Rob Kitchen

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Age and Hometown: 50, Elk Rapids, Michigan

Current Resident of: Grawn Michigan

Years Running: 4 Years

Why do you run: A fun idea to get a t-shirt in a 5k turned into a love affair with "The After" of running, followed by a passion for running itself. Now running is an integral part of my fitness and social regimen.

Running Accomplishments: Training for and running The Bayshore marathon was big for me personally. Every run is an accomplishment to me and I am grateful to offer support for others in the form of running events and volunteering for them.

Favorite Race(s): The Great Turtle Half Marathon on Mackinac Island was extremely enjoyable, despite the weather. It offered a much different view of the island interior while providing a fun course to run. The Vineyard to Bay has been a favorite also and we really enjoyed the Crystal Lake Marathon Relay this past year.

Favorite Running Race Distance: Half marathon distance seems to provide "just enough" running without an over-abundance of training.

Favorite Pre-race meal: Usually peanut butter/apple butter on a wrap.

Goals for 2019: I am working on fully healing my body for the season and hope to set some new P.R's. I am really looking forward to my first year as a member of the TCTC Racing Team and participating with the Track Club as often as possible.

Favorite Running Quote: “In running, every step you make and every push forward changes you—it transforms you into a different person. Every single run adds something to you and then it also takes something away. You are not the same person you were at the starting line and by the time you cross the finish line, your inner self has been reinvented and reimagined." —Zen of Running

Best running advice given to me: Not that I've followed it strictly, but "If something hurts, shut it down and let it heal.”

Dumbest running moment: I stopped too early during finishes in races. Once at The National Cherry festival in the 10k where I saw a banner, assumed it was the finish and burnt myself up to cross it. Only to watch runners I'd passed keep going as I gasped for breath. The other was in The Dirty Dog Dash at Boyne Mtn. I hit the slide obstacle and having watched the previous year's finish thought I was done. They had changed the course to end shortly after that obstacle (again I watched people keep going past).

What other interests do you have outside of running? I really enjoy the outdoors and all it has to offer. I enjoy many sports and working around the yard or playing on the water. I've traveled a fair bit and still have many places to go and see.

How do you feel about and how do you plan to represent the Traverse City Track Club as a Race Team member? This is exciting stuff to me. I plan to attend as many fun runs and local races as possible, along with any special events that TCTC offers. Of course my TCTC gear will come with whenever I travel and I will wear it proudly.