Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Runner in the Spotlight: John Cantrell

John Cantrell leads one of the super early morning runs for the Charlotte Running Club at 5:05am every Monday. Not only does John run half marathons, but he also has completed some Ironman competitions. Enjoy the read!

Where do you work?
At H.B. Cantrell & Co Insurance, I work with family owned and closely held businesses on workers comp and business insurance issues, and help middle and upper income individuals have the proper coverage for auto, homeowners and life insurance at the most competitive rates in the marketplace.

What's your favorite restaurant in Charlotte?
Hawthorne’s Pizza on E. 7th St

How long have you lived in Charlotte?
39 years and going strong!

When and why did you start running?
My father had double bypass 10 years ago. In 2005, I decided I needed to shift to a more aerobic based program, from playing hoops and lifting weights to running. The 4 Mile Shamrock run in Ballantyne was my first race in 2005. I gradually kept extending my distance, ultimately to an Ironman in 2008.

What do you love about running?
When you’re done! I also love how it helps me manage stress throughout the day.

Favorite place you've traveled and loved for running?
Marine Corp Marathon, Washington , DC

What’s the funniest/strangest/worst thing that has ever happened to you on a run?
I have been attacked twice by owls. Once on Morehead St, and once on Lexington Ave. On Lexington, I shooed it away. Then as it sat on the speed limit sign and stared me down while I began to run again, it chased me again!!!

What motivates you to get out the door every day in this summer heat?
The SWEAT you get to feel! The endorphins when finished! The sense of peace all day!

What's your most memorable race and why?
It is either 2008 Disney Marathon because I had a grueling cramp for the entire run/walk around Epcot. The weather was 70 degrees at the 5am race start time and I failed to follow my target heart rate by 10bpm. The other would be Ironman Wisconsin 2008 that I completed as a result of the great learning experience in Disney.

Favorite Charlotte race?
YMCA ½ Marathon because right when you finish, you can conveniently shower and clean up just a block from the finish! How nice!

Where is your favorite place to run in Charlotte?
I love running on the 6 mile Booty loop starting at the Dowd Y.

What’s your favorite CRC group run to join?
I lead the 5am Monday run from the Dowd YMCA. There are about 2-3 other runners in the group.

Favorite distance? PR?
½ Marathon 1:45:00

What’s next on your race calendar?
½ Ironman – Patriots in Williamsburg in September 2010

What do you love most about the Charlotte Running Club?
The flexibility provided to find group runs wherever you are and at whatever pace you are or want to run.

Fun Fact:
I went from being a non-runner to an Ironman in 3 years!

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