Q: Tell me a little bit about yourself. (Where you’re from, what you’re doing now…etc)
A: My name is Andrew Rexroad, and I was a military brat, born here at Ellsworth, and moved and grew up in Europe, between Germany and England. I’m just a regular brat. I graduated from Black Hills State University with two Bachelor’s Degrees in Speech Communications (Theatre) and Mass Communication (Photography) and a certificate in Graphic Design. Now, I work at Physio and Black Hills Running Company as their Marketing and Sales Coordinator. My real job is father, husband, and friend.
Q: How long have you been running, and how did you get started?
A: I ran growing up because I played soccer and ice hockey, but I was never in love with running; it was just part of the process. Injuries forced me to hang up my skates. I then became a pit crew/cheerleader for my (at the time) girlfriend as she ran all the events. Then we married, and I fell back in love with working out and running. My first paid-for event was a 13-mile Tough Mudder in the desert outside of Vegas almost 8 years ago.
Q: Would you rather run with a group or alone?
A: I love both. I hate the feeling that I’m holding someone up, but I like to cheer on those who run past me. If I’m running trails, sometimes by myself is a great way to find perspective and solve all the world’s problems.
Q: Do you prefer roads or trails?
A: I prefer trails, but not the snakes. The adventure, scenery, and being out in nature fills my cup.
Q: What is your favorite distance or race?
A: I love a half-marathon. It’s far enough to go through ALL the emotions for me but short enough that I can train and still be around for my kids.
Q: How do you stay motivated when you don’t want to run?
A: Probably not the best answer for this, but I allow myself some grace if I’m not feeling it – I think the Universe sends messages to us constantly if we’re open to receiving them. I run for fun and the community and try my best to keep expectations and the stress along with those expectations out of it. Conversely, knowing the feeling of accomplishment of doing hard things is waiting on the other side enough to get me to lace my shoes and out if I’m on the fence.
Q: What do you find to be the most rewarding thing about running?
A: The sense of accomplishment, for me, no matter the distance, is always rewarding. One of the best things about living this running life has been the friendships I’ve made, cheerleading others I see on the course, and watching my children become increasingly interested in it. I hope this becomes something we do more and more as a family.
Q: What is your favorite running memory?
A: My favorite running memory is running alongside my children as they crossed the finish line at the Kid’s 1K race during the Crazy Horse Marathon weekend. To see their faces change to determination and find that last gear as they realized all the people were cheering for them was a moment for me that I’ll never forget.
Q: What’s the most valuable lesson you have learned from running?
A: I can do hard things. Like life, sometimes we power-hike up the (metaphorical) hills for the view at the top and then can full-send bomb down the other side.
Q: What are your running goals for the future?
A: This past October, I crashed and burned at mile 20 of the Chicago Marathon; my goal is to get back next year(’24) and see what the last 6 miles of that course look like. I’d love to continue to be an ambassador to the local running community, help it grow, encourage new runners, and continue to find new opportunities for local races and events. I’d also love to travel and see the world with a race as the excuse would be a great way to spend my remaining years.
Q: Who inspires you most?
A: Of course, my wife, Bre, and my children, Hailey and Xander, but also…
Honestly, everyone. Watching people accomplish their goals, regardless of distance, size, or location, is life-fuel for me.
Q: What advice do you have for new runners?
A: Smile and have fun; take your training, goals, and dreams seriously, but don’t take YOURSELF too seriously. Don’t compare yourself to anyone or anything. Don’t worry about what you could do in High School or how many people are in front of you. Your journey and path aren’t theirs. Have fun, be grateful, and know I’m rooting for you.