Let Me Introduce Ahmet - Today's Runner Spotlight

Today is Spotlight Thursday 
Each Thursday I spotlight a different runner from around the world.

This week I'd like to introduce Ahmet.
I asked Ahmet, to tell part of his story and introduce you all to him.  So sit back and enjoy and gain some inspiration!

Tell me what first got you interested in running?  How long have you been running?

I had a very active childhood and youth. I played competitive soccer and basketball, a few times a week.  After I quit smoking in 2004, I put on a lot of weight in a short time. In 2009, I decided to get active again and stay active to get back in shape and to stay healthy.

What distances do you like to run?  Which is your favorite distance to run?

Although majority of my training runs are within 5-8km, 10k is my favourite distance.

Do you run races? Which types?

I run road races and charity runs.

Do you have a favorite race ever?  Tell us why it is so memorable to you.

My first Fredericton Marathon 10K in 2010. It was the first 10K that my-then-run-buddy Mel and I trained for and finished. Together, we also managed to raise more than $1000 for President's Choice Children's Charity.

What states or countries have you run races in?

So far, I only ran races in New Brunswick, Canada.
This year I'll be running in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island in Canada and International Bay of Fundy Run in Lubec, Maine will be my first run outside of Canada.

You are running 10, 10k’s in 2014 for a children’s charity, tell us a bit more about that.

In the past I helped individuals or groups to raise funds for President's Choice® Children's Charity, Heart and Stroke Foundation, IWK, Make A Wish Foundation and local kitchens, churches and food banks.
This year I wanted to organize and lead my own charity campaign and wanted to focus on helping kids do anything they want.
President's Choice® Children's Charity was a natural fit not only because their mission is a perfect match to mine but also because they are a part of Loblaw Companies Limited family, of which I'm proud to be a member.
Instead of organizing/participating to a single event, I decided to make it a year-long event and run 10 races of 10K's in 2014, hence the 10x10K name.
I set up the charity account with PCCC, in late 2013:
http://my.e2rm.com/PersonalPage.aspx?registrationID=2179039 and created a Facebook page ( facebook.com/10x10K ) and a twitter account ( twitter.com/10x10K ) to promote my campaign.
I have awesome family members, friends, colleagues and fellow runners who are very supportive in every which way.

Below are the races I'm going to run during this campaign:
April 13 - Lorneville Loop
May 11 - Fredericton Marathon
May 18 - Blue Nose Marathon
June 15 - Intl Bay of Fundy Marathon
June 22 - Miramichi Marathon
June 28 - Epic Canadian 10k
August 4 - Fredericton Beer Run
August 10 - St John Marathon By The Sea
September 29 - Fredericton Fall Classic
October 11 - Perth Andover The Dam Run
October 19 - PEI Marathon
October 26 - Moncton Legs for Literacy
(I know, there are 12 of them. I picked 12 races in case I have to miss a couple due to unforeseen reasons)

What goes through your mind as you cross the finish line?

Finally! Ha ha. Smiling face with open mouth and smiling eyes
Seriously, each time it's a great feeling of accomplishment. I try to grasp and enjoy the moment with my wife who usually waits for me right at the finish line. Then I start analyzing the run. 

What are some of your running goals or plans?

My short term plans are to repeat 10x10K, compete in a Spartan in 2015 and run a major marathon (hopefully it's Boston) in 2016 or '17.
In long term, I'm hoping to run an Istanbul Marathon one day. Crossing the Bosphorus on foot, starting the run on one continent (Asia) and finishing it on another one (Europe) is very attracting.

Do you have a funny running story to share?
First time I tried running in tights, I stuck my I-Phone into the back pocket. It wouldn't be so bad if the drawcord didn't get loose in the middle of the race and the weight of the I-Phone didn't pull them almost all the way to my knees. I heard a giggle or two from behind. Smiling face with open mouth and smiling eyes It must have been a funny scene for them.

What is your favorite running gadget, or must have running item?

My must have running item are my Adidas runners. I can run anything-less but shoeless. Smiling face with open mouth and smiling eyes
My favourite running gadget on the other hand, is my I-Phone. I keep track of my runs with RunKeeper, I like listening to music and I like taking a picture or two when the opportunity arises. 

Do you enjoy group or solo running?

I like running at my own pace, so I prefer solo.

Favorite time of year you like to run?

Fall, when it's not too hot, not too cold and the nature gives you many opportunities to take pictures.

Favorite terrains to run; flat, hills, trails?

I feel blessed living in Fredericton, New Brunswick where there is a trail system of more than 80km for pedestrians and bikers.
I prefer trails because of the absence of  motorized vehicles and traffic lights. It allows you to run non-stop.

What types of things go through your mind when you are out for a run?

I generally try to keep track of my position in the run. Time, pace, distance, condition etc. I am such a focused runner that I hail the fellow runners but I dont see their faces. It's very seldom that I think about daily matters.

Do you listen to music while you run?  If so what are your top two favorites that help you motivate yourself to push harder?

I like listening to music while I run however it's not for motivational purposes but mostly for tempo purposes. 
Duran Duran's Come Undone (unplugged version) has the best tempo to suit my run, which is why I had to re-play it 3 times during my last race. Smiling face with open mouth and smiling eyes
Also most Black Eyed Peas songs suit my fast pace runs. So I listen to them a lot as well.

What type of hobbies/sports do you enjoy besides running?

I do some biking and golfing between May and October and this year I want to start playing Foot-Golf.
I enjoy watching high profile games/races from any type of sports.
As for hobbies, there is nothing relaxing like cooking or doing a good jig-saw puzzle.

What are some of your life’s bucket list items?

I don't have a long list but Fly boarding, flying with a Jet-Pack and seeing the Northern Lights are a few items I can count in a breath.

What types of things motivate you and push you toward success?

The challenge itself. Tell me something can't be done and I'll do my best to prove you wrong.
A chance to accomplish something that most people dare not even attempt, is very attracting and rewarding.
But what's even more rewarding than that, is pushing yourself to the limit and still standing up on your feet. This gives you all the self-confidence you need to push yourself even further.

Any tips for the new beginners?

Invest in a good pair of runners. They are the single most important article that affects your running.  Also be clear on your goal and find a program/guide on the net to follow.

You can follow Ahmet on his journey via twitter

You can also give Ahmet a twitter shout out, 
for his race this weekend:)
Good luck Ahmet!!!!

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