This month I interviewed one of our long-time Los Angeles Race Guards, Vera Lordan. Vera very recently moved to St. Paul Minnesota and now will be the lead Race Guards member in Minnesota!
Thank you, Vera, for your dedicated service to Race Guards throughout the country!
Q. How did you first become interested in Race Guards?
A. A friend of mine heard about Race Guards, about a year after Race Guards was formed, and suggested that I look into joining because she thought it sounded like something I would enjoy doing. She was 110% right!
Q. How has becoming a Race Guards member impacted your life?
A. Being a Race Guards team member gives me an even tighter connection to the running community and provides me with endless opportunities to ‘pay it forward’. In every race I support as a member of Race Guards, I feel good knowing we are bringing peace of mind to athletes on the course. The thank-yous we hear out there say it all.
Q. Can you tell us a bit about the most recent event you participated in?
A.The Chesebro Trail Half Marathon --one of the many races that takes place as part of The Great Race of Agoura --in Agoura Hills, CA. The Chesebro trail is absolutely beautiful but also presents runners with a few challenging climbs. We provided as much moral support that day as we did physical support. I’ll never forget the young man we were checking in with over the last few miles. We treated him a few times for fatigue and cramping (it was his first half marathon). When we saw him struggling to keep running in the last mile, my partner and I stayed with him and ran him into the Finish Line. Talk about a rewarding feeling – for the runner and for us!!
Q. What is your most memorable moment from a Race Guards event?
A. This would have to be running in the middle of the night at the Tahoe Ragnar Trail Relay last summer (2015). We were running in 2 hour shifts and had already been on this particular trail during the day but the nighttime brought on a new set of challenges for all of us. The combination of the altitude, the pitch black that surrounded us (aside from our headlamps and flashlights) and the terrain really took my senses to a whole new level that night. It was an unforgettable and FUN couple of days!!!!
Q. What is your funniest moment?
A. I can’t think of a funniest RG moment but I definitely have a favorite funniest running moment. I got off course during a trail Ultra a couple of years ago. Just as I was figuring out that I needed to turn around and find the right course, my right foot clipped a large root that was sticking up from the ground. I landed so hard that half my bib ripped away from the pins. I was already frustrated from being off course so that fall was just the icing on the cake…..or so I thought. That was until I turned around to head back where I came and tripped and fell over the SAME root AGAIN! I couldn’t help but laugh at myself. I think it actually helped my mood because I was able to let go of the frustration and I got myself back on course within a mile or so.
Q. What is your favorite post race pig-out food?
A. I don’t really feel like pigging out necessarily after a race but I definitely enjoy a big helping of extra salty french fries!
Q. What is your fitness background and have you had any physical challenges or injuries along the way?
A. I’ve been an athlete my entire life, starting with softball at the age of 5. I’ve been a distance runner since 2007 and became a certified RRCA (Road Runners Club of America) coach several years ago. I’ve never had a major injury other than some on-again/off-again ITB pain for the first few years that I was training for half and full Marathons. I’m currently battling a minor case of tendonitis in my ankle but I take full responsibility for this one. I jammed in a ton of climbing with frequent big trail runs the last couple of months I was living in Southern California, but it was worth it. :-)
Q. How would you sum up your philosophy of life in one sentence?
A. This is an easy one: All you need is love and running!
Q. How does being a Race Guards member tie into your philosophy of life?
A. Running is a huge part of my life. Being a Race Guards team member allows me to give back to the community that I love so much! Every time I put on the uniform, I know I’ll be helping athletes on their way to the finish line and completing a major goal in their lives.
Q. Is there anything that you would like to add?
A. Help us grow our Minnesota Race Guards team by helping to spread the word in your running circles!