Shawn Vincent Is Making Running Accessible To The Younger Generation
My guest today is someone that not only loves running himself but is also passionate about getting others involved in the sport as well.
From running with his family to being active in his local running club, to organizing a fitness program at the school where he is the principal, running is something he just can’t seem to get enough of.
I am looking forward to going a few easy miles with Shawn Vincent today!
Testing The Waters
Shawn Vincent loved playing sports while growing up and was always very active.
Shawn went to a small college and initially didn’t plan on joining any sports teams.
It was during his junior year when he came up with the idea to try to earn a varsity letter.
Shawn walked onto the cross country team and jointly helped them win the conference that year.
Even after achieving success with the team, it would be many years later before Shawn would run again.
It wasn’t until 2010 when Shawn found himself searching for a way to be more active again.
His wife ran in local 5k’s and was/still is doing a run streak.
It was only logical that Shawn would pick up the sport that others in his family gravitated towards.
After Shawn completed a few 5k’s he slowly began to climb the ladder in distance all the way up to marathons.
Initially, he ran mostly solo, but he found that joining his local running club was a huge game-changer.
Running with others made him a more consistent runner while also increasing his pace.
It didn’t take long for Shawn to find the joy in running with others and being a part of something bigger than himself.
The appearance of Covid-19 has altered what his run club typically does, but they still find ways to be supportive.
The pandemic has allowed Shawn more opportunities to get out and run while simultaneously helping with stress.
Like so many other runners, Shawn also had a goal race canceled.
He was signed up to run a marathon in May of 2020 that was canceled, so instead of forgoing it altogether, he ran it virtually with a friend.
BQ Or Bust
The one and only time Shawn has run in the Boston Marathon was in 2015.
He was able to apply for a bib through his local running club.
Shawn loved the experience so much that he was determined to eventually earn his way there with a Boston qualifying time.
In 2018, Shawn ran the Sugarloaf Marathon in Maine and finished in a time of 3:30.
His result put him within reach of a qualifying time and he was close to changing age groups which would give him a little extra time.
That near-miss gave Shawn the extra push he needed to go after a BQ the following year.
Shawn tried again one year later at the same race and ran a Boston qualifier with only 18 seconds to spare.
Unfortunately, the time would not be enough to allow him to register for the race, but it is still one of his biggest accomplishments and he isn’t done trying.
Shawn has always loved the aspect of community and getting others to be more active.
His entire family from his wife to his multiple children all run.
As a principal at a middle school, Shawn became painfully aware of how little time kids were given to be active during the school day.
He came across a grant 9 years ago that was aimed at starting a run program at schools.
Shawn viewed that as his opportunity to get a program off the ground.
They received the grant and that was the first year of a still ongoing program.
All the teachers were supportive of the program which helped to encourage kids of all levels to get involved.
The experience was overwhelmingly positive for all involved therefore even without a grant in the subsequent years the program still continued to flourish.
The Gifts Running Gives
The benefits that come from running are endless.
Running provides people with real-time goals that are measurable.
Shawn is hopeful that introducing kids to running will serve as an entry point for later in life.
Running is a sport that doesn’t lie.
Being consistent is the only way to chip away at the challenges presented to you.
Shawn has also found that running improves leadership skills while also increasing confidence and not being afraid to take on challenges.
Mentioned In This Episode:
Stay connected to Shawn Vincent by following him on Twitter.
Shawn Vincent is passionate about building a more active community while fostering a love for running. He's building a healthier community one step at a time. Click To Tweet
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