Once upon a time, a runner set out on his very first East Nasty run. It happened to be CMM 1/2 training and it happened to be at Percy Warner. The twists and turns with the group were easy to manage until one wrong turn meant he ended up doing the 11.2 instead of the 5.8. A slight problem since he'd only ever run five miles at a time! But this story has a happy ending, because despite this tragic first East Nasty run…he was hooked. Our story's hero is this week's East Nasty of the Week - meet Brian Johnson.
Brian grew up in Kalamazoo, MI but moved to Nashville in 2006. He is currently working to obtain his CFP designation - that's Certified Financial Planner, to you. He'll sit for the exam in March.
Brian has only been running for about 16 months but in those 16 months, he's grown as a runner in a big way. Maybe his first East Nasty run was foreshadowing for the leaps and bounds he'd soon make. He completed his first half marathon at last year's CMM with an impressive 1:52, and by the end of the year he'd run two more halfs and a number of other races. Brian is rightfully proud of his latest 5k where he PR'd with a 20:06 - 6:29/mile! Speedy McSpeedy!
In typical East Nasty fashion, our little running group has a reputation for being inclusive. Come one, come all! Case in point - this past Fall, Brian found himself in the right place at the right time. He saw a post on Facebook from Adam Barese looking to fill a last minute Ragnar Relay spot. Four days later, Brian was climbing into a van with a group of East Nasties - some he knew, some he didn't - for an overnight relay he'll never forget. These are the East Nasty stories I love to hear - when running and camaraderie come together to create lasting friendships. <insert cheese fest, sorry>
But Brian says this is what he enjoys most about East Nasty. I'll quote him here because he said it perfectly. "I've never met so many cordial, supportive, and caring people in my life! It is amazing what such a "simple" interest of running can do... It doesn't matter what you do for a living, how you live or any type of social status, running brings us all together to be great friends."
Well said, Brian, well said. From half marathons to 5k PRs to overnight relays - Brian's next feat is to take on the New Orleans Marathon - his first full! Good luck next month Brian, we'll all be rooting for you back in Nashville!