TTR #5: Making Meaningful Connections


I live in Torrance with my wife Molly and two children, Miles and Hattie. My wife and I have been married for 12 years. Although we settled down after the children were born, we spent a good part of the previous 8 years moving all over the country.

Neither of us are native Californians, but are glad that our children are. Both of our children have development delays, and this has affected our hearts and lives immensely. My son, 7, was determined to be on the Autism spectrum when he was in Kindergarten, and since the diagnosis and treatment, we have seen a brand new kid emerge.

As my wife likes to say, he does everything big, be it playing, feeling, or relaxing! My daughter is 5 and her diagnosis is a little more complex, but she is our little miracle. We are blessed with the Launch school in Torrance, which provides services to special needs children prior to Kindergarten. She is a firecracker!

I am a year away from completing my Masters of Science in Leadership and Management (MSLM) through a partnership with the University of La Verne and my employer. I have begun research on EdD. programs, and may pursue my doctorate after I finish my MSLM. Other than that, I like to sing along to the radio, eat vanilla GU on long runs, and I wish corduroy pants would just come back in style!

When and why did you start running?
Perhaps that sense of adventure, of moving around a lot, has manifested itself in my love of running, which came to me later in life, in my, GASP, late 20’s/early 30’s. In 2012, I joined the LA Road Runners for the first time, and it has been a regular part of my life ever since. I even ran with a Mark-coached team one year! (Go Super 5).

What’s the running accomplishment of which you are proudest?
The Dallas Running Club Half Marathon, 2009. Life happens, right? We had a month of personal setbacks, loss of family members, and a pet that unexpectedly got sick. I had not trained for almost a month, but decided to do the race anyway. I PR’d that race, and have not gotten close to that time since.

What are your current running goals?
My current plan is to continue to log miles this summer, and start training for the LA Marathon in the fall with LARR. I am hoping to have a different role this fall with the team, fingers crossed! I am also planning to reach 1,000 total miles this year.

Favorite running quote? “Do marathon runners know they don’t have to?”

Favorite race distance?
Half Marathon. Between, work, school, and family, it is not always easy to prioritize running. The half marathon is the perfect distance. It requires training, but less time than a marathon. I love marathons, and look forward to when I can more actively dedicate time to training for them.

Favorite running experience?
Right after we moved back to CA in 2011, a friend asked me to join him for a 5K at a water park in Irvine. Part of the race requires you to wade through chest deep water for 100 yards in a pool. I cannot remember the name of the race. Anyway, I leave the race, and on the way home, I call my wife.

She had a busy day, and we were not sure if we would see each other until later in the afternoon. I talked about said 5K for about 10 minutes before my wife, waiting for a pause, let me know she was pregnant with our first-born! Now I always ask her about her day first! Moreover, that finisher medal sits proudly and prominently on the hanger!

Favorite post-race indulgence? Cupcakes. Sprinkles Cupcakes. Black and White.

Favorite thing about SBRC?
One of my favorite things about SBRC is seeing a post on Facebook from a new member who says, I can only run (insert time of day here), I am more a casual runner, I only run a (insert great mile time here), is there a place for me? The overwhelming response is always, Yes! Just show up, you will find your people, we will help you! Amazing! My wife is a not a runner, and proudly keeps a 0.0 mile sticker on her desk. So, I embrace that we all approach this slightly differently! — with Charlie Bates.