Meet RUNColumbus team member Cris Gutierrez.

Why/when did you start running? I started in the summer of 2006. My best friend at the time, Katie, encouraged me to come out for the high school cross country team because I loved running the mile in middle school. Stuck with it ever since.

What is your favorite aspect(s) of running? Competition and community. The thrill of battling to the line is something that is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. Win or lose, the tactics that come with racing are what make this all enjoyable. Throwing surges, making moves, and just measuring your efforts against your competitor is something that has always fascinated me. It’s more strategic than most give it credit for. Community is what makes day-to-day training enjoyable. Finding groups that support each other regardless of your level is something that made me enjoy the sport following competing in college. I love competing but the community is what keeps me in love with this endeavor.

What excites you about being part of the RUNColumbus Race Series and Team? I love racing and I’m excited for the opportunity to race throughout the year and explore more of what Columbus has to offer from a racing perspective.

What’s your favorite race in Central Ohio? Columbus Marathon. The crowd support. The start. It’s my current PR (personal record).

What advice would you give to someone just getting started? My advice to someone just getting started is slow down, find a group, and don’t compare yourself to others. It’s always fun to run fast but you won’t find significant improvements from hammering each run day after day. I’ve found more success when I slowed my mileage down on my easy days. Community groups have provided me motivation on days when I don’t run.

@hoofheartedrunningclub has been my rock over the last couple of years. No matter how the day is I can count on running with my friends. Finally, we’re all on our own journey, everyone improves or takes to this at different rates, and that’s okay. Enjoy the journey you’re on and you’ll find fulfillment with this.

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Attention Race Directors! Scheduling for the 2023 series is underway.
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