Meet the Coach: Andrew Chumney

4 10 2015

AndrewAndrew has been a part of the Fleet Feet family for quite some time. He worked at the shop several years ago before moving to Tucson, and now that he and his family are back in Memphis, he has taken over leading our Thursday Night Run Club!

When did you start running? I started running in the summer of 1999 between seventh and eighth grade. Three of my older friends who were going into tenth grade had joined the cross country team and they invited me to tag along for summer practice. I was pretty pathetic but it was fun for me to just try to keep up as long as I could each day. I never thought of running as a chore or exercise or anything like that. Every day was just a fun, new adventure and I was hooked.

What’s your favorite distance to race? My favorite distance is the half marathon because it’s the longest commonly raced distance that I can race without eating or drinking anything. I like it when all I have to think about during a race is running.

What’s your favorite race you’ve done? My favorite races are those with beer at the end.

What’s your proudest running accomplishment? My proudest running moment occurred recently when I received an email from a woman in Tucson, AZ who was part of a group I coached for five years. In her email she asked several generic questions like how I was and about my wife and daughter. Then, at the end, she included a picture of the whole group from last week and told me they still meet every Wednesday and Saturday morning at 5:30. This was a group of people with busy careers and families who had never before made time for running before joining the group. For them to still be meeting in my absence 16 months later means that they found a joy in running and if I was even partially responsible for that then I can consider myself a successful runner.

What do you enjoy about coaching others? I enjoy coaching/leading a group because everything is so much easier when you have the accountability and comaraderie of a group. Runners are a community of people who have this really awesome thing in common. To be able to get together and develop that is a great thing. I think any adult who calls himself or herself a runner should find as many groups of people to run with as possible.

If you haven’t joined us for a Thursday Night Workout, you should! The group meets at the shop and takes off at 6pm weekly. Workouts are posted in advance in this Facebook group.

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