Hello from Buckeye Bunny!

Hi everybunny! My name is Shannon, a Columbus native who has never left the great state of Ohio, and who loves her state despite (because of) its quirkiness.  My love of bunnies and running started almost around the same time.  I started running so I wouldn’t put on the freshmen 15 (which didn’t work) and DH adopted my first bunny for me in 2005.

While no one would ever guess that these two passions of mine have merged, they somehow always seem to come together.  In 2011,  I ran the Columbus Marathon and raised $600 for the Columbus House Rabbit Society and in 2014, I ran 100k (62 miles) and raised $3,000 for the Ohio House Rabbit Rescue’s Be The Voice Campaign.

I love running and I love my rescue bunnies.

Besides my husband, I share my home with three rescue buns.

Thurmmie “Tan Tan”

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Bert, the bunny

Bert

and Mandi Girl!

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Each one of these cuties brings me so much joy and they have such unique personalities.

As a runner I have finished 7 marathons, two ultras and a bunch of halves, 10k’s and 5k’s.  I also am part of a local group called the Fleet Feet Pace Team.

I am also the Race Director for the Run Your Buns Off 5k and Hopper One Mile.

As you can see my love of running and rescue rabbits seems to have come full circle.

Besides the bunnies, I am a doctoral candidate at The Ohio State University, studying education and the history of educational reform.  I love to travel and hope to one day live on the beach next to the ocean (preferably the Gulf).

Recently I changed the name of my blog to more appropriately reflect me as an individual; I am calling it Buckeye Bunny: An Ohio Girl who Runs for Buns.

I hope you will join along for my running journey and enjoy the antics of my bunny friends along the way.

 

Hop to it!!!!

 

PS- Shout out to my Grams, who always reads and comments on my blog, she nurtured my passion for writing from an early age.

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Fleet Feet Columbus Pace Team

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There is so much going on right now. I am writing a dissertation, working full time, my husband just started new work as well. So things are a bit of a whirlwind. Running used to be my way of staying sane despite what might be going on around me. Lately even that hasn’t felt as good as it used to. Every time I go out to run I feel like I am taking time away from the other activities that I should be doing (the dissertation). For a while I gave up running regularly and I found it just didn’t sit well.

What keeps me moving is the Pace Team I am part of, through Fleet Feet Columbus. We participate in many of the local runs around Columbus Ohio that are organized by M3S Sports. Both M3S and Fleet Feet are all about celebrating the active and healthy lifestyle. So, the races are typically a giant party-a well-organized giant party. This past weekend the race was the NHL 5k and there were somewhere in the neighborhood of 3,000 participants. In May, I will be pacing the Cap City Half Marathon again which has close to 15,000 participants.

I love every minute of pacing. I love getting to meet new runners and learn more about their ambitions or goals. Sometimes it’s their first race, some are coming back after an injury- and some have been at it for quite a while and are looking for a new PR.

I love being a part of their journey. It reminds me of why I started running races in the first place. The camaraderie. For there is nothing like the spirit of a race.

Oh, and I get another chance to wear my ears and tail!!!

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The Columbus Marathon and the Six Hour Cutoff

For the record, my first marathon finish at Air Force in 2006 was 6:01.  I have been a ‘back of the packer’ since then with all seven of my marathon finishes being over 5 hours.  The year I had the best training I still finished in 5:19.  I am a reasonably healthy, younger adult, so I realize I should be improving (or could be) upon that finish time.

Recently, the Columbus Marathon made the decision to change their cutoff time for the marathon race from 7 hours to 6 hours, thereby essentially eliminating walkers, and slower runners, from the race.  Other changes were made to the race, but this one change alone has seemed to stir the pot a bit.

There are (understandably) some very upset people who feel dedicated and supportive of their hometown race that can no longer participate due to the changes.  I can empathize with that.  But the more worrisome issue is the nastiness that has arisen from this.  This grumpiness is not one sided.  It comes from both the turtles and the hares.

When determining whether or not to participate in a race, I certainly look at the course closing time.  I have never been angry, or upset by one that has a faster cutoff time, I just choose not to participate.  In fact, this year, I was registered for the Revel Rockies race which has a course closing time of 5:40 because they can’t stop traffic from using the roads.  As a slower runner, I knew that there was a very real chance that I would be pulled from the course, but it was a challenge that I wanted to take on.  Sadly, altitude sickness prevented me from participating, so I never got to see if the wagon would pick me up or not J

Ultimately race directors have to make decisions and work within certain parameters.  They do their best to put on an event that is inclusive and welcoming to as many people as possible, but the fact of the matter is they have a business to run.

What DOES NOT need to happen is the plethora of negativity that has erupted as a result of these changes.  Pardon my French, but there is enough terrible sh*t going on in the world and running ain’t one of these problems.  To be a little tongue in cheek, this is what I like to call a #firstworldproblem.  But, in all reality that makes it appear as if I don’t understand and empathize, when that is truly not the case.

As someone who has been at the back of the pack for most of her running career, I can assure you that the nastiness from faster runners is very real.  When I first started I have had some people be very rude and demeaning to me because of my pace- I have had to learn to let that go.  I have ALSO had to learn that not everyone who is fast is going to be mean and negative, when in fact so many of them are exceptionally encouraging and inspire me to be my best running self.  Some of them are dear friends.

I tend to lean on the side of being more inclusive when it comes to running events.  The fact of the matter is there is an obesity problem in this country.  Sure, there are people who are perhaps a little out of their element and running distances that are a little ahead of their skill level, but they will figure that out for themselves.   I don’t think that is the majority.  I like to believe that most of the folks who are participating in a marathon (even if they are one and done) are people that simply want to challenge themselves to be the best version of themselves.  They want to be a part of a community of people that value fitness and good health and camaraderie.

In the 10+ years I have been running and competing (mostly participating) in races, I have run the gamut of paces.  At my fastest I could run 8:30 minute miles through a 10k and at my slowest I was trotting at 13.

Running is truly an individual journey, in the end we could all do a little better to be kinder.  Not just with each other, but with ourselves.

Keep plodding (or racing) along my friends.