From: Claremore, Oklahoma
When my nephew, Kjell Tovander, ran a half marathon in 2008, he collapsed and never regained consciousness. That was a tragic day and it was then that I vowed to start running again and complete a half marathon in his honor in 2009. I was always intrigued by the Hogeye Marathon and decided I had to go to Fayetteville and run the race. After my first experience running it, I have run it every year since then. When I crossed the finish line I knew I was a runner and the feeling of accomplishment was unbelievable. My nephew keeps me motivated. I started out running for him; now I run for us both.
hogeye 4

Every runner needs to experience the Hogeye at least once. The runners, volunteers and staff are a different breed of people and I am proud to be a member of that breed. My son and daughter run marathons with me and the three of us will be at the Hogeye this year to run the full marathon. We always stay at the Chancellor Hotel, which is great because the starting line is just feet from the front door. And we always eat at Hugo’s at least once – it has great food and is also close to the hotel.

2014 claremore triathlon

I love the bling, the shirts, the jackets—I’m not sure how many medals I have—but I know it isn’t enough! This year we will get 40th anniversary jackets for running the full marathon. I have also competed in a few triathlons and hope to do an Ironman at least once.

When I am at home in Oklahoma, I enjoy training on Riverside in Tulsa. The scenery is beautiful and I often get caught up in enjoying the scenery and watching the eagles fly and I forget I am running. I train by myself. If you are a runner it doesn’t matter how fast or slow you are—the important thing is that you are out there running. You are faster than the person sitting on the sofa!

The Hogeye will test you. There are some nice hills, but you can overcome them with persistence. You will also meet some of the nicest people and I am always thankful for the wonderful volunteers. It always feels like we are on vacation when we go to Fayetteville. I am excited for the race this year and to meet new people. Come out and run or cheer us on in Fayetteville  April 9th and 10th!