Meet the Start! Running Team planning committee- Justin Pierson

Meet the Start! Running Team planning committee- Justin Pierson

To get things started I thought we’d take time to introduce the American Heart Association 2011 Start! Running Team planning committee members! We’ll all be posting here from time to time!

This is Justin’s bio, in her own words! Everyone say, “hi Justin!”
–Dan (cubicle dad)

Justin Marathon Finish.jpg

My name is Justin Pierson and I am a runner. It’s funny though, I never
thought of myself as one until one day I just was. I have always run
but never just to run, that’s a more recent development.

Sure I’d run
to catch a bus, I’d run to fill my shopping cart with groceries in
Supermarket Sweep, and of course I’ve always been runnin’ down a dream.
So not to long ago I was just a casual hit the treadmill and “run” for
a bit. But then something happened.

My wife started working for the
American Heart Association and started a running team for the
organization. She was rounding up runners to run with heart while
running the Chicago Marathon. Pretty cool right?

Well, last year
something in me clicked, I was so proud of what she had created and
accomplished that before I really knew what I was saying I proclaimed
that I would not only be running the Chicago Marathon on 10-10-10 but I
would run as a member of her team. And so, I was all of the sudden
running with heart.

Now it also just so happens that I was to be
turning 30 just before the Chicago Marathon, so that was another reason
I decided to run. For a while turning 30 seemed like a daunting event,
so I put the marathon on my list of things coming up and all the sudden
30 didn’t seem like it was that big of a deal. Now, I have never been
in better shape, what started with a couple miles on a treadmill in
January of 2010, quickly turned into the 5 mile Shamrock Shuffle, then
the Soldier Field 10 miler, an incredible summer of running with the
best CARA 9 mile pace group ever, and then October 10, 2010 I ran my
1st marathon.

And I’ll tell you this when I came up Michigan Ave to
make that final turn up Roosevelt to the finish line, right there on
Michigan Ave pushed up to the front of the barricades was my wife, my
parents, my brother, my mother in law, my sister in law, and some
really amazing friends. I don’t know how they got themselves up there,
but I know the way I felt when I heard all of the most important people
in my life screaming my name at mile 26, it was unreal.

So the real
reason I run with heart…well that’s easy, my life is and always has
been so filled with the love of my family that sometimes it just
consumes me and allows me do things that may seem crazy and
insurmountable, like running 26.2 miles.

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