Mark Wilkinson - Overland Park, KS
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Mark Wilkinson - Overland Park, KS

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 2001. 

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.

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