IMG_3503I was born and raised in East Conemaugh Borough, a small  suburb of Johnstown, Pennsylvania.  I’ve always considered myself an athlete with the ability to excel in some sports and not so much in others.  My first sport growing up was baseball.  I wasn’t great at any one position but was average at many positions.  By the time I reached high school football had become my main sport.  I was good enough and fortunate enough to play four years of college ball at Division III Saint Francis College of PA.  Running wasn’t something I particularly enjoyed or did much of until 2002.  I began running that year to drop a little weight and get myself back in shape.  Eventually I began participating in races from 5k’s to 10k’s to give my running a purpose.  Marathon running wasn’t something I thought about much but in 2006 I was running well enough and long enough that I did run my first marathon in Cleveland, Ohio.  It was at that point that my book began to take shape in its earliest form.  Between 2006 and 2007 I had run four marathons and began to write about not only those marathons, but the experiences leading up to and after them along with the mental aspects of the sport of running.  Given my background in sports, I never would have considered running an actual sport, but after completing nine marathons and understanding what it takes to put on a pair of shoes and head down the road, there is no doubt in my mind that running is a sport.  And a very difficult sport.  I have become addicted to it.

Much like running, writing was not something I really aspired to do much of either.  In fact, when I entered Saint Francis as a freshman I initially declared as an English major.  My dream was to become a sports broadcaster or a writer.  But once I saw how many term papers I was going to have to write I changed my major to sociology.  My career path has taken me into the world of human resources, which is a story in and of itself.  Despite not following through with English Communications, I not only wrote sports for a few newspapers as a contractor but did a little radio and television as well.  Somewhere deep in the recesses of my mind I have always enjoyed writing.  When I began writing about my experiences with marathon running I started to blog about it as a way to keep me motivated.  Although I haven’t written much on it since completing the Boston Marathon in 2011, it is still active at  Running and then writing about it became an obsession that eventually led me to the writing of this book.

In addition to running I still remain active in sports as an ice hockey official and baseball umpire.