How would you like to be the face of running for a world-wide organization?
According to Chris Heuisler, it’s not a bad gig!
Chris is the leader of the Run Concierge program for the Westin Hotels and Resorts, and as you may have guessed, it’s a pretty awesome job!
The Benjamin Button of Running?
Chris is a fan of the 5k at this point in his running life, but that wasn’t always the case.
Not long ago, he would have said his favorite distance to race was the marathon. Quite the change in perspective, eh?
What brought about the change? A few things.
One, Chris made the point that to really race the marathon, you need to have a full time relationship with the distance. At this point in his life, Chris has a full time relationship with his wife, his child, and his job.
The commitment required to really race the marathon is too much for him anymore.
Perhaps Chris’ evolution as a runner is a bit backwards compared to many others, especially the elites.
Many elite and sub-elite distance runners started seriously racing on the track/at the shorter distance events, and as they improve they step up to the longer distances.
Chris did it backwards, really getting into running long distance and now becoming more focused on the shorter distances.
So yeah, maybe he is the Benjamin Button of running.
The Different Levels of Runners
As a run concierge, Chris has been able to meet and chat with many runners over the years.
As such, he’s found some different characteristics of runners based on how long they’ve been running.
Newer runners, those that have been running for 5 years or less, are a little nervous and are probably wearing something that says I’m a runner all the time.
They are excited to be racing, but they are nervous about doing everything right for race weekend.
Those that have been running for 6-10 years are the snobs. (My words, no his. And for the record, I’m in this group.)
This group of runners know everything there is to know about running, and we don’t need the help of the concierge. We’ve run some races before, we know what we need for our races, so get out of our way and leave us alone.
And the runners that have been running longer than 10 years are the runners that don’t talk about running with the concierge.
Honestly, I can’t wait until I get into this group! (Hopefully it won’t take me 3-4 more years to transition!)
Traveling When Racing
If you’re traveling for a race, there is a delicate balance when it comes to planning your travel, running your race, and experiencing the city/area where you are racing.
One thing Chris tries to do in order to enjoy the city where you are racing is to make sure to take the day after the race off and spend some time enjoying the city.
Sleep in, have an idea of some things to do in the city, and enjoy the area. Who knows when you’ll be back to visit again, if ever, so take an extra day off and experience the part of the world where you are racing as much as you’re able to.
Some Races You Should Experience
Since Chris has traveled a lot for races, both as someone on his own quest to run a marathon in every state and for his job, he’s been able to experience a lot of great races.
Some races you should put on your list according to Chris include Memphis Marathon and Grandma’s Marathon.
And a great race to experience, but possible not one you really want to “race” is Rock and Roll Vegas.
But nothing will ever top the race he had with his brother in Raleigh. I don’t want to spoil the story here, but that event sounds like it would have been pretty darn special.
If you’d like to connect more with Chris, or learn more about the Westin Hotels and Resort run concierge program, check out his blog/website and/or connect with him on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.
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