TSR Runner of the Week-Neil Johnson

By: Kayla Dodd

Congratulations to our friend and fellow runner Neil Johnson, on being our featured TSR Runner of the Week! Many have seen him at our finish lines, but he also likes to go ALL out with the costumes, Mohawk’s, capes, tutus and more!!!! Nothing wrong with having a little fun while doing what you love, running and helping to raise money for charities.

Neil has been on his running journey for 3 ½ years and is still going strong. His current PR is 23:50 (impressive)!!!! He is consistently running and participating in LOTS of races. His first race was the Team Toni 2nd Annual 5k in 2013. He is also very involved with this race, on a yearly basis and is always representing Team Toni!

Some of his running goals are to Run for God and run with a purpose and to also help others who are fighting diseases or illnesses, by being a part of several local 5k’s, who give back to charity. He is motivated to run by his friends and family members. He had lost his hearing but received his hearing back in 2011, when he had a cochlear implant surgery. Now he also wants to help others by participating in local races and giving back to those in need.

One of the coolest things he has seen at a race, was a woman who was confined to a wheelchair, get up and walk, using her crutches, for the last half mile of the race!! Now that is inspiring and motivational to anyone!

This past Saturday, September 3rd, marked Neil’s 100th race!!!!! With a time of 26:06 (which was a minute faster than his time at the same race last year), he placed 1st in his age group! Starting out just the 3 ½ years ago, he completed 10 races in the first year, 12 races the next year and over the past year and half he has completed 78 races! A dream race for Neil would be the Marshall Half Marathon in November!

His favorite running/motivational quote is, “No one fights alone! Together we win!” His best experience from running has been the outcome of a healthy lifestyle and being able to meet such a positive group of people and making new friends! His favorite brand of running shoes are Brooks and his favorite piece of running gear is the TUTU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! “After all, I set the bar high and became Team Toni’s ‘tutu boy’ in fall of 2013 and took Path to the Cure by surprise from 1 guy in a tutu to 165 guys in 2015!”

When asked what advice he would give to a beginner runner, Neil said, “Pace yourself and start out slow. Nothing is impossible. A runners high is an amazing feeling!”

Running has been instrumental in maintaining Neil’s physical and mental strength. He absolutely loves running local races and being a part of the community and giving back to others. He has made great friends and is always positive to be around. Be on the lookout for the man in the tutu!

Good luck Neil, on ALL of your running goals, TEAM TSR will see you at the finish line! Do you know someone who should be the TSR Runner of the Week? Comment below or email kayla@tristateracer.com. 

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