Pacers can be particularly helpful to runners during a race, as their job is to set and maintain a specific pace so that anyone running with them can achieve his or her goal of finishing within a specific time. The Kentucky History Half is happy to have on board once again the pace team at ForWord Running, based in Frankfort and led by Linda Word.
Linda is an RRCA running coach and founder of ForWord Running, Frankfort.
She started running at age 41 after smoking for over 25 years. Since her first 5K, she has run over 20 half marathons, five full marathons, countless 5Ks and every distance in between. She became an RRCA coach early in 2015, coaches middle school cross country and started her own personal coaching business, ForWord Running.
Her favorite thing about running is all the people she meets and the friends she has made. She says, “Running is an activity that everyone can do no matter what they do for a living, their political views or even how athletic they are. Everyone crosses the same finish line.
“I am very excited about being this year’s Kentucky History Half pace captain,” she adds, “and can’t wait to see everyone at the training runs and on race day! It’s going to be great!”
Keep watching for profiles on the other members of our 2017 pacer team. In the meantime, we hope you enjoy reading about the pacers who assisted us last year. They included:
Manivannan Vangular (1:45)
Mani Vangular will be replacing Greg Lowe (see bio below) as our 1:45 pacer after Greg suffered an injury and will need to sit out the Ky History Half. Mani (pronounced “Money”) started running late 2002 and ran his first half marathon at the Louisville Derby Festival marathon in 2003. He started to improve his fitness and slowly started enjoying it!
Now after at least 16 marathons and several half marathons, he can say running is just a reward onto itself. He is grateful for the joy it brings him and the wonderful runners he gets to meet in the process. Mani been in Frankfort for the past year and ran the KY History Half Marathon last year as well, and is happy he can help out and pace some other runners to their goals!
Editor’s note: Greg Lowe suffered a running injured recently and, as a consequence, will need to sit out this year’s half marathon. However, his story might still inspire some of us to find our own motivation to be who we want to be.
Greg Lowe (1:45)
Greg started running for exercise in 2008. “I had smoked for 16 years and managed to quit that habit,” he says, “but I put on a few pounds in between 2003 and 2008. Food tastes better when you are not killing your taste buds!
“I was 95 pounds heavier than I am now. I was sitting on the couch watching TV, flipping through channels trying to find the least awful thing to watch — settling — when I had an epiphany. I was not meant to be this person. I was meant to be the person I was before I settled. I was full of energy and excitement. Anything was possible. I decided I didn’t want to be this person anymore and I wanted ‘me’ back.”
Greg first started out walking, then realized that he could get away “from the imposter me” faster by running.
Although it was a slow start — he could only run for a minute or two every few minutes while walking — he kept at it by adding another minute or two every week. Then one day, “I was running past Woodland Park in Lexington, people-watching, and missed the time cue when I was supposed to walk,” he recalls. “That was the first time I was able to run 30 minutes without walking. I was so excited I proceeded over the next few weeks to get shin splints.”
This was Greg’s first of several over-use injuries to come — until he met Linda Word and some of the pacers in a running group after joining a run in support of the Boston Marathon bombing in April 2013 .”I had never run with others before and didn’t realize how fun it was to run and chat. Who knew you could talk while running?” Greg says.
Late that fall he ran his first half-marathon and was hooked. Now a veteran of several races, “I have decided that what I really enjoy more than racing is combining the enjoyment of race day with the camaraderie of a group run. I have run several races with friends where we goof off and just enjoy the excitement! I have paced a couple a races prior to this one. It is a great opportunity to meet new people and help them meet their goals while selfishly enjoying their company. It’s a win-win situation,” Greg says, adding, “so if you want to hang-out together while meeting your goal of besting a 1:45 half marathon, meet me at the start of the History Half. Have fun out there!”
Tricia Spaulding Brill (2:00)
Tricia is a photographer who loves to run. “I enjoy challenging myself with new goals and challenges in all aspects of my life,” she says. Tricia has been running for about three years, but she’s covered a lot of distance in that time — literally.
She explains, “I have done more than 15 half-marathons and find the half to be my favorite distance to run. I also enjoy hiking, biking, and cooking. I am grateful to have the Frankfort running community as my friends.”
Betsy Grewe (2:15)
Betsy is a Michigan farm girl transplanted to Frankfort several years ago. Her love of horses and search for a career brought her south, but it was a return to running that enriched the move in ways she hadn’t considered. Her co-workers convinced her to start running with them her first weekend in Kentucky. After not running since high school, five miles seemed endless! Now with three marathons, 14 half-marathons and numerous other races in the books, Betsy is still running strong!
While her least favorite part of running is, well, the running, the feeling of accomplishment after just one mile, the sights she sees on course and all the wonderful runners she meets along the way make every step worth it. When post race recovery dictates more rest and less running, Betsy can be found in the kitchen baking up high caloric desserts for her future carb-loading needs or searching out new adventures with her beagle, Matilda.
Ruth Carleton (2:30)
After gaining a little weight, Ruth was encouraged and supported by her husband and father to get back in shape. So at the age of 51, she started running. She entered her first 5k in October 2012.
Ruth found the energy at that race contagious and was hooked. She joined a running group and was challenged to run a half-marathon and, just a few months after that first 5K, in March 2013 she ran her first half-marathon, Run The Bluegrass.
To date, she has run 17 half and 2 full marathons to date along with numerous 5k and 10k’s.
“I’ve made some wonderful friendships through running and have learned a few things about myself,” she says. “I enjoy how I am continuously challenged by the sport.”
Katie Hanly (2:45)
Katie enjoys life keeping pace with her busy teenage daughter. Along with running, Katie is a yoga enthusiast who loves the Moon and trying new things, “especially a variety of cheeses and beers,” she laughs.
Anne Rothenburger Day (3:30)
Anne is 33 and has been running for three years. After setting a weight-loss goal for herself, she signed up for her first half-marathon in 2014. Since that day, she has ran three half-marathons with her fastest time being from the 1st Annual Kentucky History Half (2:14) last year.
To continue her running journey, she became part of a Bourbon Chase team last year and is a co-captain for a team this year.
She and her husband are expecting their first child in December. One thing she wants everyone to remember is this: “No matter what your level of fitness,” she says, “you can do anything you put your mind to!”