Chris Turner, a local resident of Tallahassee, Florida is an experienced marathon runner, cross country coach, and father. His running journey began when he was 29, realizing that his younger self would want more for him before he turned 30. So in 2013, Turner went big and ran a marathon and a Half Ironman. Since then, Turner has run 11 marathons with three of the 11 run in one year!
Turner loves to pace Disney races and is very involved in running-related events outside of his own training schedule. His most memorable half-marathon was this past year at the DONNA Breast Cancer Marathon Weekend, the only U.S. marathon dedicated solely to raising funds to finish breast cancer. Seven athletes that he coaches trained with Turner and ran their first half-marathon, making for a memorable experience. On top of that, he also paced a friend to their new personal record. When asked about his most memorable marathon, he said it's a tie between the 2015 DONNA (his PR marathon of 4:09) and the 2022 Boston Marathon which was “a memorable experience in and of itself."
Chris is a Galloway runner, using the Galloway pacing method, so a normal training week for him incorporates easy runs, tempos, drills, and cross-training. The weekends are then dedicated to speedwork, mile repeats, or a long-run.
Running for Mental Health
Chris is running the TCS New York City Marathon as part of his bucket list of races since he is going for his Six Star Medal, a medal that's earned when you complete all six Major Marathons (New York, Boston, Chicago, London, Tokyo, Berlin). He is also trying to knock out all 50 states by doing at least a half-marathon, half-ironman, marathon, or full ironman in each state. Turner’s ambition and drive have greatly impacted his running abilities and in turn, his mental health.
“There are times when you just need to be,” he expressed. “As scary it is being alone with your thoughts sometimes when you’re alone with your thoughts and pushing your body, it allows you to push through your thoughts.”
Turner coaches high school cross country and frequently shares with the kids what he's learned during his own personal running journey. “The only person you’re trying to do better than is yourself," said Turner. Getting out and challenging yourself, no matter how long or short of a run, is a great feat and something to be proud of.
Running for Still I Run
Turner found out about Still I Run through Lindsey Hein's podcast I’ll Have Another. He's been a big fan of hers because of her support of the DONNA Foundation. After hearing Sasha Wolff, SIR founder and director on the podcast in May of 2021, he'd been keeping tabs on Still I Run. When SIR announced they were a charity partner for the New York City Marathon earlier in 2022, Chris knew he wanted to support Still I Run’s message and represent them in New York.
Turner stated, “let me do some good with what I’m trying to do,” which encourages him to support, represent, and fundraise for Still I Run.
Running for mental health all ties back into his role as a cross country coach. Being a coach is not only training runners physically but providing them with a support system and healthy physical and mental outlet. Turner’s openness about mental health and his personal experience is something he takes great pride in and wants to share with others by any means necessary.
The Joy of Running
The emotional impact of running a marathon, the training leading up to it, and reaching the finish line is a true joy for Turner. "The ability of your body to achieve that type of goal and the overwhelming emotions that come with that accomplishment is unbeatable." The amazing feeling that he gets at the finish line is what pushes him to continue doing it and as long as that feeling continues, and he's still having fun, he'll keep crossing finish lines!
Turner encourages those new to running to “laugh hard, run fast, and be kind”, which is a quote from Dr. Who. Chris' other tips for runners?
Always enjoy what you're doing
Laugh along the process
Enjoy it when it’s tough
Don’t compare times
Go with whatever your body is able to do.
Be kind to yourself and to your body
Rest when you need to
We are so unbelievably excited to have Chris Turner representing Team Still I Run in the TCS New York City Marathon and can’t wait to see him at the finish line. To follow along with Chris’ story and support his journey, we invite you to join us on Instagram and Facebook.
We want to recognize and do a shoutout for the amazing businesses that have stepped up to sponsor our NYC team and runners! Please check them out!