January 2018-Natasha Drahota
Hi! My name is Natasha Drahota and I am proud to be the runner spotlight for this month. I was blessed to grow-up in the beautiful town of Hill City. I currently live in Rapid City. I am married to a fantastic husband Jeff and have two beautiful teenage girls, Abbie and Kiera. Living in the Black Hills is a runner’s dream come true! We have beautiful scenery and weather all year! I have been running basically since I was in high school. We had the privilege to run on the Mickelson Trail almost every day for track practice. We did occasionally have to run the nasty hill on the Old Hill City Road and anybody who has run the Heart of the Hills race will know what I am talking about. I continued to run for fun in college. I followed the cross-country team around to cheer them on but was never into competitive running. After having my two children I decided a great way to stay in shape and to have some ‘me” time was to run.
I decided to start training for my first half-marathon in 2007 and the running addiction continued. I have since ran two full marathons, several half marathons, 10k’s and 5ks. I enjoy running alone but also with a group, kinda depends on the week. I have an amazing running partner who does my shorter runs with me during the week. My “go to” for long runs is water and vanilla bean GUI. After a nice long race or run my favorite is a big glass of chocolate milk! I currently only run roads but would like to someday try some trail running. My favorite race is the half-marathon. It’s a great distance and a manageable training schedule. I love the outdoors which helps keep me motivated. If I didn’t run I am not real sure what I would do, not sure I know any different. The best advice I have for any new runner is run your own pace and run to enjoy running not because you have too. I am currently finishing up a 40 day running streak and training for a full marathon.