This month I was fortunate to interview one of our star Dallas/ Fort Worth Race Guards team members, Sara Athey. Sara is such an asset to the Race Guards team and you will soon see why!
Q. How did you first become interested in Race Guards?
A. When my husband returned from a race conference, he told me about Race Guards
and I knew it would be something I would love to participate in.
Q. What do you do professionally and how does that fit in with being a Race Guards team member?
A. I am a firefighter/paramedic for the city of Denton in Texas. I have been working
there for almost 8 years. I am also a personal trainer and group fitness instructor and
have been doing that for ten years. (editor’s note; Sara participates in the annual 9/11 stair climb every year in which a group of firefighters climb 110 flights of stairs in full gear!)
Q. Can you tell us a bit about the Dallas Race Guards team and the events that you have coming up?
A. I have participated in 2 events in the Dallas/ Fort Worth area with Race Guards, the
Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon and the Cowtown 10K/5K/Half Marathon. I definitely plan
to do many more with them as the races pick up in the Fall.
Q. Can you give an example of someone that you helped at a race and how it impacted their race experience?
A. All of my encounters have been extremely minor in nature, which is good! However, each of those individuals were incredibly thankful for the Nexcare bandages, the sports spray or even the encouraging words given for them to continue on and finish strong. I feel like a cheerleader of sorts. They appreciate us being on the course for them; I appreciate being there and getting to run with them. Honestly I just can't run by myself, so they are big encouragement for ME to finish strong!
Q. What is your funniest Race Guards moment?
A. It was during the Cowtown half marathon when I was paired with Andy Voggenthaler. He is Mr. Ironman, runner man, founder of Race Guards, and I’m not a big runner but I think I can hang. We get to the marathon split, and he asks if I want to run the full marathon instead of the half. He had a crazy look in his eye and I thought for sure I was going to die this day. Thankfully he was only half kidding.
Q. What is your favorite post race or training pig-out food?
A. Oh man, post race I eat anything and everything I can get to. Beer definitely. I love to eat, so I'm not picky.
Q. What is your fitness background and have you had any physical challenges or injuries along the way?
A. I am a firefighter peer fitness trainer through Cooper Institute. I also teach yoga/piyo, and a group fitness class called Rip, which is a full body barbell class. I love to work out! I am currently running a half marathon a month for this whole year with a friend of mine. We pick a day and just run until we hit 13.1. It was her goal this year and I just go to keep her company because running that far by yourself is no fun ;). It keeps me motivated to run and keep my conditioning for any last minute Race Guards events I sign up for, so Andy doesn't kill me again. ;)
Q. How would you sum up your philosophy of life in one sentence?
A. You are given this one life, one body. Take care of it. Live life, don't let it just pass by. Be ready for anything! I'm always being asked at the gym what I am training for. I'm training for life and my job as a firefighter. If anyone ever asks me if I want to run a big race tomorrow, I can say yes without worrying I need to train first.
Q. How does being a Race Guards team member tie into your philosophy of life?
A. It gets me to run, and as I've said, I have a hard time doing this by myself. I need to be ready at a moment's notice so I can be available to participate.
Q. Is there anything that you would like to add?
A. This is such a great organization. It offers me the opportunity to run in more races than I could ever afford to do on my own, and better yet, I get to offer assistance along the way. It ties in with my current career so obviously I enjoy helping others. So I get to run in fun events AND help out. It's a win win for me.
Thank you, Sara, for being our July Spotlight Race Guards member and for the work you do as a firefighter/paramedic. We are lucky to have you!