Running to Lose

When you think of competing in a race you’d probably think: run to win! However, for Gina, the goal was the opposite.  Running to lose weight was her original mission but through the course of her 100-pound weight loss journey what she gained was more than just a new, lighter frame. Read our interview with Gina below and be inspired by her journey from her first 5k to now being a regular weekender warrior! 

“At the time it seemed like a challenge. After running a few 5ks and actually enjoying it, things escalated quickly…”

running to lose, black bear half-marthon

Meet Ambassador Gina Stanley

Where can we find you outside from running?

During the day you can find me working as a salon coordinator for a busy salon downtown. In the afternoons you may find me doing home renovations or hiking. Some weekends I may be doing a Spartan race.   

How long have you been running and how did you come to love running? 

I started running in 2018, my goal was to complete my first Run Disney 5k. At the time it seemed like a challenge. After running a few 5ks and actually enjoying it, things escalated quickly and I began trying longer distances.

How were you able to fit running into your schedule?

Fortunately my kids are older and I would go to the gym after work.

How did your life change after running?

“The more I ran the more I enjoyed it…the sense of accomplishment after every race.”

Running became a huge focus. The more I ran the more I enjoyed it. On weekends we tried to find any event we could to run in. There also was the sense of accomplishment after every race. 

Which iDaph race are you most excited about? 

I just completed the Jump Off Rock Half Marathon and shortly I will be doing the RAD Half Marathon. The Black Bear Half in the fall is one of my most favorite.

Which iDaph race has been your favorite to date? 

Last year’s Jump Off Rock was my favorite. I finally ran an under 2 hour half.

jump off rock, jump off rock half-marathon

What about the events make it fun for you? 

I love the race atmosphere, watching people challenge themselves. The look of accomplishment people have when they cross the finish line.

What brings you back to the iDaph event races each year? 

iDaph races are by far the most organized and fun. Most races have levels for all abilities. 

What advice would you give to anyone struggling to get into running or fitness?

“Just start!”

Just start! I first started walking 3-4 times a week and eventually it turned into running. Also, I suggest the 10,000 steps a day goal. I try to have 10,000 in every morning before 10am. 

Personal race day mantra?

“Just keep going. Don’t give up; Don’t ever give up.” (Jimmy Valvano)

Music or no music when running?

Music, yes! Got to have a good playlist. 

Running with a group or solo? 

I run both.

Favorite running shoe? 

By far Hoka Bondi or Rincon

“My biggest advice to motivate someone is just give it a try. Do it a few times before you decide you don’t like it. If someone had told me five years ago that I would have been running marathons I would have thought they were crazy. Once I started running I found out I loved it and the challenge.”

Just start!