Welcome to Run Tampa, your new running family. There is just one thing we love more than running and that is the people we run with. That is the secret to Run Tampa’s continued success: We appreciate the incredible diversity of our members, from self proclaimed turtles to Boston qualifiers, young and old, beginners and veterans, we appreciate everyone!
My name is Debbie Voiles, and I founded Run Tampa. I hope to meet you soon! Of all the great benefits of the Run Tampa community, meeting runners and becoming friends is by far the best part. Run Tampa is a family, and I kind of feel like the mom, or grandmom, since I’m 62.
In 2008, I started RunTampa.com because Tampa needed a comprehensive online running calendar. Soon after, I hosted the first group run, partly because I wanted to get more people to run trails. I knew most people wouldn’t head off down a wooded trail they didn’t know and wouldn’t want to do it alone. Our favorite group run spot back then was Trout Creek. We’d depart from there and then head into Flatwoods on the Main Trail. I made sure that half of our group runs were either on trails or offered a trail option.
Already a certified running coach, I soon started coaching, formed the Run Tampa Club and began to plan our first destination race, which was the Jacksonville Marathon and Half.
Since then, our destination races have included the Napa to Sonoma Half, San Francisco Marathon & Half, Chicago Marathon & Half, Marine Corps Marathon & Half, and Maine Marathon & Half.
About the time I published my book, After Your First 5k, I started the Mojo for Running podcast, available on iTunes and on MojoforRunning.com. Later, I launched a second podcast for beginners, the Beginner Runner Village Podcast. Between the two, they are downloaded 5,000 times per week in 126 countries, which means I get emails from all over the world, and do you know what I’ve learned?
A runner is a runner is a runner, whether it’s a newbie training for that first 5k or an ultra runner training to break the 24 hour barrier, we’re more alike than different.
In 2014, I started my Walk to Run website and the Mojo for Running Coaching Program, which is an online coaching program, perfect for anyone striving to stretch to a new distance, whether that is their first mile or their first half. Most of the members in that program live outside of the Tampa area, but if you can’t make it to one of our local ‘in person’ coaching sessions, that might be helpful.
In 2014, I turned over the day to day leadership/operation of Run Tampa Club to the Leadership Team: President Carla Nolan, Coaches Maria Williams and Trixie Taylor, Race/Event Director Dave Yancey, Treasurer Joseph Bailey, Secretary Candi Dutschke, and Membership Director Dale Posey. They are taking the club to heights I could never have managed on my own. We work together to make sure the club continues to get better and continues finding ways to serve the Tampa running community.
I highly recommend our amazing Run Tampa coaching duo of Head Running Coach Maria Williams and Run Form and Strength and Conditioning Coach Trixie Taylor. I turned over all local Run Tampa coaching to that dynamic duo in 2014, and they have been outstanding! Outstanding! The program continues to grow as enthusiastic members spread the word of their successes.
Some of my most treasured experiences occurred while running alone through the woods, others, while sharing conversation with a clutch of my Run Tampa friends, and still others while racing on city streets with thousands of other runners.
My favorite distance will always be the half, but I still think we need a better name for that. Half just sounds less than whole, hardly an appropriate name.
I often hear runners say, ‘I’m only doing 5 miles today,’ or ‘I’m only doing the half.’ That drives me crazy. My rule is that the word ‘only’ should never be used in the same sentence with any number of miles. The rule applies to the word ‘just,’ too, as in “I’m just doing five miles this morning.” I always tell the speaker, “Think about it; while you were doing only five miles, most people didn’t even get off the couch.”
My free podcasts are packed with running information; I hope you’ll take a listen. Mojo for Running and Beginner Runner Village are both available on your smart phone, either through the Stitcher app or the Podcast app that comes preloaded on your iPhone.
I hope to meet you at one of the Run Tampa group runs soon.