LRC RUNNER IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Feature article on Rachelle Leuty
Interviewed by Karen Dudek
Karen: How many years have you been running?
Rachelle: I have been running for 4 years.
Karen: Why did you start running?
Rachelle: It was a dare.
Karen: Who inspired you?
Rachelle: No one really. It was more of a curiosity to see if I could run a 5k.
Karen: Why did you join the Lake Run Club?
Rachelle: Membership was included in my Catch the Wave fee, so I guess Bill Hahm tricked me into it.
Karen: Tell me about your first race.
Rachelle: It was the 2010 Miller Park Zoo Stampede. Such a great experience! My then-fiancé and 2 of my friends ran with me. I had friends and family cheer me on at the finish line. They made a big deal out of it and my fiancé threw me a race party afterwards.
Karen: What makes your favorite race your favorite?
Rachelle: The Champaign 2011 Half-marathon. The crowd was great!! 13.1 miles of encouragement! I remember thinking, “I can’t believe I’m doing this!” I smiled the whole time.
Karen: What race really sticks in your mind for one reason or another?
Rachelle: The 2011 Lexington 5k. Before that race, I thought I had the gait of an Olympic runner. My fiancé took footage of me at the finish line and I couldn’t wait to see it. I was shocked as I watched the video! I ran with my elbows swinging from side to side with my toes pointing sideways as well. I spent more time moving side to side than forward! The race sticks in my mind because it showed me that I was not a pretty runner! A few weeks later, I saw Jack Capodice and screamed, “Why didn’t you tell me I run like a complete dork?!?”
Karen: Do you have a favorite route that you run?
Rachelle: The one I’m running on.
Karen: If you could run any race in the world, which would you pick, and why?
Rachelle: I would love to do any of the Disney runs. Sounds like so much fun and I would love a princess medal!
Karen: Do you have a “You’ll never believe what happened on my run today” story?
Rachelle: Last week, I was running during my lunch hour and this very attractive guy was running towards me. He was so attractive that I thought, “This has gotta be a Candid Camera segment!” I imagined a voice over saying, “Let’s see what happens when we throw a piece of eye candy in the middle of Constitution Trail.” When he ran by me, I waved “Hi”, lost my footing and fell off the trail. So embarrassing!
Karen: If Chilly Chili isn’t the most unusual race you’ve ever taken part in, what race is?
Rachelle: I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve never participated in this race because I’m a total wuss about running in the cold. My curiosity has been piqued!
Karen: Which race do you think is the most fun to volunteer at and why?
Rachelle: The Kids Run for Fun. Just love seeing the smiles on those little faces. Those kids look like they’re having so much fun. I can’t wait for my little guy to do that.
Karen: What are you training for right now?
Rachelle: The We Care Twin Cities Half Marathon
Karen: Do you have any superstitions or rituals you go through before a big race?
Rachelle: Yes. I need to have a big cup of coffee and I need to listen to On Bended Knee by Boys II Men. Don’t judge! They don’t make songs like that anymore!
Karen: What’s the coolest piece of running gear you own?
Rachelle: My Baby Jogger!
Karen: Who have you been running with lately?
Rachelle: The Hot Moms Project and our babies
Karen: Who motivates you as a runner?
Rachelle: My son, Ross
Karen: What makes you stay with it and keep running?
Rachelle: Ross deserves the best mom ever and running makes me a better mom. Truth be told, running helped me overcome postpartum depression. Getting out on the trail was a part of pulling me out of that. In my heart, I knew mopping 4 times a day and seriously doubting my abilities as a mom were not doing me or my baby any good. As soon as I was cleared for exercise, I started walking and I was running before my maternity leave was over. In a few weeks, I was happy and healthy. Ross and I both slept better. Most importantly, I was smiling just as much as he was.