Profile on Rachelle Leuty

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.

Rachelle and family at the Lake Run.

Rachelle and family at the Lake Run.

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