Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Runner in the Spotlight: Sarah Neumann

Sarah Neumann is a Registered Dietitian in the Charlotte Area. Despite having been hit by a car once while running and then again while driving, Sarah continues to bounce right back into the running or triathlon spheres. Enjoy the read!

Where do you work?
I work as a Registered Dietitian at Piedmont Medical Center in Rock Hill, SC. I wear a lot of hats there--I do inpatient work, counsel cardiac rehab patients and provide outpatient nutrition counseling. I noticed lately that I really enjoy working with the overweight children that come in to see me.

Do you find it difficult to find the time to train and work a full time job?
Yes, but I find a way to still squeeze it in! In the spring and fall months I've been taking graduate classes so that adds even more chaos. Right now I have no class so I work out in the morning before work and then again after work. It's my biggest social activity so without it my social life would be dull!

What's your favorite restaurant in Charlotte?
It's not really a restaurant per se but Earth Fare is a place I frequent a lot. I also really love Flying Biscuit and Toast in Davidson after a long hard workout.

How long have you lived in Charlotte?
I will have been here for 4 years in August. Best decision I ever made was to move here because there are so many fun things to get into and I've made so many great friends!

When and why did you start running?
I started running in the 8th grade. I joined the track team because all my friends were doing it and it sounded cool. The first day of practice I was the first girl to finish the one mile warm-up...I think right from that moment on I knew I'd be a distance girl. I competed in the mile and two mile throughout high school and loved it (even though we distance people weren't as popular as those sprinters!).

What do you love about running?
I love challenging myself to try and accomplish things that I haven't done before. My self-confidence has grown enormously through the years of training and competing. I also love feeling as a part of a community of runners who have the same love as I do. I think runners are some of the best people I know!

You do triathlons as well. What inspired you to take up your first triathlon?
I took up triathlons after an injury during the Boston Marathon in 2009. I fractured my lower back and swimming was the only activity I could do for awhile. After a few months of being stuck indoors and going stir crazy, I started noticing how much fun my roommate was having going out for long bike rides. It was a little intimidating to even think of trying out the biking thing since I knew nothing about it. Finally one day I decided it was time to take the dive and I bought a bike. I had no idea what I was looking for but as long as it had two wheels I was good to go (and l LOVE my bike by the way). I did my first triathlon a few months later and my life became much more exciting from that point on!

Favorite place you've traveled and loved for running?
I haven't traveled a whole lot but my favorite places to run are in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the scenery at the top of some of the mountains there are beautiful. One summer I bought a hiking guide and each weekend I'd drive there to run some of the trails. I really love Black Balsam and Tenet mountains for the 360 degree views at the top. Once I ran up the Mount Mitchell trails just for "fun" :)

What’s the funniest/strangest/worst thing that has ever happened to you on a run?
Ahh...the worst thing that comes to mind was getting hit by a car (and yes I am accident prone!). Somehow I survived a 30 foot airborne flight into the middle of an intersection with only a few road rash burns and broken bones. Really these days it's nothing out of the ordinary for me...

What's your most memorable race and why?
My most memorable race was the Boston Marathon in 2007. It was the day of days for me and I'd been training my butt off for months not knowing what to expect. It was the biggest race I had ever done and having so many spectators along the whole entire course cheering was just amazing. With a Nor' Easter sweeping through the city that day I still managed to pull off a PR in 3:16. Best. Day. Ever.

Favorite Charlotte race?
Thunder Road holds a special place in my heart because it was my first ever marathon and my first Boston Qualifier.

Where is your favorite place to run in Charlotte?
My favorite place would have to be Renaissance park. I am a trail junkie so any patch of quiet dirt trails with trees hovering over you equals paradise to me. Just down the road from us is Anne Springs which is also paradise.

What’s your favorite CRC group run to join?
I am in limbo with running right now, but for a period of time during the winter months I did the 6am run from the Dowd.

Favorite distance? PR?
Once upon a time my favorite distance was the Marathon (it's been awhile since I've done one). My PR from Boston still stands at 3:16.

What’s next on your race calendar?
My next big race is in August--my first ever Half Iron Man in New Hampshire with a bunch of my awesome triathlon/CRC friends. I am excited just for the fun and friends more than anything else!

What do you love most about the Charlotte Running Club?
I love that it is a great networking tool. I think it has created and provided an awesome community and camaraderie. We all have the same passion and it's great that we have a club that supports this. I don't know that many other cities have such a great athletic community as ours!


  1. Had no idea Sarah was such a trail "junkie" as she put it! We should get a group run out at renaissance someday!