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October Athlete of the Month - Mike Begnoche!

Oct 26, 2021

Mike Begnoche never considered himself a runner. 

“When I was younger, I really thought it was stupid,” he says. 

Now, at the age of 55, he’s helping others achieve their running goals, be it just to finish a race or meet a specific time/pace. 

Mike began running about 6 years ago when he was invited by a church friend to attend a training information meeting at Go Run, which is now Fleet Feet. What started out as a way to burn some calories and stay in shape turned into a change of lifestyle. 

“Instead of dinner and a couple of beers on Friday night I found myself heading to bed to get up for an early Saturday morning long run.”

After a couple of years, Mike’s wife Sandy started running, too. 

His involvement in the Fleet Feet training groups led Mike to running half marathons as well as “a network of great, positive people,” he says. 

Mike encourages anyone new to fitness to never give up and to focus on their goals.

“Many people just getting into running or strength training at the gym feel embarrassed by what they can or cannot do and that other people are judging them,” he says. “Trust me, the majority of the veteran fitness people out there are happy to see others getting started toward a healthy lifestyle.”

While he hasn’t always been a runner, Mike has always been active, playing sports in high school, intramurals during college and keeping fit with strength training at the gym.  He enjoys a variety of outdoor activities that include running, hiking, snow skiing, biking etc.

Mike’s next fitness adventure could be cycling, or perhaps even a triathlon. 

“I enjoy getting out on the bike and feel that would be the next step after running,” he says. “I think a triathlon would be cool but the swimming part is pretty intimidating.”

Mike and Sandy have been married for 26 years, and plan to stay active for a variety of reasons. 

“I’ll continue hiking, skiing, running and to enjoy the many more trips over the upcoming retirement years,” he says.  “Exercise is the best way to build a healthy lifestyle and it also provides a good example for our kids. We had our kids a little later in life and I enjoy keeping up or even out running them occasionally.” 

Plus, he’s seen others not be able to enjoy the activities he and Sandy get to take part in. 

“I exercise to stay healthy and active so that I can continue doing what we love to do for many years to come. ”