Congrats to the December Runner of the Month, Erin Hobgood! She is an IU grad and from Evansville, IN. She got into running because of her dog in college – Mac, a Brittany Spaniel – over 10+ years ago. Since then she hasn't stopped, and even convinced her fiancé to a run a half-marathon with her. See below for more of Erin's story...
**What motivates you to run/walk?
In the beginning, I ran to keep my dog happy. He loved running. Since then, I’ve learned to love running. It’s my time when I can unplug and focus on me and only me.
**How many races have you participated in? 100+
**What age did you start running/walking for fun & competitively?
I started running in 2007 but ran my first race in July 2010. It was Miles for Mom.
**Favorite place to run?
I love to run outside my door. Before we moved to our house, I ran the Greenway for a 5-mile loop. Now I run by Washington, Bosse, Memorial, and UE. If you see a ginger with a big, red dog at 5:30 a.m., that’s me!
**Favorite local race?
Laufenfest and Brew Mile—you cannot beat a race with beer waiting for you!
**Favorite race outside of the Tri-State?
I’ve been fortunate enough to run a multitude of difference races. I absolutely love the Copenhagen, Denmark half marathon. It’s in August, the start time is at 11 a.m. and the temp doesn’t get above the 60’s throughout the race. You run past old churches, the water front, the palaces…it’s beautiful. I also ran and enjoyed the AleSmith Brewery 5.5k in San Diego. It starts at AleSmith brewery and passes two other breweries where you can get free samples. I also finished the race with a custom growler, a bomber of beer, and two free beer tokens.
**Farthest you have traveled to do a race?
**Favorite race distance?
Anything between a 5k-10K race is my best competitively.
**Favorite race memory?
This past November I ran my second full marathon. My fiancé, Chris, road over 24+ miles on a bike to see me. My friend Jenny drove up to Indy from Evansville just to see me run. I got to see her four times the second half of the full marathon. My mom and my sister were live-tracking me on the app and messaging me and encouraging me. It felt amazing to know so many people were cheering for me!
**Funniest race memory?
Spectators were serving PBR at a table during the Monumental Full Marathon. At mile 12, I absolutely helped myself – I am the Brew Queen – and only regret not saving more for the rest of the race!
**Craziest thing you saw at or during a race?
There was a race on Riverside drive where a couple of people were dressed in firefighter gear running. It was a summer race. I have to give them credit for finishing because I can only imagine how HOT they were.
**Favorite pre & post-race meal/drink?
Before the full marathon, Chris made me stuff my face with this awesome pasta he made so I would have enough carbs to finish. Since I met my goal, he must have done something right! Afterward, we finished with Bloody Mary’s and beer!
**What is your favorite brand of running shoe?
Brooks. I go back and forth between the Ghost and the Glycerin.
**How many miles do you run a week?
Around 25 when I’m not full marathon training.
**What are your future goals for running?
Honestly, my goals are to get back to the real reason why I love running – the time when it’s just my dog, Maris, and me – when there are no time constraints, no people on the road, any deadlines or stress. Running for you, and for only you, is the best thing in the world.
**Favorite time of day to run?
I work all day. So if I do not get up at 5am to run, it will not happen. Now, with the sun just coming up when we finish, with only a few people on the street, it really is cathartic to think it’s only us out there.
**Favorite weather to run in?
**Music or no music?
When I race, I listen to music or a podcast. But during the week when I run with Maris, I do not need music. Looking out for squirrels or bunnies is distraction enough!
Brandon L. Barrett