Runner #2 in our introductions of teammates is Michael and we couldn’t be happier to have him join us once again. He has, simply put, been an anchor on our team since he first laced ’em up with us his first year in 2016. Over that that time, he has climbed our all-time mileage list and gotten stronger and stronger as a runner, which is remarkable to see.
We often joked the first couple of years that we had a better team suited to play football or basketball than to run long distance. Michael was the epitome of that as he was a former starter at center on Ohio Domincan’s offensive line. At 6’5″ and maxing out at nearly 295 lbs, that’s not the prototypical running physique but once his playing days were over, the transformation has been incredible.
Now more than 60 lbs less, he looks amazing and is clocking sub 9 minute miles regularly and those miles are more on the high side for him. He’s become such a stalwart of the team that when we were running road races, he’d typically get some of the harder assignments. I truly felt that I could give him anything and he could tackle it. Part of that was the fact that he’s young and his stamina was great but the other part is that he was always accountable and driven.
That drive is what led him to take on The Flying Pig MARATHON a couple of years ago and his running journey has only continued as a part of our team. In total, Michael’s run with us this year will be his 5th straight Ragnar that he’s run with us, totaling more than 85 miles when Ragnar Trail Michigan is complete. That’s enough to put him in 2nd place all time and if he joins us again in 2022, he will no doubt cross the 100 mile mark for our team which is pretty exciting too.
Overall, Michael brings a big personality that’s a lot of fun to have on the team and we’re just really lucky to have someone like him, both as a runner and as a person, on the team.
On a personal note, as his godfather, it’s pretty awesome, too, that at 27, he’s still game to hang out and go on this adventure with me. I feel really luck to be able to share that experience with him and am proud to see how he’s taken this challenge on year after year. It’s been an absolute blast and I hope we can continue this running adventure together for a long time.
If you’d like to support him, our team, and NeighborLink Fort Wayne, through our running adventure at Ragnar Relay Trail Michigan, please visit our NeighborLink Fundraising site here: https://www.nlfw.org/project/21928