Profile on Ryan Leuty
How many years have you been running?
Started running in high school. I have been an off-and-on “runner” for most of my life. In the last year, I’ve been training diligently for the first time ever.
Who inspired you?
I read Matt Fitzgerald’s How Bad Do You Want It over the winter. The book covers the psychology of sports and recounts several experiences of professional and elite athletes overcoming challenges. It highlights the mental aspect of endurance sports and when things start to get rough, I always remember that your mind will give up way before your body will.
I’m inspired by so many of our local runners and LRC club members – too many to mention really. I will mention Andy Williams though.
Why did you join the Lake Run Club?
Lake Run Club is just one more way that Rachelle Leuty, my wife, enriches my life. She became an active member of the club and I’ve enjoyed the benefits of our family membership
What makes your favorite race your favorite?
My favorite local race is Park to Park. It is so cool to take off running down Main Street first thing on July 4th. The course saves all the fun for the last few miles. And the Corn Crib finish is so cool!
What race really sticks in your mind for one reason or another?
I ran the 800 and 1600 in high school as a freshman. While I can’t remember my first race, there was one that was quit memorable. Our track team had a Sub-5 Minute Mile Club and there were truly awful t-shirts that came with membership – orange shirt with baby blue print. There was one shirt left. A senior and I were both competing for the shirt. The team hung up flyers around school and we had a very good turnout for the meet. After 4 grueling laps I squeaked out a 4:52 mile and out kicked the senior in the last 200. Several team members told me I should give the shirt to Matt since he was a senior. I told them he should have been able to beat a freshman. I still have the shirt.
Do you have a favorite route that you run?
I primarily stick to Constitution Trail. It is so convenient and shielded from traffic. However, AP Prescott took for a 10 mile run all over Normal and Bloomington. We ran through neighborhoods and along roads. It was terribly unorthodox. But it reminded that it’s ok to wander a bit and I’ve incorporated that philosophy in to several runs since then.
If you could run any race in the world, which would you pick, and why?
Well, I love my local races so much, that I’ve not had much incentive to look elsewhere. But I just searched great races and the Reggae Marathon in Jamaica sounds awesome. I’ve never run a marathon and would like to visit Jamaica – Irie.
Ryan during the run portion of the Route 66 Half Iron Man in 2017.
Do you have a “you’ll never believe what happened on my run today” story?
Not really. Just the usual run-ins with cool animals [baby skunks was my favorite] and narrowly missed bowel-related disasters.
If Chilly Chili isn’t the most unusual race you’ve ever taken part in, what race is?
Chilly Chili is definitely an unusual one. I can still hear Dennis Killian yelling at me, “You’re doing it wrong!” as I ran past his Spam stand. One day I’ll run it just for fun..probably. Race the Dead is another unique one that I really enjoy. I’m a Halloween nut anyway, so the costumes, firepits and Fireball are right up my alley.
Which race do you think is the most fun to volunteer at and why?
I’ve helped out at the Kid’s Run for Fun several times. It’s such a great opportunity for kids to be introduced to the sport of running. It seems to grow each year, too.
What are you training for right now?
I’ve been focused on triathlon and just completed my A race for the year – Route 66 Half Iron in Springfield. I’m certain that triathlon is one of the most absurd sports out there. I just love it though. Even though triathletes are the b*stards of all three disciplines, the good folks at Often Running still let me run with them on Thursdays.