Growing up, I always wanted to be a baseball player. I grew up playing most of my childhood until my sophomore year of when I ran out of talent and got cut! I joined the track to team just to be around my friends, but didn't really enjoy it, then another friend talked me into trying cross-country. Despite struggling early on with the mileage, I fell in love with long distance running!
After starting college, I wasn't racing all that much but would still run on my own a few times a week. In my mid 20's, I was running local 5K and 10K races and was really having fun! The top item on my bucket list item was to run a marathon. So, I signed up and trained to run the 2005 Los Angeles Marathon. I struggled a lot in that race. I actually wanted to quit and wondered why I was even doing it! I managed to finish in under five hours and, later that same day, I vowed to never do another marathon again! In the next couple of years, though, I started doing half marathons and was really enjoying that distance. I started to get the urge to run another marathon. In 2009, I ran the L.A. Marathon again! This time, I had a much better experience and was far more prepared than my first marathon. I managed to shave almost 30 minutes off my time.
Since then, I've done the L.A. Marathon ten times in the past eleven years. I've also been fortunate enough to complete marathons in San Diego, Big Sur, Ventura/OJai (Mountains 2 Beach), Honolulu, and New York City! Running has really changed my life for the better. The obvious benefits are better overall health and being in pretty good shape most of the time. I've been able to run in some amazing places during races and while training for races. In total, I've now completed 19 marathons and more than a dozen half marathons. I've also been a part of three amazing Ragnar Relay teams. Running has also brought me some amazing friendships that mean so much to me.
Some of my favorite races have been with my family. In addition to several events with my eldest daughter, our family (my two daughters, my wife and I) runs a Christmas themed 5K, too. Running with my family has brought a lot of joy to me; it's become a great tradition to run at Christmas together.
I'm extremely excited to do The Boston Marathon in 2020 and to complete it on behalf of The Tuition Contest! I truly believe in the mission of helping to reduce student debt and the idea of an essay contest to earn a scholarship will truly affect the life of one student next year and hopefully several more. Life is not a sprint, it's a marathon, and preparing for that marathon with an education is the most important type of training.
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