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How I Started My Running Journey

Hi everyone! My name is Meredith Beaver and I’m a volunteer for Run Harrisonburg. I am a junior on the cross country and track team at JMU. I’m a health science major on a pre-medicine track. I am so excited to meet everyone face-to-face in the future, but I’m glad we can all still stay connected from a distance!

I began running with my dad and my older sister at a pretty young age. Because my dad was a professional triathlete back in the day, we ran lots of 5k road races together for fun and he would always encourage us to run. The Charlotte Turkey Trot was my favorite race that my whole family would participate in every Thanksgiving. We would even dress up and wear silly hats!

My cousins and I at the Charlotte Turkey Trot in 2010

My dad had high hopes that his ‘running gene’ would be passed down to his kids. Lucky for him, I ended up joining the high school cross country team in 8th grade. I remember him dragging me out of bed each morning to start training for summer practices. He would run circles around me (literally) while I took multiple walking breaks. Now, my dad can’t even keep up with me on easy days!

Once I started training with my high school team, I fell in love with the sport and loved being pushed by my teammates. As a little 8th grader, I idolized the upperclassmen and dreamed of becoming as fast as them. I also loved racing and being competitive with myself. Soon enough, I started scoring points at big races, which were my favorite. My dad was my biggest supporter and would always run around the course with his stopwatch, giving me my splits and yelling “you go girl!!!”

Finishing the 3200 at our state meet

I soon got offers from college coaches and decided to sign for JMU! Looking back, running has made me a much stronger person and has given me memories I'll never forget. Aside from racing, my team has given me so much support and the team atmosphere is so special to me. I am so excited to mentor the Run Harrisonburg kids the same way the upperclassmen mentored me when I just started out running!

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