The Runner Files: Tim Christoni December 30 2014, 0 Comments
Tim Christoni picked up running again after an eight year hiatus in an effort to better his health and has been setting and exceeding running goals ever since.
Read more in our Q & A with Tim:
1. Can you tell us a bit about your running history? When did you start?
“My first marathon was the Los Angeles Marathon in 2004. I finished in six hours and 12 minutes. I literally crawled on my hands and knees for part of that race. I was so broken down after that race that I didn't run another race again for seven and half years. When I came back to running, it was because I wanted to look good naked again. I had gained a lot of weight and needed to start working on myself. Then, exactly eight years and seven months after that tough day in LA, I ran the Long Beach Marathon. The difference was that, this time, I was prepared. I had leaned down and discovered the advantages of proper nutrition and training. I ran a three hour and 38 minute marathon that day and was hooked. After being asked if I had "qualified for Boston," I replied by asking what that meant. After I found out what it meant and found out what my qualification time was, I went after that goal. I have ended up qualifying for Boston 14 times since then and raced there once, in April 2014 (with that race being a Boston qualifying time as well).
Since I started running again, I have lost weight and increased my training miles, and I started running hills and running with faster people. As a result, I've gotten faster and built endurance. I've also run a lot in a lot of events. For example, in 2014 alone, I ran 27 race events including: three sub three hour marathons, two of the "marathon majors" (Boston and New York), 11 half marathons, 10 total full marathons, one 50k ultra, one 50 mile ultra-marathon and three half and one full Ironman distance triathlons. I've placed top three overall in those races three times and in the top three in my age group a total of 13 times.”
2. When did you decide to start incorporating further distances?
“I decided to start running longer distances in the beginning of 2014. It was a combination of being a reluctant triathlete who felt like he was supposed to be running more and being inspired by so many people in my running groups and social media that got me going. Amazing people like Catra Corbett, Ed Ettinghausen and April Ritter, just to name a few, would be posting these epic adventures, and I was heading to do my least favorite thing—swimming. So I set a goal to do a 100 mile race. But in order to do the big 100-milers, you typically have to have completed a 50-miler. So I set one in my calendar and went after it. It just so happened that I set that first 50-miler in my calendar right in the middle of my training for two half Ironman events, one half marathon, the New York City Marathon and Ironman Arizona (full), which were all completed within two months of that 50-miler. I took third place overall in that 50-miler (Kodiak 50 Miler in Big Bear, CA) and was instantly hooked on the ultra-marathon and trail running world.”
3. What was it about that challenge that intrigued you?
“What intrigued me about the challenge of going further, faster and doing more races was the fact that I didn't know what I was capable of. I still don't. I just keep pushing myself, without a coach, to climb a bigger mountain and come down the other side as fast and hard as I can. If no one is able to convince me that I can't do it, then there is a chance that I can. I rarely get people anymore that try to put doubt into my head because I've surrounded myself with people who, even if they think I'm nuts, still encourage, inspire and motive me to keep pushing forward.”
4. What is it about trail running that you fell in love with?
“I love the people, the scenery and the therapy it provides. The people are absolutely amazing. From the volunteers at races, the people on social media who always help with advice or information to the race directors and people who put their hearts into putting on an epic adventure for us athletes—I love 'em all. The scenery speaks for itself, and the therapy is just a bonus. I mean, I get to go out and do what I love in an environment that is healthy and happy and leave all of my troubles in the dirt. What's not to love about that?”
5. Do you have a favorite race memory?
“So many! But I have three favorites.
- Finishing Ironman Arizona.
- Finishing the Long Beach Marathon on 10/13/13 with my friend Valerie as she finished her first ever marathon in six hours and three minutes to beat my first marathon time by nearly 10 minutes.
- Crossing the finish line at the Boston Marathon with my friend Dany from Inland Empire Running Club (IERC) after we both had a very rough race.”
6. What do you love about the running community?
“I have met the most amazing, inspiring, motivating and wonderful people in the running community. I love everyone's individual stories of why they run. I love their kindness and generosity, but I love the passion behind their running the most.”
7. Tell me a bit about how you found Orange Mud's products and why you like them.
“I found Orange Mud out on the local trails when I started seeing people wearing these new packs. I thought they were interesting. I didn't find out until later that the owner, Josh Sprague, was in my running club (IERC). I asked another club member and friend, Brenda Daley, if I could test out her new pack and she let me. I loved it and ended up buying one and wearing it on my first 50k where I took ninth place overall and then my first 50-miler where I took third overall. I love the products because they are well made, don't bounce and give me the hydration and nutrition that I need, when I need it and when it counts the most—in training and on race day.”
8. Is there any other information you’d like to share?
“I look forward to racing Boston again in 2015, but my biggest challenges lie ahead as I will try to get into SD100. I am already signed up for AC100 and Kodiak 100 mile races in 2015. I hope that I can invite, inspire and ignite others to run with me as I chase down and smash those goals and set new ones. Keep pushing forward. Never stop trying and never quit!"
I invite you all to friend me, follow me, encourage me and challenge me in person or on the following social media sites: