3:30 - Jim Winkels
The story of how I became a runner is very simple. My best friend wouldn't allow me to wear his Twin Cities marathon finishers shirt, which prompted his challenge that if I wanted a finishers shirt, that I had to actually earn it. I didn't understand the relevance between wearing and earning a marathon finishers shirt until I started training for my first one. My friend signed me up for my first marathon and I earned that shirt and the respect for the running community in the process. Now, with 6 years and 27 marathons and 30+ halves in the books it seems like I've made running an integral part of my lifestyle. Both of my daughters are now runners and I hope they'll join me one day and run The Eau Claire Marathon! The crowd support and marathon organization makes this event a "must do" for me every year!
I enjoy challenging myself and fellow runners around me to perform their best, which is why being a marathon pacer is the most rewarding part of being a long distance athlete. I have met so many inspirational people from many states and age groups. I enjoy the opportunity to give back as a pacer. I've proven the myth that smiling while running makes you faster!