The Ultimate Runner

Get to Know Janet Hamilton

Book cover You met Janet last year when she joined the Lounge to give us some tips on running long.  She provided Coachjanet some great info in the Expert Tips section of the book, The Ultimate Runner.

We asked her to give us a few tidbits about her running.

Why did you start running? 

Like many, I started running to help keep my weight in a proper range. Prior to that I had been primarily a strength athlete.  I was teaching a weight training for women class at a local University and would go walking with a friend on campus afterwards, we walked for probably a year before we decided that running would get us done sooner!

Best running advice you ever received?

Trail running is a great form of training that enhances strength as well as stamina.

Favorite tip you pass along to runners?

Listen to your body.  If you tune in to the whispers when something is not right, your body will never have to shout at you to get your attention.  Basically if you catch injuries in their earliest stages and simply take a step back and give your body some recovery time, you can usually train fairly consistently and injury-free.

Favorite running memory, run or race?

Crater Lake Half marathon… the scenery is simply breathtaking!  Other memories  include all the trail running I did when I lived in Oregon – the trails in Forest Park are phenomenal.

Your running dream?

What keeps you running? I enjoy it and I’m committed to staying healthy!  I think we all need to take responsibility for our health choices and this is one that I consciously make every day – run to stay healthy, run because it frees my mind, run because I can!

How can runners contact you

My website – is probably the easiest way to find me.  E-mail is

It Feels So Good!

It feels so good to see runners in the news! 

Over the last week, it has been great to see articles about some of the Extra Ordinary runners who contributed to the book, The Ultimate Runner.  Our hope is other runners see their story and it keeps them moving, but even more than that - inspires them to share their stories.  Here are a few of the quick links for your enjoyment!   

Tampa Bay Online - Miriam Hill


Hampton Roads

Life Press

And thanks to the runners who have shared their reviews with their running friends!  Our winner of this week's review giveaway is JillWillRun for her review of The Ultimate Runner.

Meet Lee Brown

In the first part of the book, The Ultimate Runner, Lee's picture of his sons running during a race for the Book cover county team of Worcestershire.   The spirit of young runners is so inspiring and we think his picture captured it beautifully.  We wanted to know a little more about Lee so he shared a bit about his running and the picture.

Why did you start running?

I started running because of my sons. They both run for our local Athletics Club HACC (Halesowen Athletics & Cycling Club). Whenever the young club athletes compete, I try to cover each event from a photography point of view. It soon became apparent that I was unable to run from one side of the cross country course to the other in time to get the desired photo........I was simply too unfit & over weight.  Now I combine both my passions, running & photography.

Best running advice you ever received?

Variety. I’m guilty of having a favorite running route but you can run it to death. Change your route, your company, your pace & embrace the mud when it’s here

Running wisdom you wished you learned earlier in your running?

Only wish I’d realized how good it makes you feel earlier in life.

Being 40 something make you appreciate pre & post running stretches & also the importance of a good warm up & down. Spending the whole working week with a pulled muscle isn’t worth the pain.

Favorite tip you pass along to runners?

Listen to experienced runners. They know what they’re talking about!

Most read/used running book?

It has to be “Athletics Weekly” (UK). I’m usually checking results & seeing how many mentions my sons get but it always has the latest advice & excellent tips.

Favorite running memory, run or race?

My favorite memory is the day I was converted to Athletics. I’m a long established football (soccer) fan & both my sons were being taught in the fine arts of the great game.

A talent spotter approached the school my sons attended asking for them to consider joining the athletics club he represented (HACC). I can remember being pretty against it & almost dismissed it as a waste of time but.......agreed to let my eldest son turn out for the club & take part in a Road Relay competition.

The best teams back would then compete in a national event later in the year. I wasn’t really interested & was more focused on a football match my son was playing in later that day.

My son was part of a Relay team. Each team had three runner each having to complete one leg of the race. I’d made a point of making the team manager put my son in the first leg as I wanted to get away to make sure we were not late for his football match.

The 200 boys on the start line would have to run the 3 mile lap passing over to the 2nd leg runners who would run their lap & release the 3rd leg runner. First team to get all three back won.

I watched as my son sped off to the sound of the gun. He vanished in the distance in the huge crowd of boys.......& then I waited. The marshals dotted around the course reported back the race position & they were announced over the PA system........but I wasn’t listening. I was packing up our belongings & getting ready to go. I thought as soon as he’s over the line we would set off on our way to the football match. I really wasn’t interested in the rest of the race.

I stood along the finishing stretch which was a good half a kilometre long. It was all roped off & lined all the way along with people. I remember thinking “Wow........there’s a thousand people here or more.” At his football match later there would only be around 30 spectators!

I thought I’d set my camera to movie & when my son eventually runs past I’ll catch it on film as he passes the crowds. I planned to carry on filming until he crossed the finishing line & then I was going to pan up to the large clock showing the lap times so he would know his time. We could then go to football & leave this running lark behind.

Eleven minutes had passed when the crowd at the beginning of the home straight began cheering. I looked down the long home straight & in the distance I could make out a boy in a yellow vest being chased down by two other boys. I glanced over at the HACC manager, runners & parents who had gathered along the straight........&, they were all looking at me?

They began getting very animated & pointing down the straight. I dawned on then & there that is was my son. He’d out run all 200 boys & was sprinting away from the other two on the home straight. Every hair on my body stood up.......they are now as I retell the story. I stumbled for my camera, pointed it down the straight & pressed record.

The footage goes like this: 3 blurry runners in the distance.......the crowd screaming at them. The closer they get, the shakier the footage. HACC are shouting at my son “GO ON HARVEY.......ALL THE WAY HARVEY” By this time the camera is recording feet jumping up & down & I can be heard screaming at my loudest (think I sworn once or twice too). As he passes me the camera captures his foot & then it films me as I drop everything & begin running to great him.

It’s funny watching it back......but it also make my eyes well as I remember the emotions I went through. That day I was converted to athletics & every race either of my sons are in, I still react the same.

We stayed for the rest of the race that day........almost forget about the football match.

Your running dream?

My dreams revolve around my kids. My eldest, Harvey Brown has already represented England at Cross Country & plans to Represent GB one day

What keeps you running?

My fitness. My boys. Being part of the athletic community, part of the very rewarding.

How can runners contact you

My flickr Photo page houses my contact details:

My email address is:

Meet the Expert: Shawn Dolan

Shawn is an avid runner and triathlete who has expertise in sport and wellness nutrition, resistance training Book cover program and personal training.  She lent her expertise in resistance training to the book, The Ultimate Runner, to help all runners learn the basics so they can run stronger.

Get to know her a little better through learning about her running:

Why did you start running?
I played soccer growing up and through college. Running was always a part of practice and conditioning for the game. After I  graduated, I decided to train for my 1st 10k, then 1/2 marathon...the rest is history!

Best running advice you ever received?
Run light on your feet

Running wisdom you wished you learned earlier in your running?
Resistance train to prevent injuries and run more efficiently

Favorite tip you pass along to runners?
Some runs are simply for the purpose of watch, HR monitor, Garmin, music

Most read/used running book?
Lore of running (Tim Noakes)

Favorite running memory, run or race?
My first marathon was the St.George Marathon in UT...everyone talks about the last 8 miles as being steep downhill, I trained running downhill in the canyons in UT, but nothing can prepare you for that damage after 20 something miles

Your running dream?
To be able to continue running throughout my life

What keeps you running?
The ability to explore and enjoy the outdoors as well as explore and learn more about myself

How can runners contact you
Facebook, email shawndoloan@hotmailcom

Ultimate Runner Shout Outs

Congratulations to Erin (aka sunmoonstarz in the Lounge), from the blog Eri-thon, for being our weekly winner Book cover in The Ultimate Book review giveaway.  Erin provided a review of the book to become eligible to win books to giveaway to her running friends. 

We love to hear about the contributing authors being mentioned.  Erin had a comment on her post which mentioned one of contributors, Brian, who shared an interview with us last week.   And this week, we noticed this online story from SeaCoastOnline about Brian's story of losing over 100 pounds by running.

Last week, another contributing author, Felicia Schneiderhan, joined a local TV morning show to share her story.  She contributed the story, Love Is Stronger Than Gu, and joined the anchor to talk about her story.   Very cool to see an ordinary runner telling her story to inspire others!

Get To Know Brian Aldrich

Brian Aldrich or BigB has been a friend of the Lounge for years now.  Joining in forum discussions as well Book cover as podcasts.   So it was an extra treat to see both a story and photo from Brian grace the pages in the book, The Ultimate Runner

Brian offers these words about his running.

Why did you start running?
I started running in September of 2005 after a life long struggle with weight. Since that day in September I have lost approx. 110 pounds and have run 15 races including 4 half marathons and the Great Wall of China Marathon, which to this date is the greatest accomplishment in my life.

Best running advice you ever received?
Stick with it. Not in those words but I have received priceless advice from my parents, who are both runners. It is good to have someone to go to for running advice and I am lucky enough to have 2 in my life.

Running wisdom you wished you learned earlier in your running?
It's ok to take a rest day. Once you get the running legs, you may feel bad when your taking that rest day. The adrenaline is so high that you wish you were running on your rest day. Take full advantage of the rest day and relax! Also drink lots of water, a tip I am currently trying to implement.

Favorite tip you pass along to runners?
Take it slow. The term running has a fast paced connotation to it that makes people want to sprint and run fast. Save yourself from injury and run at your own comfortable pace.

Most read/used running book?
Runner's World, obviously :)

Favorite running memory, run or race?
Great Wall of China Marathon, without a doubt. I have blogged about it and it is the story I feature in the Ultimate Runner Book. There will never be a better marathon story from me than that, unless I somehow one day get to Boston.

Your running dream?
Boston. Who's running dream doesn't contain Boston?

What keeps you running?
Motivation from my parents and my friends. Knowing I motivate others also keeps me going. Looking back at my weight loss journey and how far I've come makes me want to wake up and run everyday.

How can runners contact you
My blog has fallen off the face of the earth, but I am currently working on a way to bring it back, for the mean time @BigBOnTheRoad (twitter) and feel free to shoot me an email (

Meet the Man Behind The Photo: Brad Presner

Every runner has a story.  Some choose to share them in words and others choose to share insights to Book cover running through photos.  Brad is one of the photographers whose work is included in the book, The Ultimate Runner.

We asked Brad to tell us a little bit about the man behind the camera.

Why did you start running?
I was fresh out of college and feeling really imbalanced in life, having just started working my first full time job. I wasn't getting nearly enough outdoor time or exercise and it was negatively impacting me. A co-worker of mine had done a couple of marathons with Team in Training, and convinced me that running a marathon was doable for someone like me who had never run more than 4 miles. So, I signed up, and in December, 1998 (after a couple of minor bouts with IT Band issues), I crossed the finish line at the Honolulu Marathon.

Best running advice you ever received?
"Go out hard, die like a pig." (my Team in Training Coach on the eve of my first marathon)

Running wisdom you wished you learned earlier in your running?
Running may be the worst enemy to one's yoga practice, but yoga is the best friend of a an avid runner.

Favorite tip you pass along to runners?
There's always someone faster and slower than you. So just go out, have fun, and don't worry about where you finish. That said, starting out slower and getting better over time leaves plenty of room for PRs!

Most read/used running book?
The Triathletes' Training Bible

Favorite running memory, run or race?
Crossing the finish line of the Honolulu Marathon. It was my first marathon, and I had a lot of ITB issues. I ended up walking a good chunk of the race. It took me over 6 hours to finish. But that sense of accomplishment and pride had me hooked. I've been doing races of all kinds and distances since then -- from 5Ks to Ironman triathlons, and the thrill of doing it has never waned for me. And setting the bar at a 6-hour marathon, made future PRs well within reach.

Your running dream?
Qualify for Boston. Complete the Hawaii Ironman.

What keeps you running?
It gives me balance in life. I need the outdoor time. I need to move and sweat. I need to challenge myself to see what I can accomplish. I need the mental and physical stimulation. I need the time to be away from all the stresses of life to think. I need the alone time. I need the social interactions that come with running with like minded people. I need to run.

How can runners contact you
Facebook is probably best

Congratulations to our Winners!

Congratulations to Kittzy and Jensir!   They are the winners of The Ultimate Runner book - one for them and one for a friend for dropping off an idea for a gift for running moms.

A shout out to Jamie and Lil Runner (Natalie) for the reviews of the book this week.   We time know time is precious and we appreciate the time they have set aside to give the book a look and share it with their readers.  Both Jamie and Natalie are our lucky winners of extra copies of the Ultimate Runner to give away to their running friends.

Here are their reviews of the book:

Jamie - Running With Some Sauce On Top:  

Natalie  - Lil Runner

Today is The Day - The Ultimate Runner is Alive!

Book cover Today is the day when The Ultimate Runner is on shelves and ready for runners to read and enjoy!

It's a special day for Tom and I, not because our names are on the front cover, but because over 50 stories, photos and expert tips - from ExtraOrdinary runners like you - are now packaged and can be shared.

We are so excited that these running authors have their stories in the hands of other runners.   Some of these authors you know from past stories in the Lounge and some are new - but all are incredible.

Here is the list of the contributors - stop by and congratulate them on sharing a piece of their running with others.  This is their day!

The Story Writers:

The Photographers:

  • Lee Brown
  • Dave Getzschman - on his site
  • Paula Jansen - on her site
  • Ron Leonhardt
  • Don Lundell - on his site
  • Bud Morton - on his site
  • Brad Presnet
  • Denis Prezat
  • Michael Scott

The Experts:

Hey...that person looks familiar...

....Reading through the paper when a picture of a couple runners caught my eye.  

Then I realized it was Tom Tom and i and me!

Here is the link the article in the Des Moines Register about the Lounge and the book.

It's really cool to realize that a year ago the book was still a dream and now it is a reality.  

A wise man once gave us some great advice about building a community.   Keep moving forward and don't miss a date.   

It was advice that works.

Now that I think of it, that would be good advice for running too.

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