Weekend Warrior: Gretchen Deatherage, Runner

51, Deputy Director of Standardization for the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service Cotton & Tobacco Program, Co-Chair for Mid-South Canines for Veterans, Coach for Memphis Runners Track Club (MRTC) Women’s Run Walk Memphis Program, Coach for MRTC Kids Run Program

Bragging Rights

In February 2017, I competed in my first 50K distance race in Ft. Worth, TX. For me, the win was finishing. I never in my wildest dreams saw myself running that far!

Bestie

My favorite event was the 2014 St. Jude Marathon. It was my first race at the marathon distance, and I finished it with my BFF Judith Glover. Yes, I did cry at the finish, and it was the best feeling ever!

I ❤ Running

Running gave me a chance to get out there, be active, and make life-long friends, but my achievements are all mine. No one can finish the race for you. It’s all you, baby!

Fitness Motivation

The youthful feeling I get from being active motivates me. I realize I’m not 29 anymore, but I am aging gracefully. That’s a good thing.

Next Challenge

I am currently training for the Big Butts 50K in July. I had to take the challenge with a name like that. It will be tough with the heat and the trails, but I will give it my best shot.

Go-To Gear

I always run with my Spibelt (also known as a fanny pack). I can carry my phone, fuel, toilet paper, Aleve, or anything else I may need. A sassy girl needs what she needs on long runs!

Get-Away

I love going to the beach. The smell of the salty air and the sound of the waves are very relaxing.

Best Eats

My favorite hangout in Memphis is The Flying Saucer. I love the vast beer selection, and I typically pair it with a Cobb Salad or the Soft Pretzels with Queso. Really, it’s about the beer. I am working towards my first plate on the ceiling.

Passions

I love music. I have played the tuba since I was 13. I played with the Bartlett Community Concert Band for about five years.

Indulgence

A new pair of shoes. I love them!

Mantra

It’s not a race, it’s a journey!

INTERVIEW BY HAILEY THOMAS. PHOTO BY TINDALL STEPHENS.

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