As our first volunteer for Philadelphia Front Runner’s “Meet a Front Runner Series”, we sat down with Ronnie Russell. Ronnie has been a member of Philadelphia Front Runners for over two years and is always pushing our group to go out a little faster and a little harder each run. Come meet Ronnie during our Monday or Saturday runs or during one of our social events!
So Ronnie, when did you start running?
“I ran track and cross-country in high school and wasn’t very into it, so I let it go by the wayside during college. I started reading about ultra marathons during my senior year, something clicked and I’ve been running regularly ever since.”
What is your proudest running accomplishment?
“The 2018 Love Run half marathon here in Philly. I had mostly done full marathons and longer events until then, so it was the first time I focused my training for a “short” race. I ended up with a PR for the 5k, 10k, 10mile, and half marathon all in one race.”
What does being a Front Runner mean to you?
“I’m a pretty shy individual, so being in Front Runners is great for me because I automatically relate to all the other members as both a runner and as part of the LGBT community. We all have shared experiences as queer people that help to foster camaraderie within the group. Everyone is super motivational and encouraging, which creates a great environment for pushing yourself to achieve your goals.”
What do you do outside of running?
“I’m working toward a PhD in cell and molecular biology, so outside of running I spend most of my time in lab doing research. I bike commute everywhere and I try to swim and lift weights occasionally. When I’m home I’m usually binge-watching TV with friends and/or frantically worrying about getting enough sleep.”
5k – 16:57 (Philly Pride Run 2018) | 10k – 36:53 (Philadelphia Donor Dash 2018) | Half Marathon – 1:17:50 (Philadelphia Love Run 2018) | Full Marathon – 2:57:01 (Philadelphia Marathon 2017)
Happy running Ronnie!