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February 2015 – Erika Winchester

I was born and raised in Rapid City. I have two children Grace (21) and Graham (16). When my children were small I started my own In-Home Daycare so that I could be with my kids. Eighteen years later I’m still going strong. When I’m not running I enjoy camping, snowmobiling, working on my house and I have a huge garden that keeps me busy in the spring and summer months.
I started running about 2 1⁄2 years ago. I was on the elliptical machine looking out the window, bored out of my mind. I asked myself “I wonder if I could run around our property”, which is about 1⁄2 mile. I made it! And it all started that day. I hadn’t ran in school so to start at the age of 38 surprised me and I actually loved it. Each time I would push myself a little further. It was my lungs that I needed to get in shape. When I got out of breath I would just walk until I felt better. Pushing myself I ran my first half marathon in 2012, which was Crazy Horse. Not knowing anyone I also showed up for my first trail race at Mystic. What a crazy first trail race but I was hooked. With my love for being outdoors in the Black Hills I finished all of the races in the Trail Series and then signed up for the Runners Club.
I have met so many great runners which now have become my good friends. They have believed in me and pushed me further than I thought I could go. They have all given me great advice and shared their funny running strategies. They have been right with me on my good runs and my worst. If you have not had the chance to run with a group, I would give it a try. You might be missing out. I do still enjoy getting out on a run on my own and getting lost in my music.
For 2015 I am planning on running my first marathon which will be DMTM. My training will be starting soon. I can’t wait to cross that line. I know it will be tough but I’m ready for a new challenge.
My advice for new runners is to never think you can’t do something and you’re never too old to start something new no matter what it is. During a race it is so easy to get caught up in what all the other runners are doing. Always remember that it is your race, your time. We each have a different story to tell and are at different places in our running. You are going to have good runs and bad ones. Believe in yourself and keep pushing forward!
Happy Running!