Friday, March 5, 2010

Runner in the Spotlight: Deb Rubinich

Deb Rubinich is a coach at Holy Trinity Catholic Middle School. In her spare time, she still finds the time to raise two kids, run plenty of miles, organize races, and lead a new Charlotte Running Club group run! Read more below to learn more about Deb.

Deb competed for the CRC on a Corporate Cup Half Marathon Relay team - placing second in the team co-ed competition with Justin Breland and Glenn Carroll.

Where do you work?

I’ve had a software consulting business for a few years now, but I put it on the back burner to focus on coaching and some road race organizing. I currently coach cross country at Holy Trinity Catholic Middle School. If I can only figure out how to turn coaching/training into a full-time paying job, that would be my ideal work.

I’m also a race organizer for the upcoming 2nd Annual Bulldog 5k, which is coming up on April 24th in the Ballantyne area. Unfortunately, it does conflict with the Grand Prix series Skyline run, but for those CRC members not in the points race, this will be a fun alternative. It’s a super fast course too, if you’re looking for a PR. (Editor’s note: for more information, please click here)

What's your favorite restaurant in Charlotte?

That’s a tough one…. Primo’s, Greek Isles, Toscana, Five Guys(can’t beat the fries).

How long have you lived in Charlotte?

My husband, John and I moved to Charlotte in 1995. I’m originally from Brooklyn, New York.

Do you have any kids?

I have two girls, Brianna, 13, and Daniella, 11.

Do you think they will run?

Brianna’s on the school track team and has run cross country. She’s not into the longer distances, but prefers the 200 and 400 events. Daniella does all sports and plans to run cross country at Holy Trinity next season. Both are running in the Bulldog 5K in April. Daniella medaled in her age division in the Bulldog 5k last year, so she’s looking for back to back medals.

Favorite place you've traveled and loved for running?

We went to visit my husband’s family, along the beautiful Adriatic coastline in Croatia. It was an awesome place to run.

When and why did you start running?

I was always athletic as a kid. I started running competitively in 1975 in high school. I was the first female on the high school cross country team. There was no girls team, so they had to let me run on the boys team. There were definitely a few jealous guys on the team, especially since I was faster than many of them! I also was captain of the high school track team. I ran the mile and 2 mile run, but then would do any event that needed an extra body, such as 880’s, shotput(all 95 pounds of me at the time) and long jump.

I ran cross country, indoor and outdoor track at StonyBrook University for three 1/2 years also. I took a long break from running to focus on martial arts training. I tend to be a little obsessive-compulsive and like to do things to the best of my ability and put all I’ve got into it. I knew I couldn’t do karate and run my best, plus go to college full-time and work 32 hours/week and be successful at all of it. So I waited until I graduated college to focus on karate. I dropped the running for almost 15 years. The karate was hard core, not like a lot of the commercial schools you see now-a-days. It needed my full attention.

I’m very happy to be running again and am now contemplating what cool race to do for my 50th birthday run next January. A 50K run at Salem Lake for the 50th birthday? Or maybe visit Mickey and friends at the Disney Marathon?

What do you love about running?

Running is a time just for me and all about taking care of me. It’s my time to be with myself, “in the zone”. I can choose what to do with that time…. It can be a time for relaxation or a time to bring out the competitive juices. It’s whatever I want it to be that day.

What’s the funniest or strangest thing that has ever happened to you on a run?

You know you’ve had a bad running day when you go out for a long training run of 25 miles, get lost and end up running 30 miles, and on top of that drop your car key into a port-a-potty! That happened to me training for the 2007 Thunder Road marathon.

Do you lead any Charlotte Running Club group runs? What time?

I’m starting up a CRC group going in the Ballantyne area on Wednesdays around 7:00am-7:30am for 6 miles at 8:30-8:40 pace.

I also coach cross country at Holy Trinity Catholic Middle School. We had an excellent season this year with the girls winning conference and the boys taking second. I love coaching and find myself volunteering to coach all the time. In the last year, I’ve coached 5th grade girls basketball and 5th-7th grade girls volleyball and 5th grade soccer, in addition to cross country. I’d love to coach at a running camp during the summer or perhaps start one up in the Charlotte area.

What's your most memorable race and why?

My most memorable race is actually one I coached. Last season, I took some of my team to a meet at Weddington Middle School and it poured so hard that two of my racers lost their shoes in the mud. What made it most memorable was that they continued running the race and finished it. One picked up the running shoe and ran with it to the finish and the other left the shoe in the mud and finished the race. I couldn’t have been more proud of my runners. We called that race the Weddington Mud-fest!

Where is your favorite place to run in Charlotte?

I like running at McAlpine. It’s a nice soft surface. I also have a nice hilly route near Marvin Rd and Six Mile Creek Greenway that I’ve recently come to find myself doing more often. What’s nice about it, is that you get your hills in for 3-4 miles, then get a nice flat fast 2 in the greenway to break up the road running and then back to the hills again.

Favorite distance? 5K – PR is 23:15

What’s next on your race calendar?

Bulldog 5K in April. Last year I was the starter. This year, I’m running it. :o)


  1. That picture is from a mile run race I was running at Fort Hamilton High School in Brooklyn circa 1977.

  2. hey mom that was good i learned a lot about how you run and other things i might have not known. I LOVE YOU

    great job,

    Dani Nicole Rubinich