Runner of the Month
Bob & Deb Uttero - January 2020
Their Journey into Running
In the Fall of 2018, as part of a plan to become healthier, they joined the Couch to 5K Program at Fleet Feet. Bob was consistently in the middle of the pack, while Deb was in the last row. Although it was not easy, they worked up to running 3.1 miles and, on Thanksgiving Day, they ran the Great Gobbler 5K. Next, came Winter Warriors group runs, and membership in the Gate City Striders followed in January 2019.
Once they were able to consistently run a 5K, Bob & Deb wanted to run a 10K race. In Spring 2019, they completed Fleet Feet’s Fast 5K/10K Program, which enabled them to increase both their pace and distance. During the spring & summer of 2019, Bob & Deb participated in both the Gate City Striders Track Program and the GSC Mine Falls Trail Series. They also ran several local 5K & 10K races, as well as a 10 mile race. They were hooked on running!
For cross training, they enjoy Spin classes and hiking. They also do other cardio exercise & strength training at the gym, which, although is very necessary, is not nearly as enjoyable to them.
Their funniest and happiest race moments occurred during the 2019 Pat’s Peak 5K Mountain Race, their first mountain race. Unfortunately, overnight, strong winds caused many leaves to fall, covering the trail markings. At about mile 2, they encountered a sign that read, “Shooting Range: Do Not Enter” and they knew that they had gone off the course. They started to backtrack to rejoin the trail. Just then, the course “sweeper” reached them and escorted them the last mile. As Bob & Deb approached the finish line, they saw that all of the other race participants and spectators (including their family members) had formed two lines from the base of the mountain to the finish line. They were cheering and clapping for Bob and Deb. It meant a lot to them to see the support from the fellow racers, spectators, and family members!
Their favorite time being “Furler’d was during the 2019 Halfway to St. Patty’s Day Race when course officials on bikes asked them to move over to the right so that the lead runner could pass. Shortly thereafter, came the lead runner, followed by a police escort. The lead runner was Mark Furler. Later, at the finish line, when they congratulated Mark on his accomplishment, he replied, “Did you have fun?”. That lead them to say, “Mark is as humble as he is fast.”
Bob is an Accountant and he is known for wearing shorts all year, in both warm, as well as
cold weather, in which he prefers to run. His favorite race was The Gate City Marathon Relay. His next race is Freeze Your Buns. His goal is to run a half marathon. The night before a race, he likes to eat pasta. His before race food is a banana with peanut butter. Bob’s preferred race fuel is Cherry Cola Honey Stingers chews and Vanilla GU gel.
Deb is a Reading Specialist, currently at the high school level. Her favorite race was the Baystate Half
Marathon. Her next race is the United Airlines New York Half Marathon. Her running goals are to increase both her pace and her endurance, as well as to run additional half marathons. She prefers to run in hot, humid, rather than cold, weather. Deb is gluten and dairy free. The night before a race she eats chicken or beef with rice or a baked potato. Before a race, she has gluten free toast with peanut butter and a banana. Deb’s favorite race fuel is black cherry Clif Bloks and Chocolate Huma gel.