Gregg DeLong will run with the Joseph Maley Foundation for the third time on July 14, 2018. While he enjoys the art of running, Gregg also appreciates the community he found when he began running regularly. After competing in more than 200 races since 2014, one of his favorites is still the JMF Run, Walk, Roll.
When did you begin running?
My first 5K was on May 10, 2014 at the age of 53. I never ran in my life. I had a friend who did the Indy Mini each year. I was intrigued and energized by the camaraderie and support within the running community. I was not in great shape, but when I found out that you didn’t have to actually run your entire first 5K, I signed up for my first one the next day! I just completed my fourth year of running. I’ve done well over 200 races, including 14 half marathons and three marathons. In 2017, I ran the TCS New York City Marathon.
What is the best part of running?
The camaraderie and support that the running community has for each other is amazing! I’ve made many new friends in the running community, from runners to race directors to running shop employees. I find that running is a sport that is continuously uplifting due to the people involved in it. From a health aspect, I like the fact that I’ve lost 70 pounds through running and have improved my overall health tremendously. I am also thankful for the additional time with my wife Donna, who supports me at the races by timing me, holding on to gear, and cheering me on.
What is the most challenging aspect of running?
For me, it’s the ‘Three H’s’: Heat, Hills, and Humidity! However, the satisfaction of overcoming those challenges and having a successful day whether it’s a race or a training run is very gratifying.
How do you choose which races to participate in each year?
There are many factors: location of the race, swag offered, the course, the quality of race organization. I have a special place in my heart for those races that benefit children in any way.
Why do you Run, Walk, Roll with JMF?
Initially, the signs touting ‘Indy’s Premier Summer Road Race’, which I saw in many places, told me that this was a race to be a part of. Once I participated, I was hooked. The course is unique and exciting, starting and finishing on the track at Michael A. Carroll Stadium at IUPUI. This is a great atmosphere for runners, with crowds able to cheer you on at both the start and finish. I like the fact that the elite runners have their own race before the open 5K. It is very inspiring to watch these super runners just before starting your own race. I was in awe of Noah Droddy’s run in 2016, and have been a fan of his since then. I have deep respect and admiration for the work that JMF does, and am so glad to support them by participating in this event. As long as I’m running, this event will always be on my calendar.
What is your favorite part of the race?
The start and finish on the track are exciting. I enjoy running along the White River as well. I also like the fact that there are many family-oriented activities tied to the race, especially afterwards. For this year, I’m very much looking forward to the 10-Mile course covering part of one of my favorite running places in Indy, along the Canal.
How many years have you participated?
2018 will be the third time that I’ve participated, and I’m looking forward to many more!
What would you say to someone who has not run with us before to encourage them to join us?
This event ticks all the boxes. Just as JMF serves children of all abilities, the race is also for participants of all abilities. Run, Walk, Roll. That covers all the bases. Elite runners. Hobby runners. Participants like my wife, who is happy to walk the 5K just to participate and support. Wheeled athletes. This event is truly for everyone. From a running standpoint, the new 10-mile option is a great distance. The timing is great to kick off training for fall long races. Besides all of those factors, the Joseph Maley Foundation is comprised of great people doing fantastic things. The money raised for JMF provides opportunities for many children. I am very proud that my support of this race helps JMF carry on with their work. By participating in this race, you’re not only helping yourself through your efforts, but also a great foundation continue to help many. Come join us on July 14. Look me up and tell ME why you’re doing the event!
Interviewed by Courtney Basso, Events and Communications Manager