastic scenery to boot too.

  5. I could sure do more if I could function on 4-6 hours of sleep! I must get 8 in and that means things have to go.


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