Photo Courtesy of Megan Carlin
Fitness is a family affair in Robin Carlin’s Rocky River home. Her 17-year-old daughter Megan occasionally accompanies her on 5K races; her 4-year-old daughter Bridget rides in a jogging stroller for both 5Ks and 10Ks. Greg, her husband, is even more ambitious.
“He and I completed an adventure race in Arkansas last year, where we engaged in orienteering, mountain biking and canoeing,” Carlin says. “I just completed my first metric century bike ride in October and I am now bugging him to give a full century ride a try.”
Carlin, 45, squeezes in all the training and competing while serving as human resources director for the Ohio Turnpike Commission. She joined the Grunt Girls team last summer at the recommendation of her good friend Karen Ryan.
“Running can sometimes be lonely, but the time and distance fly by when you run with others,” she says. “Plus there are so many talented women in Grunt Girls who serve as mentors and can help you improve.
Triathlons in the summer and snowshoeing in the winter round out Carlin’s athletic endeavors. But she says she won’t be satisfied until she meets one more challenge: “I’ve been working on completing a race in each of the 50 states,” she says. “I’m running the Vegas half-marathon in December with my husband and sister-in-law and that will make our 39th state!”
So it will be 39 down, 11 to go. Check out Robin’s blog for even more details:
Photo courtesy of James Sosan
Like many Grunt Girls, Elizabeth Sosan’s athletic portfolio started with running and has progressed to include cycling and a bit of swimming. Getting out of her “fitness comfort zone” helped prompt the Solon resident, 44, to join the team earlier this year. “It’s a way to find more people to encourage and challenge me and also to train with,” she says.
Elizabeth began running, both trail and road, at the age of 40. Two years ago, she taught herself to ride a bike in her basement during the dreary days of winter. “The funny thing was, even though I couldn’t ride, I did teach both of my sons how to ride. This year, I biked as part of my commute to work. I took the bus from Twinsburg to the Akron METRO transit center and then got on my bike from the transit center to work and back, five miles round trip.”
A chemical engineer by profession, Elizabeth has big running goals for 2012: improved marathon, half-marathon and 50K times. Her aspirations for the other disciplines are a little more modest: “I’d like to be able to swim the length of a swimming pool and handle a bike better.”
Photo courtesy of Blake Darrow
It took just one marathon to hook Colleen Fitzgibbons.
“I trained for and ran my first marathon in Columbus this October and loved every minute of it,” Colleen says. “I definitely plan on running more marathons. I’m addicted to the 26.2.”
The 23-year-old graduate student officially joined Grunt Girls in September after running with some team members during the summer. “I missed the comradeship of sports from high school, plus I wanted to better myself as an athlete and to meet people who have the same interests,” she explains.
Colleen combines training with a busy academic schedule. In addition to her studies in the Master’s in Public Health program at Kent State University, she’s a graduate assistant at KSU’s Office of Experiential Education and Civic Engagement. She graduated from Bowling Green State University in May with a degree in public relations and health promotion.
Her running portfolio runs the gamut from 5Ks to half-marathons and, now, marathons. She also competes in duathlons. Her focus for 2012: the Rite-Aid Cleveland half-marathon in the spring, a faster 5K during the summer and the Road Runner Akron Marathon in September.
She’s confident that being a Grunt Girl will help her on her way. “The list of benefits of belonging to the team is quite long, but I think the biggest is training and competing with a group of people who care about their health and fitness,” she says.