Volunteer Peter Merante discusses how running has changed him physically and mentally and shows us how the miles make a difference in the community.
How and when did running become a part of your life?
I started running about 11-12 years ago by using the C25K (couch-to-5K) program, and I discovered that running was the one thing, for me, which really helped take the pounds off. I started signing up for 5Ks and then half marathons and I was hooked! Running has really been a gift to myself both physically and mentally.
What are the joys and challenges of running?
Every run is unique and the state of mind you bring into each run can be different. Funny thing is, I almost always feel better after a run. Your legs and lungs may be a little sore but your head is clear, your attitude is reset and you feel like you’ve accomplished something. It can be challenging to find a “little mo” (motivation) sometimes and get out the door, especially in the frigid months of January or heat of summer but you never regret it!
Do you have a favorite running moment (beside the JMF Run, Walk, Roll, of course!)?
Last September, I along with 11 other volunteers completed Ragnar Colorado while raising money for another wonderful organization, Back on My Feet Indianapolis. Back on My Feet uses running along with essential community and employment resources to help those experiencing homelessness back towards self-sufficiency and independence.
Any personal running heroes/mentors?
So many I could name! As you may know the running community, locally and globally, has many inspirational people – Gabe Grunewald, a well-known runner who continues to train while battling cancer is incredible. Locally, Jim Patton, a friend, who also volunteers with Back on My Feet and is a Big Brother/Big Sister with his wife Jennifer, is incredibly giving of his time and one of the best people I know.
Why do you choose to Run, Walk, and Roll with us?
Several years ago I learned about JMF and your wonderful mission of an encompassing, inclusive program of supporting children of all abilities. The work that you do and the impact you have on the children and families in your program is tangible. I’ve personally seen it at your races and other events with run2gether teams.
What do you enjoy about the JMF Run, Walk, Roll?
First off, you always have the best weather! 🙂 Seriously, it’s one of the most inspiring events to be present at. To see some of the JMF children participate and the smiles on their faces is priceless! Also the venue of starting and finishing at Carroll Stadium Track adds to the excitement.
What would you say to encourage people to join us on July 14th at the Tenth Annual Run, Walk, Roll?
The JMF 5K+10-Miler is a great event in the Indy running community. Make your miles count, come out to Carroll Stadium and support JMF!
Interviewed by Courtney Basso, Events and Communications Manager