Spotlight Lisa Klinkenberg

Our September Spotlight features Lisa Klinkenberg, one of our awesome Boston Race Guards Team Members

 Q.  How did you first become interested in Race Guards? Were you a part of the original Boston Race Guards team?

Lisa Klinkenberg (left) and her Race Guards partner

Lisa Klinkenberg (left) and her Race Guards partner

A.  I noticed the Race Guards booth while attending the Race Mania expo in Boston this past summer, and thought, “Wow, that’s awesome!” On second pass through the expo, I stopped to ask questions, and immediately went home to apply. I signed up for the first Race Guards event in Boston – Run to Remember – and the rest is history!

Q.  What do you do for your career and how does it impact being a Race Guards member?

A.  I am a physical therapist assistant at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, so I have a broad background in anatomy & physiology, kinesiology, exercise science, running/gait mechanics, and injury prevention and recovery. It helps me spot runners who may be having musculoskeletal issues while racing as well as medical issues, and gives me the knowledge to help runners before those issues become race-ending problems.

Q.  What is the most recent event you participated in and what is your favorite?

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A. Most recently, I participated in the Falmouth Road Race on Cape Cod. My favorite race so far this year was the Beach to Beacon 10K in Maine. By then, runners and race staff were starting to recognize us, and cheered for us during the race as much as the runners. I felt like a super hero on that very, very fun course.

Q.  What is your most memorable experience as a Race Guards member?

A. Stripping wetsuits at the Patriot Half Triathlon was definitely a memorable experience. It was my first exposure to triathlons in general, and being involved in such a direct and physical way was so much fun – and so much work! Before we even started the run, I was soaked and exhausted, and it was really inspiring to see runners who had done much more than I cross the finish line.

Q. Can you give an example of someone that you helped at an event and how it impacted you?

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A. At Beach to Beacon, my Race Guards partner, Nikki, and I assisted a young boy in respiratory distress after he tried to run full effort uphill in scorching heat. Being a mother, it frightened me, and hammered home how important our role is in the events we serve. I was so grateful to be a part of making sure he was able to go home with his family.

Q.  What is your funniest Race Guards moment?

A. Oh my gosh, there are so many... people say the craziest things when they are tired, hurting, and still determined. Also, I know what Perform spray tastes like.

Q.  What is your favorite post race pig-out food? 

A. French fries, extra salty. And a cheeseburger, extra pickles (maybe dipped in ketchup), if I'm not too tired to pick my head up to chew.

Lisa (right) with her partner and medical director Tracy Kilvinger (pictured left)

Lisa (right) with her partner and medical director Tracy Kilvinger (pictured left)

Q.  What is your fitness background and have you had any physical challenges or injuries along the way?

A. I was never an athlete when I was young. I never even set foot in a gym until my OB ordered me to join one after my body literally fell apart during the birth of my daughter (not a story for the faint of heart). Once I did, however, it was love at first sneaker, and I spent nearly a decade teaching group fitness and yoga before going back to school for my physical therapy degree. Since, I have become an athlete, and thrive on long-distance endurance events, preferably in the mountains, which brings a whole host of nagging pains. My biggest challenge/injury was a broken leg and torn quad after ignoring a tibial stress fracture that benched me for more than two months. I don't recommend doing that.

Q. How would you sum up your philosophy of life in one sentence?

A. "Fall down seven times, get up eight."

Q. Is there anything that you would like to add?

A. You're my favorite person if you have a coffee for me before an early race start. Cream, no sugar.