Runner of the Month
Runner of the Month is a series of short interviews with various athletes from Focus-N-Fly to highlight their success and the motivation they use to keep running.
Kevin O’Brien is a resident of Fall River Mills, California (70 miles east of Redding), where he manages dispatch logistics and fertilizer billing for McArthur Farm Supply. Kevin grew up in Corning, California, before heading to Chico State University, where he graduated in 1999. Kevin has been married for nearly six years to his wife, Georgia (who coincidentally is Coach Dena’s first cousin), and has two young kids. One August day last year at a family gathering, Dena encouraged Kevin to try Focus-N-Fly as he and a few other family members where planning to attempt the Long Beach Half Marathon and he tended to do so much of his running alone in the small town where he resides.
Gloria grew up in Houston, Texas, and has been married since 1969. She and her husband Raul have two kids: a daughter, who works as a surgical tech, and a son who graduated from Texas A&M and is stationed with the Navy in Spain. Gloria is a retired (December 2008) postal service employee and her husband, who grew up near Brownsville, Texas, is a truck driver for a concrete company. Gloria joined Focus-N-Fly through its partnership with the 2010 Aramco Houston Half Marathon, which she completed successfully in January.
Angie grew up in Ottawa, Canada, where she studied Mechanical Engineering at Queen’s University. After graduation, she worked for a management consulting company in Toronto for a few years before coming to Stanford for business school. Although she thought she would only stay those two years, she remains a San Francisco resident. After earning her MBA, she had dream of trying to hit the Olympic qualifying mark in the marathon for Athletics Canada, but injuries held her training back. She tried to do an Ironman, got injured more, and as she puts it, it was “time to go get a ‘real job’.” After a stint in venture capital, Angie now works as the Director of Product and Business Development at Ruba, an online travel startup that does lead generation for tours.
Originally from Spokane, Washington, JR Roberts crossed the Cascades to attend the University of Washington after graduation from University High. With a focus on zoology and chemistry while at UW, he initially worked in a vet clinic, and credits his science background with allowing him to communicate effectively with clients in his current position at a medical device company that provides treatment ports for cancer patients. JR has been married for five years and has two older sisters. He also has a pug, whom he describes as more of a “400 meter specialist.”
Lisbet Sunshine grew up in New York City, before graduating from Yale University in 1986. Following graduation, she moved out to San Francisco as an alternative to moving back to New York. A friend’s crash pad provided an initial couple months’ security while out on the West Coast, and 23 years later, northern California has become home. Lisbet works as the Director of Government and Community Relations for San Francisco State University, part of a twenty year stretch working in politics and government. She is married with three kids, aged 5,5, and 7.
On October 4th at the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon, Lisbet qualified for an amazing fifth Olympic Marathon Trials with a 2:45:11 clocking. She took a few moments with Focus-N-Fly after a busy Halloween weekend.