Thursday, June 3, 2010

Runner in the Spotlight: Leonard Hilliard

Leonard Hilliard has had a productive decade. He started his own company, began running again to lose weight, and is in the process of raising two healthy children. Leonard brings an enthusiasm to the club that is appreciated by all. Enjoy the read!

Where do you work?
I am the President and Owner of BluePrint Logistics Inc!

Do you have any kids? Do they run?
I have two children Leonard & Mariama. Leonard is 5 years old and Mariama is 7. They have run in some hundred yard dashes.

What's your favorite restaurant in Charlotte?
Mertz, located in downtown charlotte...They have great cornbread!

How long have you lived in Charlotte?

I relocated to the Charlotte area in 1999 from Rochester, NY. Prior to that I lived in East Lansing, MI.

Favorite place you've traveled and loved for running?
Johannesburg, South Africa

When and why did you start running?
I ran one year of high school cross country and outdoor track. After a long hiatus, I started back running in 2007 for two reasons:
1. After the absence of any meaningful activity my weight had topped out at 260lbs which was very unhealthy.

2. There were several occasions where I was chasing my son and couldn't catch him (he doesn't run away anymore). It was absolutely the worst shape I had ever been in my entire life. I promised myself that I would get back in shape and live a more healthy lifestyle.

What do you love about running?
The fact that it is you against yourself.

What’s the funniest or strangest thing that has ever happened to you on a run?
Just recently, I was running with a group at Davidson College. We came across a snake on the run and Megan Hovis let out a scream that could be heard across the campus.

Do you lead or join any Charlotte Running Club group runs? What time?
My schedule is very unstable so it is difficult to attach myself to a particular run. Typically, when I run with the group it is out of Dowd at either 6AM or 6PM. I'm thinking about joining the group run at Lake Norman YMCA (closer to home).

What's your most memorable race and why?
2007 Twilight (5K) 1st major race after losing some weight. This was most memorable because of the pain that I experienced after a very fast, ill-advised start. I literally crawled across the finished line and thought I was seeing stars.

Favorite Charlotte race?
Greekfest 5k It's a very fast course which always presents a good opportunity to PR. (outside of Charlotte -- Coopers River 10K)

Where is your favorite place to run in Charlotte?
I don't have a favorite place. I mostly run at Latta Plantation and The Mallard Creek Greenway. I will run almost anywhere.

Favorite distance? PR?
5K, 18:46

What’s next on your race calendar and what are your goals for the next round of training?
My first 5K (UNCC) this season was a disappointing 20:25. My goal is to go under 18:30 (:17 seconds away) and run my 1st half and then run Thunder Road Marathon '10. Next race up is the Summer Breeze (5K).

What do you love most about the Charlotte Running Club?
The camaraderie within the club and running with like minded people.


  1. I love Mertz for breakfast! Great place to eat and the staff is always really nice there. Way to go Leonard! Enjoyed learning more about you.

  2. Mmhh,,is he married? I may start running...