Meet this week’s #HogeyeHopeful, Mark Lucas. He recently moved to Northwest Arkansas from Minnesota and has embedded himself into the NWA running community.
Photography Art Director; my background is in graphic design
When and WHY did you start running?
Started running about 3 years ago for health reasons; high cholesterol and overweight. Running quickly became a huge stress reliever and my mind would just run free, so to speak. It’s so peaceful for me. I can shut everything down or try and help solve all the world’s problems. I cut back on alcohol, fast food and running has changed my life, if not saved it, especially now as I am entering a new phase in my life.
Where do you prefer to run?
I always run on pavement until I moved down here 9 months ago; now it’s a good mix between pavement and trails. I didn’t know much about trail running, so I use my pavement runs for speed, and trail runs are to help build up leg muscle. I have never been so sore after my first trail run!
Do you have a favorite route?
I live in Rogers, and Lake Atalanta is pretty much my back yard. I have a perfect route of 4 pavement miles which I can add to if need be and 6-10 miles of trails around the lake. There’s always a place to run and explore which is what I love.
What was your “I’M A RUNNER!” moment?
When I signed up for my first 1/2 marathon in Duluth MN. It was the “Wheels Off” run. Same route as Grandmas Marathon which takes you down the scenic shores of Lake Superior. I remember when the confirmation email came through, and I was like damn, I’m really doing this!
If you could go back and give yourself a piece of advice as a beginner, what would it be?
When I went out and ran my very first mile, I had no idea what I was doing and I probably ran it at a 5 minute pace, at least that’s what it seemed and felt like. That’s what I thought running was! So my advice would be to slow down. And, if you are thinking about running, start! Looking back I wish I would of started a lot earlier.
Do you have any racing superstitions or traditions?
Peanut Butter bagel and a banana before the run – every time. I also listen to the Grateful Dead as funny as it sounds, the music helps pace me as it’s just the perfect beat.
Do you run solo or with a group?
I like both, but I really enjoy solo runs – I like that it’s just me. I can try out different strides, breathing techniques, postures and I don’t feel as though I have to keep up with someone or they have to keep up with me. On the other hand, I really enjoy meeting new people and the “banter” that happens in group runs, plus group runs get me up in the morning and there is a definite start time.
Why do you run the Hogeye?
I’m always looking for that next run and I need that next run to keep me focused and on a training plan. The Hogeye fit perfectly for my training and I wanted to do a long run.
What makes it special? How many times have you run part of the Hogeye?
The special part of this is that it will be my very first marathon and first time running the Hogeye!
How can folks connect with you on social media?
I’m on all the platforms, though I don’t post much. I am helping with the Benton County Running Club website on facebook and have started posting runs there, but I just don’t post much about me, at least lately. I’m always open to meeting new people and connecting. The running clubs that I am a part of, I have met such amazing people and I am proud to call them a friend of mine.