The following blog entry was written by Steve “Hot Wheels” MacDonald. (Also referred to as “Captain America” by a group of RidgeRunners who secretly wish they had his biceps.)

I enjoy running and always looking for new challenges. I moved to Woodbridge in February of this year and I quickly found the Lake Ridge RidgeRunners: a fantastic running club right in my neighborhood. I began running twice a week with the nightly regulars. My speed was upper middle of the pack. Putting in the time each week I closed in on the heels of the top five. Feeling stronger in early summer, I decided to take my children along in a double jogger. Anticipating a poor time the first try on the course with wheels, I preemptively said, “I’m just putting in resistance training.” I did OK…much better than expected (not near last) and I liked it! I brought my sons, who are one and two years old, more often until I didn’t want to run without my little teammates. The joy of running with my boys is priceless. The youngest squeals with excitement and hops on board. While the oldest takes charge of retrieving the ride from the garage and helps load up water bottles. Together they point out buses, tractors and dogs! (Nothing motivates you like your kids out in front). The bonding time was irreplaceable:  just me, my boys  and the course ahead. If I second guess myself I know I won’t quit on them.

I soon became faster, burning eight-minute miles! It was on a  routine Tuesday night that I realized the speed had developed. On the down hills I  rode the heels of a fellow RidgeRunner who I knew had higher caliber times.  I continued to track through the turnaround point at the bottom, working the ascent back up and they hadn’t lost me still pushing. At that instant I realized I was holding velocity. I dug a little deeper, breathed a little heavier; it was neck and neck and at times I started to pull away. Kicking side by side, determined not to be “beat by two kids in a stroller uphill” only fueled my flame. Calling for more steam I redlined the boiler to the top leaving them around the corner never looking back. That was the defining moment: I knew the jogger would be competitive!

That became the jogger training regimen. I would push myself to achieve faster times until I was no longer neck and neck with anyone. Unless they were in the business of sub-7:20 minute mile cruising speed because that’s what it was going to take!

Running a jogger is a completely different machine than running with your normal stride. I have learned to move with the wheels much like a sled dog team. It requires constant compression on the legs: quads and calves pumping as pistons glide down hills, while leaning into the bar to power uphill like a locomotive building up steam and digging toes deep into the gritty pavement.  “It’s only a hill–nothing more, nothing less.” If there’s another runner in sight I’m firing an after burner and shifting gears!  My thrill is their agony.  “Beat by a stroller” forges me into my best. Wheels up!

Moving Stephen