The man, the myth, the legend! This month, we feature one of the “original six” LRC runners for our March featured member.
We met Lee for the first time twice last year… first near the beginning of our polar vortex winter when we started off with six runners braving the cold (Lee was known for his running mittens the size of the Incredible Hulk’s fists) and then a few months later once we all took our face masks off; Lee was baffled by all the Facebook friend requests from people he didn’t recognize! The LRC helped coax him from the treadmill and get some more winter miles.
Something very few of you know about Lee (courtesy of the little birdie that told me) is that he was a collegiate bodybuilder back when mullets were the stylish hairdo. If anyone has pictures, please please send them our way! Though he liked competing, he assures me that he won’t be getting up on a stage dressed like that any time soon. I think there’s a fundraiser in here somehow!
Lee did a little running back in the ’80s then took two decades of recovery until his wife Lisa, who also runs with us, convinced him to do a half marathon. At 46 years young, he figured it would be good for the heart, and he had always loved long, wandering runs. Soon, the triathlons followed. He found the frantic pace of sprint triathlons enjoyable and the training to be manageable given his busy schedule and short attention span.
Lee credits the LRC speed workouts at Libertyville High School for helping him achieve a 5K overall win and a top 10 age group finish at the Naperville Triathlon. However, his proudest racing moment this past year came from working as a guide for a disabled triathlete through Dare2Tri. He refers to paratriathletes as his “fabulously badass friends.” In the coming season, Lee wants to continue as a paratriathlete guide, break his 5K PR of 19:30 that he set 27 years ago, which he came pretty close to this past year, and get an age group triathlon win. He is also looking forward to his first Ragnar Relay – Madison to Chicago race.
Lee is hoping to bring a new element to the LRC this year – a walking group. Given that many diseases and illnesses can be reduced or eliminated by having an active lifestyle and seeing the power of our group to influence healthy lifestyle changes, Lee wants to guide a walking group on Saturday mornings once the weather gets nice. Help spread the word so that we can influence more people in our community to be active!
Now that you know Lee, give him a high five on a Saturday morning while he’s still wearing those mittens!