Run GKTW Runner Profile: Matthew

1. How long have you been running?
I began running on April 8th, 2013 and bought my first pair of shoes on
April 15th 2013, with the Boston Marathon playing on the TV in the
background. Had no idea what it really was, besides a race, but somehow
the shoes I bought that day were Blue and Gold, Boston Marathon Colors
and they really helped me get through those first few weeks/months of
running. I would look at them and remember who I was running for.
2. Why did you start running?

I ask myself that question a lot and the honest answer is I don’t know. I
was fat, and tired of being fat. I wanted to get out and release life
issues that I felt were not allowing me to be whom I wanted to be and I
wanted to let the Lord Give me the Strength he says he gives all of us.
So I downloaded an app called Couch to 5K, loaded some music and began
to walk/run. Notice I put walk first. LOL
3. What was your first race?

First real race would have been the Monster Dash, Oct 26th, 2013. I ran a
10K and it felt good. I’m not a fast runner and I still took some walk
breaks as I learned earlier that week about the joys of imodium and
running, and due to some not so pleasant feelings, certainly needed it
that morning.. So many things to learn as a new runner as you increase
4. Why did you join Run GKTW?

Simple, this provided me with a way to stay committed and also give back
to an amazing organization that had served my family in 2009. When I
got home from walk/run on April 8th
I jumped onto facebook to “gloat” about being able to walk 90 seconds
and run 30 seconds ten times without passing out. The next post of
Facebook was GKTW announcing this team. I love Disney and GKTW was
giving me a chance to go back and run in this place? All I had to do was
raise $3,000? I got friends and family that can give me $3G, I thought
how hard could it be. Well it was much more difficult then I thought,
but the rewards were amazing, to have random strangers listen to the
story and then open up their pocket books. Old High School and College
Friends drop checks for a $100 or $500 was just jaw dropping. Give Kids
the World allowed me the opportunity to share my daughters amazing story
and at the same time kept me committed to doing something that would
benefit our whole family in the end. I have lost 35lbs thus far and as a
family we are creating a lifestyle that is more active and in the
process we are also serving others.
5. What is your favorite running tip/trick?
forget the Tape! As a slightly overweight runner I have learned that
certain areas of the body, may need a little more protection then others
as the miles increase. Nothing like getting into the shower after a
nice hot and humid Texas run for the first time, only to find out that
rubbed nipples in the center of your man boobs can be quite sensitive to
water. Wow that was shocking and I have never run without tape since
that time. 

6. Greatest Running Moment?

the WDW Half Marathon, I was pushing a 3 hour pace, happy with my time,
getting lots of pictures until I heard the Balloon Ladies were coming.
The Balloon Ladies are the 16 minute cut off and if your behind them at
certain cut off points, well your day has ended and trying to do Dopey, I
didn’t want my day to end so early. Well as I saw them pass I knew I
wouldn’t get my Picture with Mickey and it was time to get running. I
jumped back out onto the course and proceeded to work my way past the
Balloon Ladies and onto safety; however I didn’t expect what happened
next. I ran into another teammate wearing the “Dots” a term we have
adopted for running with our Bright Red and White Polka Dot GKTW
shirts. She was STRUGGLING and ready to quit at mile Eight. I come from a
military family and my only thought was No One Gets Left Behind and I
had just gotten my picture with Stitch just a mile before hand and
thought Mehalo means family and we “Dots” are family. So I began a
conversation, found out she was ready to quit, but encouraged her to run
30 seconds. Just catch the balloon ladies and then walk 30 seconds.
Once we did that, it was run to that tree and then walk, or see that 8
mile marker get there before the lady up there in pink. And that’s what
we did for five and a half miles we set small goals to keep the balloon
ladies behind us and the finish line in front of us. We weren’t getting
on a bus and nothing was going to stop us. I got to pray for strength
and healing for her at Mile 11, share how Christ called on his father on
that final hill and how we can do the same. We made it, and it was at
that moment, with tears in her eyes, that I knew why I began to run. It
was for others that I run, those that can and those that can’t. I will
never be a fast runner, but I will never forget those I run with.


Matthew is truly an inspiration.  Not only was he on the course supporting our teammate.  After WDW Marathon weekend, he decided to come back for Princess Half Marathon weekend.  In order for him to do that with the team, he is trying to raise another $3000 on top of the $6000 he already raised.  Oh, and he has to raise that $3000 by January 31.  

He started a 300 campaign.  If he can have 300 people each donate $10, he can reach his goal.  If you want to support his fundraising goals for Give Kids the World, you can make a donation here.

This entry was posted in fundraising, Give Kids the World, Run GKTW. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Run GKTW Runner Profile: Matthew

  1. Vince Vita says:

    Matthew is an inspiration to all of us on the team! Please help send him back to Florida to run with the rest of us and support this amazing place! GO DOTS…..


  2. Lucy says:

    Matthew is an inspiration and a rock star! I feel so proud to call you both team mates! GO DOTS!


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