Tell Us Your Story
Every runner has their story. Do you (or your team) have one for running the Houston Half & 10K? Please let us know! We would like to hear and share it with the community. Please complete the form here
Your (or your team) story may be featured on our race site or social media. We wish you the best of luck!
William “Chip” Reynolds
Less than three years ago, I weighed 356 pounds. In Oct 2015, I entered a weight loss surgery program at my hospital. Prior to the surgery, I was able to lose 10% of my body weight, which gave me the confidence that I had made the necessary lifestyle changes to be successful. I had surgery on 7 Dec 2015. I began running about two months later and completed my first 5k in mid-March 2016. I reached my healthy goal weight in January 2017 and have maintained that weight while training more and more. Last year, I ran the Houston Half Marathon in a personal best of 1:36:28. It was my favorite road race of all of 2017. The city was a fantastic host to a great event and I’m looking forward to running it again this year. Since getting my health back in order, I’ve completed 18 half marathons, 5 marathons, and two ultra marathons.
In 2008, I was training for a triathlon when I discovered my love of running. Due to a sudden move I wasn’t able to complete it and ended up stopping running. I tried again in 2014 but it didn’t stick, but in 2016 I decided I missed it so much that I’d try again. I started off with the Couch to 5K plan and was proud when I completed it, and was soon running 5 miles at a time. My best friend Charlotte convinced me to run the 10K while she and her husband ran the half, but at some point I wondered to myself “could I do a half marathon?” Eight months from my first C25K workout, I did my first Houston Half. This year’s HH will be my 12th half marathon, and I plan on doing the Houston Marathon in January too! The Houston Half will always have a special place in my heart and I hope to keep running it with my friends every year.
John P. Lozano
This race will mark an important milestone in my pursuit to run a marathon – target run January 2019 before 40. As many others that have changed their life habits when going up stairs chasing their kids an run out of breath, this happened to me in March 2018.So I decided to change my habits, healthy diet and started running. I am on day 54 today (5/15/18) of my transformation. I have lost 34lbs. In the process and have run a 10k a few times in the progression. Signed up for this race as a motivator and check point for my goal of 26.3mi. Before 40. I feel great and I am very proud of my progress. Best thing I ever did was sign up since it has fueled my transformation process.
My primary reason for running is the challenge of running. Most things in life have come easily to me, but running is hard. As Jimmy Dugan says in A League of Their Own- “The hard it what makes it great”. I have been seriously running for 16 1/2 months and in that time I have gone from a 2:41:40 half to a 2:11:40 half and now I’m chasing sub-2. While my times are far slower than some and way faster than others, I do not worry about that. I know the work and sweat and time that went into each and every PR, and I run to beat one person- me.This race also means a great deal to me because last year we had recently flooded from Harvey and I, like so much of the city, needed something to go right. As I ran, I knew I was on pace for a PR and seeing our city come together, when two months ago so many lives had been flipped upside down, was such a moving experience and kept me going. I got my PR (on my birthday) and am hoping to repeat the experience this year (minus the flooding).
Erin E Finney
In 2010 I was 250lbs, drug and alcohol addicted. I had two small daughters but they couldn’t keep me sober or out of the refrigerator. I have since found sobriety in 2016. I’ve lost 120 pounds. And have fallen in love with running. Along with prayer and meditation running has become my saving grace.
I have run a 5K and have signed up for the 10K. My goal is to do a half in March 2019 and a full in October 2019.
I’ve been running since I was 11, but my roots go back much earlier than that. My father began running around the same time during his childhood. He grew up in a family of 7 children, and found running to be an activity he could enjoy with his siblings and father. His favorite story to tell was about the time they ran 12 miles to a 5k race, placed as top finishers, and ran 12 miles back home. At the age of 25, my father ran his fastest marathon time, 3 hours and 56 seconds. Unfortunately not long after that race, he sustained serious injuries to his feet that no longer allowed him to run. Growing up, I knew about bits and pieces of his running background as he would reflect on his glory days. I loved listening to him speak of his experiences and coaching. I could see the passion well up in him, bubbling over and spilling out on to my impressionable mind. I joined the Beckendorff Junior High Running Club the first year that it started in 2006 and quickly fell in love with track and field. I competed in the 300m hurdles, 1600m, and 2400m. I was never the best, but the passion was there. I continued running throughout high school, apart from a team. I used it more as a self competitive activity to channel my angst and extra energy into. Heading into college, I decided I might as well train for something. With the help of my father, I’ve ran 4 half marathons. The Houston Half will be my 5th. I’m aiming to complete the race with a time of 1h 45m. Once I reach this goal, I’ll start training for a full marathon. Although I might never run a 3 hour marathon, the passion exists in my heart and feet to set and achieve goals. And I know, whether I reach my PR or not, I’ll meet my dad at the finish line with our arms open and tears in our eyes.
I was very athletic as a child, always playing some sport or just doing flips and jumps or jump rope in the yard, skating in the driveway or roller rink every weekend, etc. When I reached my early 20s, I started noticing a lot of pain and difficulty moving and performing my day-to-day activities. As the years went by, I had more and more struggles, and no answers from the doctors. Finally, after about eight years of poking and prodding, incorrect diagnoses, and failed treatments, the doctors had some real answers. I found out I was suffering from a combination of degenerative disc disease; osteoarthritis of the hands, feet, and spine; multiple ruptured discs; and sciatica in both legs. This combination of health issues meant I could not walk on a regular basis, especially without assistance; I struggled to stand or stay standing most days; and my pain level was at a constant 9-10 (1 is none and 10 is severe). Fast forward to my mid 40s and I am thrilled to say that I have been cycling since 2014 and started running in 2015. I have even completed a marathon!! For years I thought I would be in a wheelchair at this stage of my life, but I am so happy to be able to be physically active with very mild, if any, pain in my life. This is why when someone asks me why I run, I simply say: “Because I can!”
My first half-marathon was this Houston Half in 2013. I completed the next 2 of 3 years. ( 2014, 2016 and the rain cancelled the run in 2015) In 2017, my life changed drastically. I completed my first marathon in April. In July I was admitted to the hospital due to Sepsis from a prostate biopsy. Later in the month I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. My surgery was scheduled August 29th. That would be one week after sending my daughter to college in California. Hurricane Harvey postponed the surgery until September 7th. The rest of 2017 I spent recovering. I started back to running the last week of January. This year’s Houston Half will be my first organized run after going through cancer, sepsis and sending my oldest off to college in California. I need to get back to normal.
My middle brother, Frank, lives in IN and is an avid marathoner. Last fall, he bid and won in a silent auction for the Houston 10K. Frank flew down to walk it with our 79-year old dad, baby brother and I. The only time we ran was over the finish line. As I ran across the finish line and received my medal, I actually teared up and said “this is my first medal” to anyone within earshot. The crowd was so supportive and applauded for me! I found the camaraderie endearing and have ran two 5Ks and five half-marathons since! The running bug also hit my baby brother and dad. My baby brother and I ran two half-marathons in late March, one in DC and one in CT. I discovered the running community, no matter where, is supportive, endearing and positive. I love, love, love it! Since Frank started running, he’s lost 88 lbs, my baby brother, Michael, has lost 85 lbs and I’ve lost 75 lbs! Michael is a veteran and honors a hero, patriot, gold star family, etc in EVERY run by carrying a 3×5 flag with the honoree’s name on it. My best time for a half was 3:26, but I keep on. I figure it this way – those at the front of the line do what they can. And so do I. And that has to be enough every time.
I started my running by jumping head first into running community with a half marathon. It was the Rhythm and Blues race in my hometown of Houston, Texas. I did not know how to train properly for a 10k race let alone a half marathon. I did sign up to run the race with my coworker that had ran a few races before but neither of us were serious runners so we did not train at all. I would run a few 3-5 miles as practice every now and then but nothing serious. Honestly the reason why i decided to even do the run was because I paid over $70 to run it. I wasn’t just throwing that money away for nothing. Come race day I was nervous and keep thinking would I really be able to finish and what kind of pain would i be in while running and after the race. The first 2 miles were ok but come the 3rd mile, I was already feeling the pain in my side and my legs started getting heavy. I had lost track of my coworker at one of the first water stations so i just had my music and podcasts to entertain me. I pushed through the course which was the dreaded double loop, I know I am not the only runner that hates double or triple loop races. But anyways, i was able to finish it and started cramping horribly in both legs as soon as I reached out for my medal. I couldn’t move for a minute but it seemed like 10 minutes. I stretched for what seemed like forever until I was able to limp over to the food area to grab some bananas and oranges. My coworker finished about 30 minutes later and we were able to celebrate the fact that we finished in one piece, sore as hell, but still feeling accomplished. And that’s what started my running bug, the feeling of being around other people with similar interests and drive, along with people along the course cheering and motivating us to keep pushing made me want to experience that more and more. And the medal was big and nice looking as well. I had already made my own medal rack and was determined to fill it up as soon as possible. Two years later I have ran over 50 races including 10ks, half marathons, and a full marathon. I have ran in 13 states so far and it is my goal to complete a race in all 50 states by the age of 50.
My primary reason for running was health & weight loss. I initially lost weight with my nutrition program, and thought to add in running to my regimen. My husband is an avid runner (now triathlete) and has pushed me to become better. My team, Team Misutoy, full of enthusiastic big sisters and big brothers that has also supported me throughout this journey. This year’s half marathon will be my 5th half marathon and my 3rd Houston Half. Wow! I never could’ve imagined this happening 2.5 years ago! Are you running to honor a family member, friend or a special cause? I am running for all those who can’t… for the moms who have given up their dreams of losing the baby weight. I want to show them that it is possible to lose it and more! And above all else, I am doing this for my baby girl who is the wind that pushes me to do things I’ve never imagined I could do. I finished on a 12:55 pace last year… I’d like to be under 12:30 pace this year.
Who knew running would ever become my hobby? I’ve never liked to run, it wasn’t until I met my husband (who is an avid runner), that I finally accepted cardio exercise into my life. In graduate school, I gained a lot of weight and therefore, I began running 2-3 miles every week. Later on, I joined a couple 5k and 10k runs, and once I felt I was ready, I registered for the Chevron ARAMCO Half Marathon. Did I complete it? Yes, and I felt so energized that I actually finished, I thought I would give up half way. The Houston Half & 10k was THE run that helped prepare me to complete my first half marathon. Not only have I lost weight since I began running, but I look forward to every 10k run, and my favorite is the Houston Half & 10k. I love running with my goofy Husband, even though he is way faster than I will ever be! Since 2016, I have lost 30 pounds – especially, running in Houston’s humid weather! Overall, find someone that challenges you to do something that pushes you outside of your comfort zone. You may find it to be fun and worth every effort!