every runner has a story
Meet David Casanova
David has been a LRC Member since 2019. His first race was the Watermelon 5k and his favorite race is the Mayfaire 5k. David is originally from Georgia and has a goal to run a sub five-minute mile before high school.
What motivates a young man of 12 to put down the phone and controller, lace up his shoes, and go for a run in the summer heat? Desire, determination, and an early awareness of a key fact of life – goals don’t come to us, we must run to them.
David began running consistently in 2019 after joining the LRC Kids Run Club and ran his first race that same year when he participated in the Watermelon 5K Series. Encouraged and supported by his Dad Julio and Mom Aida, David quickly discovered a love for running and a talent for doing so. Not surprising when we learned that Julio, Aida, and Sister Isabella are also runners. You’ve heard of the “Flying Wallendas”? Meet the “Running Casanovas”!
“Running has given me a sport to compete in and one that I can progress in”
This year David will join the LRC Lightening Cross Country Team that practices three times per week and runs 3-4 meets from August to October. Though his favorite distance is still the one-mile (5:51 PR), David is rounding out his running portfolio by training for distance. David also participates in the Tuesday Night Interval Training Group and is signed up for the Watermelon Series. His favorite race is the Mayfaire 5K because of the festive atmosphere and challenging course.
“I’m injury free because I know my limits”
David is being coached and encouraged by Julio and family, LRC Coach Brian Heipp, and local pro Jon Mott. Part of his training includes cross-training with weights and exercises. He is already learning the value of a well-rounded training program and has remained injury free as a result. One might conclude that David has matured beyond his years and . . . one would be right. This is a young man who approaches running intellectually as well as physically. He has goals for each training run as well as race objectives, plans his runs accordingly, and consistently executes. His next big target is to break a five-minute mile before entering High School. Knowing him the way we have come to know him, we can safely predict that goal will be accomplished.
Running with David or sitting with him to hear his story, we become inspired regardless of our age or ability. In an ever-changing and complex world; we are reminded that focus, determination, and discipline are still the key ingredients for success in running and in life. We get to define what success means for us (probably not a sub five minute mile in my case) and then we have to decide to do what is necessary to get there. Old or young, fast or slow, that formula remains the same. Within David we find everything needed to turn dreams into reality. And David is Twelve.
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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.
After escaping the bitter winters of the Northeast and moving to Lakeland in 2018, Abby recognized how large and active the running community is in Lakeland. That recognition led directly to a decision to take up running for the first time. And, as we all have learned or will learn, getting started is the hardest part.