Let Me Introduce Renee 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 Renee.
I asked Renee, to tell part of her story and introduce you all to her.  So sit back and enjoy and gain some inspiration!

Tell me what first got you interested in running? 

I had tried running before, back in the day when there were no C25K podcasts or apps (or smart phones for that matter) but I didn’t have any idea how to go about it.  Once I decided to try again, years later, I did because I wanted to lose weight, but also for the original reason – I just wanted to be good at something athletic and this seemed (at the time) to be the easiest thing to choose.

How long have you been running?  

I’ve been running now for 5 years, since I started the C25K program.
What distances do you like to run?  Which is your favorite distance to run?  I like to run at the very least 5K each time I train.  If I’m running a race I would say 10K is my favorite, but 15K is nice too.  10K is good because I don’t run out of energy within the time it takes me to run it.  Anything more is much more challenging.

Do you run races? Which types? 

Yes!  I love running races.  I belong to 3 running clubs, 2 of which sponsor runners, so I take part whenever I can (“normal” races –no mud runs, obstacle courses or trail runs)

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

I do!  My favorite was the Berlin Half Marathon.  I tried strictly to my schedule and was feeling very fit at the time.  I was also running to raise funds and awareness for the Dutch National Epilepsy Funds, specifically with my friend’s daughter in mind who was born with epilepsy.  Berlin is also one of my favorite cities and what a fantastic way to be a tourist!  I think I had a smile on my face the whole time!

What countries have you run races in? 

I have run here in the Netherlands, in Italy, in Portugal and in Germany and even in the US.  Next month I will run a race in France and in October in Belgium.

Your favorite color is pink, do you run/race in pink?  What is your favorite pink item?  

I normally always wear something pink, from a headband to my RoadID, to my shoelaces.  My favorite pink item is probably my {heart} Happy Running tank from “hiphardlopen.nl” (via Runningskirts in California).
Have you ever raced in costume?  Would you? I haven’t, but I wouldn’t be against it as long as it didn’t cover my head.

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


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

The Chicago Marathon

What are some of your running goals or plans? 

I would love to be able to train properly for and run a marathon.

Do you have a funny running story to share?  

Not funny, mostly just embarrassing.  Like finding out I had my running pants on inside out and then trying desperately to change, outside, behind a tree, still with shoes on… yeah that didn’t work out so well.

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

I would say my Garmin or at least my phone to record my run on Nike+.  I’m a numbers nerd and love to see the charts and graphs and totals.

Do you enjoy group or solo running?  

I don’t mind running in a group but I’m not much of a talker when I’m running.  So solo is really the best for me.

Favorite time of year you like to run? 

Definitely spring!

Favorite terrains to run; flat, hills, trails?  

I prefer flat so I can work on my speed but do appreciate the hills to tackle as well.  In fact I always think “I’m going to beat you, Hill” when I’m running up one.

Per your blog you have done a bit of world traveling, do you take the running shoes when you travel? What have been some of your favorite spots in the world to head out for a run?  

I always bring my kit with me!  I love to run in the mountains and forests, like in Germany, but I also love to run in New Mexico when I’m home visiting my parents.  I just love to soak it all in.

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 used to listen to music all the time, I never thought I could run without it.  Then one day I forgot my iPod at home for a 15K race and at first I panicked and then I decided to just embrace the situation.  Turns out it was one of my best, most enjoyable runs ever.  Now I run with or without, it just really depends.  If I’m running alone at night, then I definitely don’t use music so that I can be sure to be super aware of my surroundings.   My music taste is very broad so I can’t say I have two top favorites but I would say it’s going to be rock (like Foo Fighters or Queens of the Stone Age) or dance-metal/ EBM (think Rammstein or KMFDM) that’s going to push me.

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

I’m not very sporty to be honest, so I have no other sport hobbies.  I would say my non-sport hobbies are photography, music  and travelling

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

On the top of my list are extended travel to Australia and New Zealand and going to Japan to climb Mt. Fuji.

You are also a blogger, what is your favorite thing about blogging?  

I find it therapeutic to write, even though putting yourself out there can be scary.   I love it when I meet new people through my blog.  I also love when someone feels inspired to do something with his or her emotional or physical fitness.

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

I think anything that can give you a mental or physical boost is worth going trying for.  Sometimes, too, being afraid to do something can be motivating; to prove to yourself you can do anything (and even if you can’t, at least you tried) whether in sports, work or just life in general.

Tell me something unique about you?  

I am not sure it’s unique, however, I have lived 20 years now outside of my birth country and because of language and culture integration I feel I have a different perspective on many things.  Being “in between” your birth culture and your adopted culture can be difficult but also very rewarding.

Are you involved in any charities, or sponsor/ambassador programs that you’d like to give a shout-out to?

The only charity I actively support is the Dutch National Epilepsy Funds, this is directly related to my friends’ daughter who was born with epilepsy.  I am working on raising EUR 5000  and will be “Running for Lotte” until I reach that goal (probably even longer).  
My page is at: http://detegenaanval.nl/actie/165   and  to donate outside of the Netherlands my charity paypal account is runningforlotte@gmail.com

Renee can be found blogging at: 
She is also on Facebook: 

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