Meet this month’s featured Texas Beef Team member, Mark Coleman, from Houston, Texas. He’s one inspiring, motivational person to be around and names “eating, running, and people” as best parts of life. “I’m always cooking, always baking,” elaborates Mark, “therefore, I’m motivated to run so that I can eat. I also love running (for the sake of running), but as you know running alone can be very boring. Running with other people gives us company and accountability.”
While Mark has always been into sports, playing football and baseball as a kid and running track in high school, he didn’t take up running until 2002. Ironically, it was his now ex-wife who got him hooked on marathons. “She wanted to run one,” explains Mark, “and I thought marathon runners were crazy. However, she started running with a training group, and then they invited me to run with them. Soon I had run my first marathon – it was a horrible race, but I was hooked.”
Since this first marathon, Mark has run 40 marathons, one international marathon, and two ultra marathons plus countless races of other distances. The marathon is his favorite distance, he thrives on the big crowds and excitement. Having been a runner all his life, he’s had his share of common running injuries but always bounced back or preserved on. “My doctor (who is also a runner) says she doesn’t know I can keep on running with my knees being so bad, and suggests knee replacements, but that’s not going to happen,” explains Mark. “Running is my world and I do it because it keeps me in contact with some of the most wonderful people you could meet. No other sport gives me as much satisfaction as running.” And, so Mark is carrying on by training for the California International Marathon in December 2020!
Regarding the global COVID-19 pandemic, Mark mentions how it “has thrown the running world into a tailspin” with race cancellations, which has affected not only his personal goals as a runner but also his ability to serve, for the time being, the running community in the race director (Houston Half Marathon) and volunteer roles he has taken on in the past. Focusing on the positive, Mark points out that this temporary race hiatus is a great time to scale back on training and focus on areas that need improvement, like speed and strength.” Soon we will all be running, racing, swimming and cycling in races or groups again.
Three Surprising Facts: 1) I dated a movie star in the late 80’s; 2) I was a police officer; 3) I want to be on Master Chef.
Favorite Beef Team Memories: Seeing all the team members at a cheering section or a water stop. Also, all of the fun times experienced at the retreats – especially, the softball tournament last year with Hollie, Jackie, and Jamie umpiring!
Favorite Races: I’d say the Houston Marathon – not only is it the largest race, but you see the most Beef Team members running and volunteering. As for non-sponsored races, the Wellness Runs and The Park run in Houston. These are two races that have very high Beef Team participation and are a great time – plus, they are free!
Favorite Beef Cuts: Tenderloin and T-bones.
Beef Team Love: I’m so grateful to be on the Beef Team because of the knowledge that I’ve learned about beef, the Texas Beef Council, and the beef ranchers. My experience with the Texas Beef Team has been so positive and every staff member have just been so amazingly friendly, knowledgeable, and welcoming. The members themselves are so friendly and encouraging and it feels like one big family no matter where you live in Texas. When you see a beef shirt, you’re not just seeing another runner or another member you’re seeing a family member.
Inspired By: Des Linden, Kara Goucher and Ryan Hall; All are great American runners.
Training Groups: I have a group that I coach call ATP (Advance Training Program) and I also run with the Houston Striders. I was a running coach for Katy Fit for 17 years.
Personal Records: One Mile (4:42:00), 5K (17:40:00), Half Marathon (1:35:20), Marathon (3:27:32) and 50K Ultra Marathon (5:28:18).
Race Reward: I cook for my friends!
Quotes: Stop whining and just shut up and run! Remember that dying is your rest break! Unless You Puke, Faint or Die, Keep Going (and puking is no reason to stop)!
Pre-Race Meal: Other than beef, chicken, and shrimp pasta or McDonald’s Double Filet-O-Fish
Best Advice: Trust your training!!!!!
Favorite Running Shoes: Hokas
Other Sports: Golf