Mark Wilkinson - Overland Park, KS
I have shopped at Road Runner Sports online for the past 5 years. I began running in
Nike International shoes until they changed in 2001. I then mainly ran in Brook Glycerin
size 10 and Asic Nimbus size 10. In the past 2 -3 years, I now only run in the Asic
Nimbus because they hold up the best. I alternate 2 or 3 pairs at a time so that shoes
have plenty of time to dry out and I always have at least one extra pair of shoes that are
broken in for a long run.
I was never an athlete in high school or college. I got married at 25 and weighed
about 180 pounds. When I was 30, my wife and I were experiencing our first
pregnancy. We found out early on that we were having twins and my wife was sick 24 hours
a day. About the 14th week of our pregnancy, I went to an allergist who did a c-scan of
my sinuses because each year my allergies kept getting worse. Within 2 days, I was
notified that I had a massive brain tumor and needed to have surgery as soon as possible.
I got a second opinion and within 2 weeks was having my first hospital experience.
The short version of the story is that 2 weeks after the surgery we were notified that the
tumor was not cancerous, however I would have a future of lots of doctor visits and medications
to monitor the tumor and treat the damage caused by the tumor and its removal. About 3
months after the surgery, my weight was up to 225 because of the medication and hormone changes
from the surgery. I decided that I needed to lose weight and get in better shape before
our twins were born. I bought a pair of rollerblades and began skating in our
neighborhood. After the twins arrived, I would rollerblade them around the neighborhood
in a jogging stroller for miles. It was only after it started getting cooler in the fall
that I decided that I need to start running because it was too chilly to rollerblade and I
definitely could not do it in the snow.
I started out running but I could only go about 2 blocks and then walk for awhile. I
kept doing that until I could run an entire mile without stopping. In January, I set a
goal of running the Tucson marathon in December. I spent the year training and entered a
half-marathon in the spring. I ended up running the marathon in Tucson in 3:55 which I
considered good since my goal was just to finish. I ran 2 more marathons in
It was in 2004 that I started running more than a couple of marathons a year. In 2005, I
ran my 20th marathon and decided that I needed a goal of running my 40th marathon before I
turned 40 which is in 2008. I finished my 28th marathon in Toronto in September, 2006. I
qualified for Boston this year in Louisville, KY with a time of 3:13. My goal is to do 11
marathons in 2006 and get my 40th marathon completed before July 2008.
I am now the farther of 4 beautiful little girls. I am healthier and have more energy
than I have ever had in my life and my weight is remaining pretty consistent now about 170
pounds. I did end up having another tumor removed in 2003 however I was able to run
a marathon 2 days before my brain surgery and was able to bounce back quickly. I was back
running in 2 weeks. Running has really changed my life and I have made so many great
friends running and met some incredibly interesting people running marathons.
update: When I ran my first marathon in December 2000, I thought it may be my only marathon.
However, when I ran my 20th marathon last year in Seattle I decided to try to run 40 marathons
before I turn 40 in July 2008. The Dallas White Rock marathon was my 11th marathon in
2006 and my 32nd marathon toward my goal. I have modified my goal to now be running my
50th marathon in Hawaii the weekend that I turn 40.