every runner has a story
Meet Chris Baker
► From: Lake Wales, FL
► Started Running: 2019, at age 40
► Lakeland Runners Club 2022 Training Committee Chair
Little did Chris Baker know running was going to turn into a new lifeand totally change his life. He is in the best shape of his life now and he and his wife Kim have made some of the best friends through the Lakeland running community.
What is your favorite thing about being connected to LRC?
I am very proud that LRC puts on great events that accommodate runners of every pace and it’s all done 100% by volunteers. There really is no judgment. Just other people who love running, cheering each other on.
Why do you serve on the LRC board?
It means a lot to me to see kids, adults, faster runners, slower runners, all just getting out and moving. I love the programs and group runs that LRC provides to the community. I think they are the best part of the club.
What is your favorite running memory?
My favorite running memory is running the last mile and half of the 2020 Rotary Twilight 5k, neck and neck with Jose Almaraz. We had the best race and really pushed each other hard all the way to the finish line.
What is something most people don’t know about you?
In 2018 I was 70 pounds overweight and could hardly bend over and tie my shoes. I made the decision to get in better shape. Kim and I started out walking Lake Hollingsworth. Eventually I started running a little at a time, until I got up to a continuous mile. From there I just kept going. Anyone can do it. You just got to get up and start moving.
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The Lakeland Runners Club exists to promote running and fitness for runners of all ages and abilities in the community. We are led entirely by volunteers, and for many years Sarah Kozul has been a dedicated volunteer to the club, executing behind the scenes with many, many hours donated to the benefit of LRC, and the entire running community.
Lynn King has been a dedicated volunteer for the race planning committee since 2017 helping to execute the Watermelon 5k Series and Lake to Lake 10k. Lynn also served as secretary in 2019. Lynn has also coordinated the Tuesday night Pub Run for the local shoe retailer since 2019.
In 2012, a friend told Angi Griffin that it was so nice outside that they needed to walk Lake Hollingsworth instead of being stuck inside working out. They started meeting at the lake a couple of times a week. Angi was really intimidated being there because there were people running and we were walking. Some were even talking and laughing while they ran. After a couple of weeks, her friend said we should try running a little. That was a hard no for Angi. She didn’t run and didn’t like it, and besides, it might ruin her knees and she didn’t want to die (which she was sure would happen if she ran)! After a couple of more weeks went by, she started noticing there were some people much older than herself running. She decided she could try it and here we are today.