Bill Guthrie, center, and his wife Melissa with the Benson cross-country team and Coach Clark.
The varsity Techmen finished 7th at state earlier this month.
I Am PRC: Bill Guthrie and Benson Tech
Bill Guthrie found the inspiration to re-kindle his running after his son joined the Benson High School cross country team. Then Bill stepped up to help outfit his son's team with gear so they could better train to compete in the OSAA Class 5A Boys Cross Country State Championship earlier this month. Bill shared his story with PRC's Holly Paige.
Tell us about your fitness history.
I discovered running in my 20s and most often ran 10K races. When my knees started developing problems, it was suggested that I add cycling to the mix and it really helped. I competed in a few duathlons. I stayed fairly active with my running for about 10 years. Sometime in my 30s, running just sort of dropped off of my to-do list. I've made a number of attempts to start up again, but have had a hard time sticking with it.
What re-ignited your interest in running?
This year my son Aidan began attending Benson Polytechnic High School as a freshman. To kick things off, he decided to sign up for the cross country team. To be honest, I was a bit surprised as he had never really expressed much interest in running. He began training with some of the varsity kids before the school season started, and they took him under their wing and instantly made him feel like part of the team. With the guidance of Coach Isiah Clark, things just blossomed from there. Watching Aidan's enjoyment for running grow, along with his confidence, my wife and I found ourselves inspired by the whole thing and started running ourselves.
As we got to know all of the kids on the team we found ourselves engulfed by an overwhelming number of inspiring stories. Attending their meets became a really big deal for my wife and me, not just to support our son, but to support the whole team. I could see saw how hard these kids were working. In particular, the varsity boys were on a mission to get to the OSAA Class 5A Boys cross country state championships, sticking to Coach Clark's plan for the season.
"As we got to know all of the kids on the team we found ourselves engulfed by an overwhelming number of inspiring stories."
How did you support your son's love of running during his cross-country season?
When I learned that most of the team were running in shoes that were well beyond their useful lifespan, I thought of Portland Running Company. I was really impressed by the attention I received when I first stopped by the Portland store to look for a pair of shoes a number of years ago. I stopped by the store one evening after work to find out what options might exist for me to outfit the kids with some shoes. I first spoke with Ryan Heal who spent a bit of time talking with me about the [Benson] team and their needs. Ryan ended up putting me in touch with Alex DeCino. Alex just sort of took charge from that point, working out a way to outfit most all of the kids with shoes. I was blown away, and the kids were all so appreciative.
As the season went along, the kids just kept getting better and better. By the time the district meet rolled around, the varsity boys finished second overall, qualifying them for the state meet. When you stop to think that most other 5A schools are fielding far larger teams [Benson only fields a little more than twenty kids overall], and that it had been 15 years since Benson had last qualified for state, the scale of their accomplishment really starts to sink in.
Benson finished 7th at State, and I couldn't be more proud of a group of young individuals. My wife often refers to the team as "the little engine that could."
Last week the coach and his wife Dana put on a banquet for the kids, just like they do every year. Speeches were given, awards were handed out and a lot of laughs were shared. To be honest, it felt more like a family gathering than a sports banquet. The bond between these kids started with the running and I'm sure that the running will stick with many of them for a long, long time. I'm certain that the friendships that they formed from the experience of running together will also stand the test of time.
What lessons has running taught you?
Running is such a seemingly simple task. The beauty of it is that you are forced to look deep inside of yourself as you strive to run farther or faster, or if you're like me, just trying to figure out how to start running again after many years of not doing so. Sometimes, you can tell when someone else has taken that look deep inside of themselves. Running has the potential to change the way we look at ourselves, and our life. Not surprisingly, I can see that change in every one of those kids on the Benson cross country team.
I Am PRC is a regular feature on our site. For more interviews like this one, click here. Interview by Holly Paige. (11/25/2013)
Holly Paige: I Am "I Am PRC"
Fast forward to 2001. I saw an ad for Portland Fit, and thought, "You've been toying with this running idea for years.
|Holly after her first marathon.|
I love working with everyone, but especially people who are just starting a running or walking program. They want to get in shape and have a million questions about how to do it. I want to be that friendly person who has a customer's best interest at heart. It makes my day when a customer comes back to the store and tells me that the shoe I recommended is the "perfect shoe" for them.
I work with some of the best people in the world! We come from different running backgrounds and experiences, but we all share what we know with each other, and with our customers. I love hearing customers' stories, and it is a privilege to help them find shoes and apparel that works.
I Am PRC is a regular feature on our site. For more interviews like this one, click here. Interview by Holly Paige. (11/13/2013)
Six for the Road: Lynette (second from right in flowery skirt) and her PTC teammates.
I Am PRC: Lynette Hawkins Talks the Walk
Here at PRC Nation, we love runners and walkers. Tonight at 6 o'clock we'll be launching our Wednesday walking group from our Grand store, and we're thrilled that Lynette Hawkins will be leading the pack.
A refugee from the running world, Lynette is now an accomplished racewalker whose fleet feet have left many a runner in the dust on race day.
PRC's Holly Paige caught up with Lynette (phew!) to find out what makes her go.
Tell us a little bit about your fitness history.
I started running in 1998 and did my first race on my 40th birthday. It was the Albany Recycle Run. Of course I had no instruction on how to run, didn't have the correct running shoes or anything like that, so after finding myself injured I went to see Ted Forcum of Back in Motion in Beaverton. He sent me next door to Portland Running Company where they put me in my first Brooks Beast shoes.
I continued to try to run until about 2005 or 2006. I about killed myself trying to keep up with my sister at the first Hippie Chick Race at Champoeg Park.
Why did you switch to racewalking?
After a few years of injuries and never being able to get under a 10-minute mile, I decided to try walking. In 2008 I joined the Wonders of Walking group on Saturdays at Clackamas REI. Saturdays weren't enough so we started walking Wednesday night. too. A few of us were starting to get faster and faster and decided to take a Race Walk class from Judy Heller. After adjusting to the sore shins and hips, I was enjoying the racewalk style and was getting faster and faster so Judy found me a racewalk team to join for Portland to Coast.
My team started getting coaching sessions from Carmen Jackinsky and we joined the RaceWalkers Northwest local club. Many of us train year round as a team or individually, which is valuable to maintain your speed and keep those shins from screaming!
Talk about your favorite races.
My favorite race has always been Portland to Coast because it is a team event. Everyone brings something to the race, whether it be speed, endurance, organization, or just being tall enough to open the Thule! Our race walk team has placed in the top 6 for Women's Masters and Super Masters the last few years and that is an awesome accomplishment!
My second favorite race is Hippie Chick because I love that so many women get together and have so much fun on such a special weekend. Paula Harkin has always done a great job of organizing and putting on this wonderful event and fundraiser for Raphael House. We love the route, the shirts, the bling, and the support.
My fastest individual road race in recent years was this year at the Race for the Cure 8k. My race pace averaged 11:43 per mile. It really made me feel good to pass runners going uphill! As we got closer to the finish line, I heard them say they needed to speed up because they didn't want to go across the finish line with a walker in the picture!
My fastest track race was this year at a qualifier race for a local elite racewalker. Coach Carmen was looking for some walkers to help fill the race, and of course, like a fool I volunteered! I did the 2 mile race at 10:37 per mile and was injured for two months afterward! Lesson learned: Don't do a race like that unless you have trained for it.
My favorite shoes for racewalking were the Mizuno Mushas until they redesigned them. Now my favorites are the Mizuno Sayonaras. I just love the name. [Editor's note: Come try out the new Sayonara at our walk next Wednesday, Novemeber 13.]
What makes PRC such a great resource for walkers?
Over the last few years, I have seen PRC get more involved with walkers by offering group walks and training for all levels. I like to see that because there are more and more walkers out there at all levels, whether it is racewalking, fitness walking or just casual. I am very excited to be leading the new Wednesday night walks from the Grand store. I am excited to meet more walkers and hit the pavement!
I Am PRC is a regular feature on our site. For more interviews like this one, click here. Interview by Holly Paige. (11/6/2013)
photo credit: Evan Pilchik
I Am PRC: Meet Carol Craig
Everyone putting on races should have a volunteer like Carol Craig. She’s so loyal, she even showed up to volunteer at Pints to Pasta in 2011 wearing a bulky boot after breaking her heel!
When she's healthy, Carol races, too. She walks in one or two races every weekend, if she can, carrying her cane with her the whole way.
Carol’s a regular customer at our Grand store, and credits manager Katey Angel with introducing her to all things PRC and Run With Paula. Our Holly Paige sat down with Carol recently to find out what got her started and what keeps her going.
How did you get started as a walker?
My doctor said it would be good for me to walk. And so, I started in, I think it was about 2002, or 2004. And I walked in Race for the Cure in clogs. Everything wrong! And then I met Katey, and she introduced me to the right clothes and shoes. And I’ve been following her ever since.
What kind of races are you doing today?
Anything that comes along, I’m usually doing it. I try to do one or two a weekend. I just did a half marathon, against my therapist's wishes...and paid for it a little! I've done 12 marathons and I don't know how many halfs and 10ks and 5ks, whatever I can find.
Do you have a favorite race?
Hippie Chick. It took me about three or four years to get in it. It was always sold out.
I didn’t do it this year because I had a total knee replacement. But I did do it last year and the year before that and the year before that. Pints to Pasta. I like that one, too. I like all of them!
What’s your favorite shoe?
[Size] 9.5 extra wide Asics Cumulus. I love 'em. I have such problems with shoes, and Katey has worked real hard in getting me into the right shoe.
Why do you volunteer?
For one thing, it gets me out of the house. I don’t like being home. I like being out, being around people, meeting people and just getting out.
I was bedridden for five years after a car accident in 1987. I just got tired of it and went to my doctor and I said, "I keep waiting for the day when I’ll feel good, so I can get out into public again."
And he says, "Carol, that day is never going to come. You’ve got to work for it. And once you go out, don’t turn around and go back."
And I never have. I carry a cane with me. Even when I do my races, I carry a cane.
What kind of jobs have you done as a volunteer?
Bag check. Packet pick-up. Writing bib numbers on bags. Handing out shirts. Stuffing bags.
What makes a great race volunteer?
Don’t stand around. Look for what needs to be done. If you’re handing out a shirt, look over the shoulder of the person getting the bib to see the size of the shirt on the bib and have it ready for them. Try to get the safety pins in groups of 4 and put them in the sack, ready for the person so they’ll have them.
Share with us why Run With Paula Events and PRC are good resources to the running & walking community.
They’re all great, great people. And I enjoy going into the stores. Everybody greets me. And I don’t even know half of them!
Anything else we should know about you?
When my son did his first marathon, I told him we are going to Portland Running Company and get you what you will need for the marathon. He said there other stores that are closer. But I told him, Portland Running Company is the place to go. He got everything he needed and goes there now. I also have a friend who was looking for shoes. And I took her to Portland Running Company. Now she goes there, too.
We owe you one, Carol! PRC and RWP wouldn't be the same without you.
I Am PRC is a regular feature on our site. For more interviews like this one, click here. Interview by Holly Paige. (10/10/2013)
I Am PRC: Alex De Cino
Here at PRC Nation, we are surrounded by awesomeness each and every day: awesome owners, awesome team, awesome customers. But Alex De Cino, whose PRC biz card reads "Awesome Shoe Guy", is in a class by himself!
As the manager of our Grand Avenue store, Alex helps customers find their perfect pair of shoes, handles our shoe and apparel returns, and creates the kind of positive vibe that makes working and shopping at PRC so much fun. Alex will be juggling a few more balls this fall, as he expands his role at PRC to oversee our events and group runs. PRC's Holly Paige caught up with Alex to find out what makes him the awesome guy he is.
First of all, a bit of background. Where are you from?
I hail from a small surfing village known as Carlsbad, California. It's located in North County San Diego.
Where did you go to college and what did you study?
I traveled vast distances (approximately 60 miles) to UC Irvine to study the fine art of film-making.
After I graduated I spent a few years back in Carlsbad working in the running industry, training, and for a short stint working as a race photographer. I had always wanted to move up to Oregon, but still wanted to live in a larger city, so Portland seemed like the perfect fit. And I have to say I love it here!
What do you like best about our fair city?
The list is long, but I live across the street from a brewery, I can drive five minutes and run in Forest Park, and I can be at either the beach or Mt. Hood in an hour thirty. What's not to love?
Let's switch to your running history. How old were you when you started running?
I convinced my friend in 6th grade to try out for the cross country team in middle school, so 7th grade was my first season running competitively. Although I left for a few years to pursue football, I came back my sophomore year and finished out my high school career as a distance runner.
Why were you nicknamed "Tron" on your high school team?
I like toys, and in high school, this was no different. There were days when I would go running with my Camelbak, first-generation iPod (so that was an extra few pounds I was carrying back then—man I love my shuffle now), and this weird watch that no one had ever seen, my Garmin Forerunner 201. So yeah, I was pretty wired.
What are your current running goals?
Right now, I am looking to represent PRC through the cross country season. People who know me know I have a terrible case of event ADD. One month I am training for the marathon, a few weeks later I'm jumping in an 800.
The 1600m, hands down. In California we run the 1600 and 3200, instead of the 1500 and 3k. I have actually never run either of those races.
Talk about your foray into snowshoe running last year. Any plans to continue it this year?
I like a challenge, and when I saw an ad for a running snowshoe race, I thought, "This should be hilarious." So fellow snowshoe partner-in-crime Sarah Price and I signed up for the White River snowshoe race last winter on Mt. Hood, which led me to the National Championships in Bend last March. (Alex ran the 10K in 1:02:28, good for 23rd place). I'll head back to White River to race again this year, but because the US Snowshoe Nationals will be held in Vermont for 2014, I think I will be only racing that one race this year, unfortunately.
Favorite running shoe?
I have run in quite a few shoes. The Nike Zoom Miler from 2004 sticks out in my mind the most. Nowadays I'm logging most miles in my Saucony Guides.
Talk about your new gig as PRC Event Guru.
I hold our Grand store near to my heart, and I will still be managing that store. But I am expanding into the events category, setting up group runs and working with race directors at many cross country meets this fall. I have loved working events since I first worked at the Rock N' Roll San Diego expo in 2006, so filling this position for me just makes sense!
What can our PRC community expect to see over the next several months?
Well, besides seeing me out setting up booths at lots of XC meets, I look forward to putting on more group run events. Last year the Peacock Lane run from our Grand store during the holidays was a huge hit, and I hope to put on more events like this one on a regular basis.
I Am PRC is a regular feature on our site. For more interviews like this one, click here. Interview by Holly Paige. (9/6/2013)
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