Congrats to the November Ultimate Fit Runner of the Month, Gina Dupps! Here is more on Gina:
"My name is Gina Dupps and I am 55 years old. I live in Oakland City, and have for most of my life. I graduated from Wood Memorial High School and the University of Southern Indiana. I have taught at Francisco Elementary School for 31 years. I’ve taught 6th grade for 26 years, and previously taught 1st and 3rd grades. I’ve coached cheerleading, volleyball, a little tennis, and track. The funny thing is while I was coaching I wasn’t active at all. I didn’t become active until I was in my mid forties, and didn’t start running until I was 50. I started taking zumba and doing Jillian Michaels DVDs at about age 46. The only other active thing I had done was walk a couple of miles a day. Since then, I’ve lost 100 pounds, mostly kept it off, and now teach Zumba and run races . There isn’t a day where I don’t do something active."
What motivates you to run/walk?
I began running when a friend and I were walking back from an event and she said “Let’s run Gina”. I responded with “I don’t run!” She said “RUN GINA” LOL! I did, and I didn’t die. Then I decided to walk a 5k with another friend of mine, and she told me we were going to run UP the hills and walk down them. I did that and didn’t die. After that, I did Couch to 5k to work up to being able to run an entire race. Then, I signed up for a 4 mile run on the 4th of July with friends, and decided to very slowly jog. When I made it to each mile marker jogging, I just kept on going. I finished 4 miles and placed 3rd in my age group. I was hooked on races!
I’m a little different from most runners in that I hardly ever run on my own. I run a lot of races by myself, but if there isn’t a shirt, number, snack, and there aren’t people cheering…. I don’t really run.
How many races have you participated in?
Wow! I’m sure over 100. In the beginning, my goal was once a month and I didn’t hit that for a couple of years. Since then, I probably do at least 2 a month, sometimes way more. I have certain races I love to do, and I sign up for those every year.
I also love doing obstacle course type runs. I’ve done 3 Warrior Dashes, the Rugged Maniac, and a few mud runs. Those are fun because I like the obstacle courses. They are super challenging.
What age did you start running/walking for fun & competitively?
I started at age 50. Before that, I had volunteered for a couple of local races. I was intimidated to try it on my own. I thought that since I wasn’t really a runner, I wouldn’t fit in. I was surprised to find out that everyone is welcome to participate no matter the fitness level, and all of the people involved were friendly and glad to have you there! I’ve met so many people at races! I think it’s better that I’ve gone to most races on my own, because it forces me to step out of my box.
Favorite place to run/walk?
I really love all the places I run. I have come to enjoy Garvin Park and it wasn’t my favorite at first. I LOVE running the Indy MIni and going through Indianapolis and the Motor Speedway. I’ve enjoyed running the night series at Angel Mounds even though it scares me to death!! The Chilly Hilly and the USI Series are fun and challenging too!
Favorite local race?
Wow! We have so many great local races. I truly can’t pick one!
Favorite race outside of the Tri-State?
The Indy Mini for sure!
Farthest you have traveled to do a race?
I just completed the Disney Wine and Dine, so Orlando, Florida. That was a fun atmosphere!
Favorite race distance?
I enjoy longer races for the challenge, but I really prefer a 5k.
Favorite race memory?
My favorite race memories are crossing the finish line at half marathons. It always makes me emotional.
Funniest race memory?
Oh my, running in that stinkin’ Patriot race in the rain. Everyone was soaked, and there was lightning, but we had no choice but to finish! Also, I’ve done a couple in January that were FREEZING!!!
Craziest thing you saw at or during a race?
I see lots of crazy costumes that are fun.
Favorite pre & post-race meal/drink?
I only eat a banana before, sometimes a granola bar, after races, I want lots of water.
What is your favorite brand of running shoe?
Brooks Glycerin I love the Ultimate Fit, they are sooooo helpful and friendly!!
How many miles do you run/walk a week?
I guess it depends on which races I’ve done that week! Last week it was 6.2, this week will be 17.
What are your future goals for running/walking?
I want to continue to run as I get older. I’d love to do more races in different state. The half in Louisville in the spring and the Rock and Roll in Nashville are on my list. Also, I’ve been saving race shirts to make myself a tshirt quilt, so I hope to do that soon! LOL
Favorite time of day to run?
Early morning, although I like the Sunday afternoon runs too.
Favorite weather to run in?
I prefer cooler weather even cold.
Music or no music?
UHHH ALWAYS MUSIC! LOL
Brandon L. Barrett