Running Memories – Donnie Cook

Donnie Cook, Orlando

What are some of your PRs?
5K: 14:02
10K: 30:05
Half Marathon: 1:05:00
Full Marathon: 2:27:30

How many years have you been running?
48 years, 90,000 miles 

What is your favorite race? 
It has always been the Winter Park Road Race 10K.

What is your fondest Track Shack memory?
Traveling around to races in the early 1980s with Jon Hughes and the Track Shack team. We traveled in the old Track Shack van – complete with shag carpet, a refrigerator, and no windshield wipers. 

Why did you start running? When?
I started in 1969 for Glenridge Junior High School. I started to run in gym class and could outrun everyone in school. So, I kind of found my nitch.

What is the best advice you can give someone just starting out running?
Take your time and progress slowly. 

How has running changed your life? Did you set out to accomplish a particular goal? 
Running has formed my life - from competing in high school, to my choice of college running for FSU, to working at Track Shack for 38 years. Running has also carried over to my three children, who are all runners. 

What is something you think only a runner would understand?
A Porta-Jon can be runners’ best friend! 

What did you learn about yourself as a result of running? 
I learned how resilient the human body is.

About how many pairs of running shoes have you purchased?
I have purchased around 300 pairs of shoes. 

What are your favorite running conditions?  
My favorite running conditions are summer nights during the thunderstorms.

What do you do when you’re not running or working at Track Shack?
I spend my time boating and fishing.

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