Crystal Owens

bel air 5K/10K coach

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I used to run by myself in high school but never stuck with it because, let’s face it, sometimes it’s hard. Fast-forward to 2008 when a friend asked me to start running with her…I was only 90 seconds into an outing, but instead of running I stood in the middle of the road crying because (again) it was hard. This time everything was different than before. I now had someone there to hold me accountable and encourage me to keep going. After all, if she believed in me shouldn’t I believe in myself?

I’ve now run more 5Ks than I can remember, 16 half marathons, and 3 marathons (one, of which, was an ultramarathon.) I have never stood on a podium or placed in my age group, but what I have done is develop into an athlete with an amazing catalog of memories and love for the sport. Every race has a back story. Every training run brings me closer to realizing new goals. Every single step – whether hard or easy - has taken this girl farther away from the old me who wanted to give up.

I am now a certified personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine who has trained people who are new to running as well as those who want to take it to the next level. I’ve seen my clients go from never exercising to running 5Ks and half marathons. I’ve seen others hit their half marathon time goals and go on to run full marathons. It’s a beautiful thing to see people who think they can’t to knowing without a doubt they CAN.

I would encourage anyone thinking about running to take the first step. It doesn’t matter what your pace or physique is. It’s all about YOU and YOUR goals. You’re going to find yourself surrounded by a supportive group who had to take the first steps themselves. We’re all in this together. I completely believe in you so shouldn’t you believe in yourself?