Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Runner in the Spotlight: Danielle Crockford

Danielle Crockford was last year's Run For Your Life Grand Prix Series Winner. Married to Chad Crockford, they are quite arguably the third fastest couple in Charlotte! Although Danielle ran in college at Loyola (Maryland), she was a super secret super fan of the Wake Forest Women's Cross County Team when she attended law school at Wake. She's been in Charlotte ever since, and the running club always appreciates her sarcasm and humor at six am.

Where do you work?
McAngus, Goudelock, & Courie. I practice workers' compensation defense.

What's your favorite restaurant in Charlotte?

Bentley's on 27 for special occassions, Cabo Fish Taco or Big Daddy's for a more wallet friendly experience.

As a lawyer, is it difficult to squeeze in runs sometimes with a busy work schedule?

Yes, I try to run in the morning so I can work late if necessary, but sometimes I need to be on the road at 6am for a court hearing so on those days I just try and sneak in whatever I can after work. You just need to be flexible with your weekly schedule and willing to work around whatever pops up.

When and why did you start running?

I started running during the summer of 1995. I wanted to make the freshman soccer team and we had to do a "3" mile run on the first day of training camp (it was more like 2.7 miles). I ran the course pretty much everyday and ended up one of the first finishers. I should have known then that my future was not in soccer.

What do you love about running?

I love that running can be as simple or as complex as you want/need it to be. Somedays it's just me and the road. Other days it's me, the garmin, the ipod, and a structured workout.

Last year you finished first in the Run for Your Life Grand Prix Series. Can you share a little bit about that experience?

I started the Series last year hoping to finish top 3. When I realized I was going to win it all, I was pumped, but changed my goals to be more time focused- I didn't want to slack off since I had already accomplished my big goal. It was an amazing feeling to know I had outrun and outlasted so many talented runners.

What are your goals for this year’s Series?

My goal is to finish in the top 3, which is good since more fast women are running this year so winning would be quite the challenge! It's a good thing I got my win in last year. I'm really excited to see the women's race be so fast this year. It really helps to have other women to chase in races, not that chasing the boys isn't fun, it's just not the same.

Your husband also runs…Would you say it’s safe to assume you and Chad are the third fastest couple in Charlotte?

It must be nice having a training partner always on hand… I'm not going to claim we're the third fastest couple in Charlotte. Val and Dan Matena still live here and I don't want to be challenged to a race. It is great having a training partner always on hand. If one of us isn't motivated, the other can help. Plus you never have to do a workout alone.

Favorite place you've traveled and loved for running?

Washington DC is awesome. There are so many great places to run between DC and Alexandria, VA. And lots of great places to visit and eat when you're done running.

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

I got engaged on a run. That's a bit unusual.

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

I don't intentionally lead any runs, but I'm usually at the Dowd 6am runs on Wednesday and Thursday and will lead if there is no one else up to the task. I can't say I blame anyone for not wanting to have to think while running at 6am.

What's your most memorable race and why?

Probably the Blue Points 5k last year. My parents were in town from NJ and came to watch the race. I ran my best time of the year by nearly a minute and won the women's race. I got a sweet mini helmet signed by Julius Peppers as my trophy. It was a lot of fun to win in front of my parents, run a great time, and get a cool prize. The Steamtown Marathon also gets a shout out because I destroyed by prior PR by 27:19 and had both my parents and my in-laws along the course cheering me on. If I had broken 3 hours it would have been my most memorable race. Next time!

Favorite Charlotte race?

I really like the Corporate Cup half-marathon and the Greek Fest 5k. Corporate Cup is the first big race of the running season which is fun and Greek Fest is flat, fast, and has free beer afterwards.

Where is your favorite place to run in Charlotte?

It's a toss-up between the McMullen Greenway and the Davidson Trails.

Favorite distance? PR?

My favorite distance is a new one for me- 10 miles. I did the Cherry Blossom 10 miler in April and it was incredible. Far enough for my endurance to be an advantage, but not too far that I'm walking downstairs backwards for a week. My PR is 1:01:48.

What’s next on your race calendar?

The Run For Your Cause 4 miler on July 24th, although I'm not ruling out jumping into another race between now and then.

What do you love most about the Charlotte Running Club?

Other than the amazing people in the Club? I love having people to run with. It helps me stay focused and dedicated even when the weather is terrible. I really think it has helped to improve my running and my times substantially.

1 comment:

  1. Charlotte's Fastest Married Couples or Just couples? Married then 3rd place until Val and Dan are officially out of town. If the criteria is couples, Jordan and Meagan are pretty solid contenders :) Danielle is another super cool runner in town. Talented but humble. Thx for sharing with everyone.