Wayne County Challenge

Featured Runner - April 2015

Editor's Note: Steve was the Challenge's 2014 second place overall male runner.

Name: Steve Hayes           
Age: 35
Occupation: Executive Director, Hayes Arboritum

When and why did you start running?
9th grade. I wanted to get active in an extracirricular activity at school. There were no try outs or cuts, and my older sister really enjoyed being on the team.

Why do you run now?
I enjoy the running group in Wayne County and I like feeling good after a run.

What is your biggest running/fitness accomplishment so far?
3 hour 42 minute marathon during the Ironman Wisconsin 2013.

What is your next running/fitness goal?
Finish the Xenia marathon feeling good (not sure about a time).

Editor's note: Steve finished in 3 hours 40 minutes.

Describe your typical running week. 
Tuesday - 6 miles, Thursday - 6 miles, Saturday - 15 to 20 miles

What other activities do you use to supplement your running?
Spinning (cycling) and swimming

What is your favorite running-related snack/product/gadget?
Snack: Cliff Bar, macadamia
Product: "Sole" brand insole - Always in my shoes.
Gadget: Flashing light or headlamp for safety on early morning runs. 

What are your pre-race rituals?
Lacing shoes up just before a run. I like shoes snug and I will wait to moments before the run to lace-up.

How do you get through a tough run?
Usually I will focus on a simple single task. It can be as simple as carrying a gel, glove, keys. Sometimes I count or, if I need a challenge, I will calculate mile splits within the projected total run time.

What is your favorite thing about running?
Seeing improvement over time and effort.

How do you motivate yourself on days you don't want to run?
I think about the great feeling after a run and focus on that.

Who is your running hero and why?
Brendan Mahoney, a teammate at Marist High School in Atlanta, Ga. He was a top athlete in the state and went on to win national titles in the mile (4:03:18) and 800M (1:49:00) as a high school senior.

What is your biggest running-related pet peeve?
When spectators yell "you're almost there" and you are miles from the finish.

Are you a morning or evening runner?
Morning, the Early Risers running group is great!

Are you a solo or group runner?
Group - I frequently tell people about the Running Wayne County group and the Wayne County Challenge, great ways to meet new people and stay active.

What is your favorite type of run?
Long with rolling hills

Fill in the blank: 
I love running because: it is relaxing.
When I run I think about: all kinds of sutff, my mind wonders.
The hardest part of running is: setting appropriate goals.
The best running advice I ever received was: "hills are your friend" (High School Coach, Roy Benson).