Weekend Warrior: Chris Hanson ~ runner

Age: 50

Occupation: Pediatrician at Laurelwood Pediatrics

Family: Wife, Linda; two daughters, Emily and Carrie; two schnoodles (schnauzer poodle mixes) Jade and Ruby.

I just completed the MRTC Road Race Series and the St. Jude Half Marathon.

My wife, Linda, and I will be running our next half marathon together at Disney World on Jan. 6. We’re really excited to run in one of our favorite places to vacation!

 I’m really proud of the way I got into my most serious exercise and fitness habits over the past two and a half years. Soon after I turned 48, I set a goal of running my first half marathon. I bought new shoes and started running. Six months later, I crossed the finish line in the St. Jude half at 1:59:59, and so far each year I’ve been able to continue to push my time a bit faster despite getting a bit older.

Most of my running is done alone, but there is such a great community of runners in Memphis that encourages each other. Most of the competition in running is really with yourself and against your own goals, not against each other. It’s really cool when I get to talk to someone else about their running and celebrate with them over setting a new PR, conquering a new distance, or just finishing their first race.

My running playlist is very specific. I always run to tempo. Literally every step I take is timed to the music, so I pick songs based on tempo as well as style. Some of my favorites include: “Just Like Fire” by Pink, “On Top of the World” by Boys Like Girls, and “What I Like About You” by The Romantics. The list is really diverse, but it keeps me going and keeps my step pace pretty consistent.

Once you hit certain milestone birthdays you start to look down the road and make lifestyle choices that will help you be healthy over the next few decades. When I’m out running and see those warriors in their 70s running beside me, I’m so encouraged about the incredible effects that staying fit has on someone’s overall health. But beyond those longer-term benefits, every day I run just seems to be a better day!

INTERVIEW BY HAILEY THOMAS. PHOTO BY PHILIP MURPHY.

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