November 2020-Jeff Cook

Q. Tell me a little about yourself (where you’re from what you’re doing now…etc)

A:  I was born and raised in a christian family. Jesus and my family are the foundation for all I do. 🙂  My dad was in the Air Force so we moved around a bit. In 1973 I was born in Abilene, TX, then we lived in Cheyenne, Wy, Guam, Las Vegas, NV, Alliance, NE, Minot, ND (Brrrr). After high graduation in 1991 from Minot High, I went to ND State College of Science in Wahpeton, ND to study Architectural drafting and construction administration. Also I met my wifey Martha there and it was love at first sight. 🙂 My work took me to Elgin, IL from 1994-1997 first then we came here to Rapid City, Sd in Jan. 1998 and have been here ever since. Through my school years I sampled the different sports like basketball for a couple years, flag football, tennis, golf, and bowling. I enjoy playing golf when I get a chance. I have spent a lot of my young and early adult years bowling. The only real running I remember was in P.E. class, when we did mile runs and some sprints, I really enjoy watching the track and field events when the Olympics are going on. When my wife and I lived in Illinois we enjoyed finding trails to hike. I also remember walking/running a 5K or two with my dad when we lived on the various Air Force bases. Also throughout the years I learned to play video games 🙂 I have played a lot of video games on all the different consoles probably a little too much. Especially on weekends through college :). Probably why I am a little bigger than I should be ;).

In December 2010 my sister gifted us with a Nintendo Wii and that is when I started getting into health and fitness and then eventually the running. In 2011 I weighed myself (was 240 lbs) and decided to take the fitness thing seriously so I began walking to work and getting into the fitness games on the Wii. I told myself when I get down to 200 I would start running. It took me one year to achieve the 200 lbs mark. I felt really good physically so I went to buy my first pair of running shoes and discovered the couch to 5K program (C25K) and the bridge to 10K (B210K). It took me 20 weeks to start running the 10K distance. My very first registered 5K event was the Club for Boys 5K in 2013. That is when I discovered the Life Runners team. They pray and walk/run for the unborn. So in 2013 I began to run and was on this amazing Life Runners team. Also, I think it was in 2013 or 2014 that I discovered the BH runners group. My motivation to keep fit and running comes from these groups and also for my family so I can be around for as long as I can :). In Jan of 2017 on a training run with the BH Runners group I fell on ice and broke my ankle. (First bone I have ever broken). I am very grateful I was running with the group at that time. Also in December of 2018 I broke my wrist while walking to work. It took me 6 months to recover from the ankle and 3 months for the wrist. I have been training with the cardio/strength training programs on the video games 4 times a week for 8 years and running about 2 to 3 times a week for 7 years, minus the time off for injuries 🙂

Q: How long have you been running and how did you get started?

A: I have been running for about 7 years now. I started late in 2012 with C25K and B210K programs. From there I have run many 5K’s, have run the Run Crazy Horse half marathon 5 times, the full once, and the DMTM ½ 1 time. Also walked the Lean Horse 20 mile with wifey. Also my wife has walked the half at Crazy Horse 4 times.

Q: Would you rather run with a group or alone?

A: I enjoy running alone in the non winter months 🙂 and running with the group through winter just in case it is icy or on the treadmill.

Q: Do you prefer roads or trails?

A: I prefer running on the bike path. If the trail is more than a single person track then I am okay with trails 🙂

Q: What is your favorite distance or race?

A: My favorite distance is the 5K and my favorite race is the Run Crazy Horse half.

Q: How do you stay motivated when you don’t want to run?

A: I think about health and my family, running and praying for the unborn with the Life Runners and remembering all the great stories on the BH Runners Facebook page 🙂

Q: What do you find to be the most rewarding/inspiring thing about running?

A: The most rewarding thing for me about running is when I make it to the finish line of a race and then remembering all the family and friends that have helped motivate me to get there.

Q: Tell us a little trivia about your running?

A: I get up at 4am 4 days a week to do my cardio/strength training exercises on the Wii/WiiU. It is fun and I just add ankle/wrist weights and hand weights for resistance.

Q: What is your favorite running memory?

A: In 2017 after I was given the go ahead to start training again after my broken ankle we took a trip to Rome that our church was setting up. I ran my first mile in Rome of all places. That trip was amazing! 

Q: If I didn’t run I’d….

A: Have more time to watch movies 🙂 (but then I would probably not be as healthy)

Q: Do you have a pre-race ritual?

A:  I just make sure I have a good breakfast about one hour before and get to the race early to check-in.

Q: What are your future running goals?

A: My current goal in 2021 is to train and run the DMTM Full marathon, Lean Horse 30 mile, and the Run Crazy Horse full marathon. I have registered and have started my 34 week training for DMTM Full Marathon. When I survive all that I will see what is next. I  want to run in a running/biking event sometime.

Q: Tell us something about yourself we might not know?

A: I love eating dessert 🙂 Cookies, Cakes, Baklava, Etc.

Q: What advice do you have for new runners?

A:   Whenever I exercise/run I like to make it fun but challenging. Even if you do not feel like running mentally, get out there and run. When you are done you will feel great.