Name: Ryan Wasson
What’s your running story?
I grew up never liking to run. I was always near the end of the pack when we ran the mile, or did track and field in gym. This feeling carried through till when I was 33 years old. I was overweight, a smoker, and very inactive. I tried the gym and diets but never really had much success. I had reached an all time high weight of 305 lbs. My "spark" if you will was when my sister mentioned at a family gathering she was going to do a 5k, and use that to start her weight loss journey. I laughed and with a snarky tone I said if you signup for a 5k so will I. So I (reluctantly) signed up for the Tulip Time 5k in Holland (my hometown). I only had about 6 weeks to train and knowing nothing about the sport I grabbed my old gym shoes, some basketball shorts, t-shirt, and off I went. I made it about 3 blocks and had to stop. I think i did maybe a mile, but slowly I started trying to run a little longer and a little longer until I got to about 2.8 miles of run walking. When I got to the event, I was blown away! I loved the community of running from the moment I walked up to the expo. I struggled through the 5k and knew I had to do another! From there I set a goal to run a 30 minute 5k and achieved that at Arts and Dash 5k that year. I only dabbled in running until I started at Pigeon Hill. I had met a lot of the members of Run Muskegon, and Colin kept bugging me to come and run on a Wednesday night. I finally took him up on the offer and that's when running really started to become part of me. Soon I was training for a half marathon with Colin. I never thought I was a "real runner" until I started running with Run Muskegon. I am forever grateful for this group! I am now following my new love of trail running to see where it takes me.
What is your favorite post race food/drink?
Drink: Right after a long run/race it's a green Powerade Zero! Sara (my awesome wife/biggest cheerleader) knows that's the first thing to hand me at the finish line, lol. That being said, a PBR and a bloody with "the gang" is always my favorite.
Food: A banana or a Larabar right after a long run, and the evening after a long run or race Chinese or Mexican food is always my weakness.
What is your most embarrassing running story?
I was training for my first half marathon and was on a solo 8 or 10 miler. new'ish to distance running I wasn't too accustomed with "runners tummy" or how to avoid it. I passed about 8 different bathrooms and felt great, then getting to the part of town with not many public places and a ton of houses it hit me! I had to walk (more like shuffle) about a half a mile to a park that had a rest room and as I was walking toward the men's room a city transportation driver dove out of his bus and ran in in front of me! I was literally dancing when he came out and thankfully I made it!... Although it was a photo finish for sure! Needless to say it was a solemn 2 miles back to the house. I was extremely cautious what I ate before a long run for the next year.
What’s your favorite running distance?
I love long runs with a group! Training for distance races is the best. If I have to pick a distance I would say 10-14 miles is my sweet spot. The memories are amazing and so is "eat anything you want day" which is a joke we have about post long run eating.
What is your favorite city to run in?
Muskegon has the best versatility I think with lots of great routes. I love running in a new city though because you don't really see a city until you run it. This fall running in Detroit was awesome!
What is your best running memory?
I have so many best memories involving my "Flock". I think this memory best sums up why I love these guys so much. I was new to winter running and did one of my first long runs around bear lake with the Saturday Morning gang. I fell behind and told everyone to go ahead as we were at mile 6. when I got to the 4 corners, Jenn V, Colin ,Shawn and the rest of the gang were there to wait for me so we could all finish together! I will never forget that feeling.
Favorite places to run?
The woods, put me on the trail and I'm a happy boy!
Favorite Music to run to?
I generally don't listen to music while running, That being said I love Nerdcore Hip hop to get ready to run! I also love jam bands.
Did you run before joining Run Muskegon?
A little, nothing more than a 5k.
Why did you join Run Muskegon?
Colin made me do it (LOL)! In all honesty, once I came and ran with the group I felt so welcome and it quickly became a family yo me!
If you had to nominate a runner for us to feature next week, who should we talk to?
Kim Plummer! I owe her a ton of thanks for all her help/advice with trails! I cant wait to hear her story!
What would you say to anyone looking to run with Run Muskegon?
Do it! We are an awesome crazy family, but we are just that FAMILY.