RUNNING DAD PROFILE:
NAME: Anthony Sanders
RESIDENCE: Camp Pendleton, California
FAMILY: Married to Shanna with a 3 year old daughter named Lovelynn and a baby boy due in September named Everest
OCCUPATION: United States Marine: Amphibious Assault Vehicle Mechanic, and Instructor for our Basic Vehicle Repairmans Course (entry level school, similar concept to the Army’s ‘A’ schools)
Introduction: No, Anthony and I are not related. I have followed Anthony’s running adventures for a couple years now. We share the same running coach and overlap interests on social media. I have admired Anthony’s service to our country and his devotion to his family. He was also recently named a SKORA Ambassador, so we share that distinction along with the same last name.
How long have you been running?
I have been running since I came into the Marine Corps in 2003 and I had to get ready for boot camp. But I didn’t start really enjoying running, and getting into races until 2009.
What has been your proudest running moment?
That’s a tough one.
My first full marathon (Okinawa 2010) was a great accomplishment, but I think completing my first 50 miler last year (Kodiak 50 – Big Bear, CA) takes the cake for now.
How have you been able to balance family, your military career, and your passion for running? What challenges have you faced?
During the work week I am able to usually get my training in during my lunch break, or integrated with the physical training sessions we put our Marines through. The biggest challenge is definitely time, particularly on the weekends. When I have time off, the priority is spending it with my wife and daughter. Sometimes we are able to go on runs as a family, otherwise I try to get my training done in the morning, before we start the rest of the day, or during Lovelynn’s nap time.
Tell me about the marathon you did in Japan. Also the 50 miler you did. Any advice for a first time 50 miler? (I might try this year)
The marathon I did in Japan last year was the Okinawa Marathon, the same one I did as my first marathon in 2010. That course is such a fun one, although it’s very hilly and fairly challenging for a road marathon. It’s one of the biggest events on the island and it really feels like the whole island is out there to support the runners. Almost the entire course is lined with people cheering you on. It’s very cool.
The 50 miler was the Kodiak 50 in September, 2014, and it’s held in Big Bear, California. The course was beautiful and had a nice mix of jeep roads and some great singletrack. The crux of the course is a canyon called Hades, and uses the Siberia Creek trail, which was, until a couple years ago, unusable. The race staff had spent quite a bit of time doing trail maintenance to open it back up, and it was well worth it. You descend about 2500 feet over a couple miles, then climb 3000 feet back out over the next 3-4 miles. Once I got past that, I was much more confident that I would be able to finish, and it was just putting a foot in front of the other until the end. I had my wife and daughter with me, and Lovelynn ran up to me as I crossed the finish line and gave me a huge hug. I definitely had some tears in my eyes, it was a beautiful moment.
Is your daughter interested in running yet?
My daughter loves to run around and has even told my wife and I that she’s “running like mom!” or “running like dad!” She’s also very independent so sometimes she tries to run a little too far ahead and we have to chase her down. She also does really well when we put her in the stroller for runs and it’s a good way to spend time with her and get miles in at the same time.
Did you have a running influence in your life? Like a family member that runs?
My influences in running have primarily came from reading about and meeting other runners like Scott Jurek, Timmy Olson, and Patrick Sweeney. But, my wife has definitely been an influence for me the past few years as she has become a strong runner herself. She got to the point that she was able to do longer runs with me and we’ve been able to share a lot of really fun miles together. When she was pregnant with Lovelynn she ran until about 7 months, and stopped because her belly was getting big enough she would accidentally hit the stop button. In the current pregnancy she’s still getting her miles in like a rock star!
Any advice for running dads or moms?
Make the time to go run! Schedules get crazy, everyone’s busy but you have to meet that resistance and push past it. If your partner runs, great, throw all the kids in strollers and head out the door. Or get your runs in while the kids are sleeping. Sometimes you have to be that ‘crazy person’ who is running at 5 am or 11 pm. And lastly, if you can, spend the money on a decent running stroller like a B.O.B., we picked ours up used for a steal.
Check out Anthony’s blog – Dirty Simple Fitness