TSR Runner of the Week-Victoria Knipp

By: Kayla Dodd

Congratulations to TSR Runner of the Week Victoria Knipp! She has been on her running journey for 2 years now and is absolutely loving it. Her first race was on July 18, 2015 at the Color Splash 5K in Ashland, KY. Her current 5k PR is 27:56 & her 10k PR is 1:01:44. Victoria has lots of running goals for herself, she said, “Many of my goals are constantly changing, as I push myself to do things I’ve never done before. I’m training for my first half-marathon right now, which I hope to run this fall at Marshall. Other goals haven’t changed a bit since the first time I laced up my running shoes. I want to keep running and breaking down my own boundaries for as long as I’m able, and I want to encourage others to do the same.”

When asked what motivates her to run, she said that is was for her love of junk food!!! Well, that’s just part of her motivation!!! Victoria said, “I first started running just to run a single 5k. I’d always wanted to do one and The Color Splash was coming up, so my husband and I registered. I’d cross that off of my list and move on to something else, or so I thought. After that, we found ourselves addicted. Now, it isn’t a single race that motivates me, but the opportunity to better myself physically, emotionally and mentally. I never realized how sick I felt until running took hold of me. I was out of shape and stuck in a sort of melancholy. Running improved my health and helped me to focus in all aspects of my life (I’m an artist, and I use my running time to process my thoughts, and plan for time in the studio). I’ve also met so many amazing people through running and racing, people who I wouldn’t have met otherwise and who constantly motivate me to run and push myself.”

One of her neatest experiences from running has been being able to recently coach a “Couch to 5k” group, this past spring. She said that this was one of her most exciting and fulfilling experiences that running has brought to her life. “Seeing each of the participants break down their own barriers and push themselves to do something they couldn’t do, even just a week before, was absolutely amazing.”

Victoria has a full race calendar of a few recent races and upcoming races she is working towards. Some of these races are the Happy Feet 5k, Night Moves 5k, Strike out ALS 5k, Bun Run 10k, Mission: Education 10k and 5k and the Barboursville Summer Series 4 and 5 Milers (3 is already in the books!) She will also be working towards the Marshall half in November! Her dream race is the Rock ‘n’ Roll half-marathon in Nashville, TN.

Her favorite running/motivational quote is: “That’s the thing about running: your greatest runs are rarely measured by racing success. They are moments in time when running allows you to see how wonderful your life is.”  - Kara Goucher Her 2nd favorite quote is: “A goal is just an awesome way to force growth on yourself.”  - Deena Kastor

Running has had a huge impact on her life and she has had several amazing experiences! She said, “I have had so many amazing experiences that left me in tears crossing the finish line. I guess nothing will ever top crossing the finish of that first 5k though. The first step is always the hardest, and if I hadn’t done it, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

A few fun facts about Victoria’s favorite pieces of running gear are: Brooks shoes (she just bought her first pair about a month ago and loves them), and it’s a tie for her favorite pieces of running gear – sunglasses (from the goodie bag at her first 5k) or KT tape (because of an old injury). Her farthest distance she has ran so far is just over 7 miles, but that number goes up every week as she is getting closer to her half marathon.

When asked what advice she would give to a beginner runner she said, “You might think that running is too difficult and that you will never be able to do it, but in reality, the hardest step you’ll ever take is the first one out the door. If you can just do that, then there’s nothing holding you back.” 

Victoria said that she is so much healthier and happier than she has ever been in her life…and this is all due to running! Running has affected her mood, body, productivity, social life and so much more. “I’ve done things just within the last 2 years that I never thought I’d be able to do, like running a 5k and then a 10k without stopping, or dropping my 3.1 mile PR under 28 minutes, and so many other shattered goals. Running has been a huge blessing in my life.” Congrats to Victoria on all of her awesome running achievements, keep it up and Team TSR will see you at the finish line!!! 

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