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Member Spotlight


Emily Gunther

Q: Tell me a little bit about yourself.


A: I am originally from Amsterdam, NY, went to college in Syracuse, and have been living in the Binghamton area for a little while now. So I’ve tried out some different parts of New York State throughout my life. I am a middle school science teacher. I love nature and am fascinated by the brain. My favorite season is Fall. I could eat breakfast foods for every meal. My guilty pleasure is watching reality TV. I like to laugh, candles, and a good lip gloss.


Q: How long have you been running and how did you get started?

A: I’ve been running for a while now, about 15 years. I started by doing track and field my freshman year of high school and ended up loving it. My friend easily convinced me to do cross country the next Fall and I ran both the rest of my high school career. I continued to run casually through college, mostly for exercise and to keep in shape. Then I discovered road racing a little while after graduating and I was hooked! I’ve been running races ever since.


Q: Would you rather run with a group or alone? Trails or road?

A: I do most of my training runs alone, but I love a good group run, especially for my long run or when I am feeling unmotivated. 100% I prefer roads.


Q: What is your favorite distance or race or running gear?

A: A few years ago this would have been easy to answer, but now, not so much. My favorite distance has usually been the 5K. It is short and sweet, but still very challenging and rewarding if you are pushing yourself to your limits. Nowadays, though, I am starting to like the slow burn of longer races a little more than that quick, intense burn of the 5K. Locally, my favorite race is the Halloween 13K. The costumes provide some comic relief and it is such an underrated distance (about 8 miles); it’s a good combination of speed and endurance without feeling like you’re sprinting or it being a huge time commitment. I think we need more 13Ks out there! [As for favorite gear,] I recently got a Roll Recovery R8 roller which has been great for loosening up tight muscles and really getting a deep massage in. I also love my Koala Clip, which is a zip pouch that can hold your phone or any other little things you might need when you don’t have pockets. It’s like an external pocket that you can clip onto yourself.


Q: What's the most rewarding thing about running and how do you stay motivated when you don’t want to run?

A: To me, the most rewarding thing about running is the connection you can make with yourself and the world around you. There’s something so wonderful about going on a peaceful, headphone-less run and just taking in your surroundings and all the beauty in nature. It helps you to appreciate the little things. Running also allows you to see all the amazing things your body can do, things you might’ve never thought were possible. One of my favorite things is the feeling you get after finishing a hard run/race. Runner’s high is real. [As for Motivation,] Sometimes it’s just putting on running clothes and getting out of the door without thinking about it. Or, thinking about how I’ll feel better after my run is done. Listening to music or a podcast can help too. Normally, signing up for a race and having a goal gets me motivated, though, so I have something concrete to work towards and a commitment to fulfill.


Q: What is your favorite running memory and any goals for the future?

A: There are so many good memories from running that I can think of, it’s hard to choose a favorite. One that stands out a little is when I set my half marathon PR. It was one of those days where everything just came together and I was running fast miles like it was nothing, even surprising myself with how easy some of the paces felt. It eventually got tough, but that good feeling lasted quite a while and it was fantastic. I also once ran a race that Meb Keflezighi also did, it was very cool to see him run past. I’ve been in a bit of a slump for a while now, so I am looking to build strength and get my speed back to set some PRs again. I’d also like to try some more half marathons and see what I can do in longer distances.


Q: Who inspires you most?

A: I get really inspired by people working toward and reaching their goals. Whether it’s an Olympian or someone who runs as a hobby, it is very motivating to see that dedication and hard work can pay off. It inspires me to work harder too.


Q: What advice do you have for new runners?


A: Listen to your body and ease into it. It takes time to build up your fitness and abilities. Rushing it can lead to injury. When you’re training, especially if you have a big goal in mind, you’re riding this thin line between getting the most out of yourself and doing too much. Your body needs time to recover too. A lot of new runners do the majority of their runs in this grey area where they are working hard on most of their runs. Don’t forget to take it easy and take recovery seriously. Keep easy runs easy, then hard runs can be harder. Running will get tough, but keep pushing through it. The satisfaction of your hard work is part of what makes it all worth it. Also, don’t be afraid to go to the group runs, there are a lot of great runners in the area to meet out there!


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