Team Member Spotlight

July 2023

Laurie Kovar

Laurie Kovar, Texas Beef Team member from Victoria, TexasLaurie Kovar of Victoria, Texas is one busy working, running mom! By profession she’s a CPA and works as the Controller for BH Genetics, a company that produces corn, sorghum, and sudan seed, and other agricultural solutions, to help farmers achieve the best possible harvests season after season.

Laurie joined the Texas Beef Team in 2018 but says it feels like much longer because so many members feel like family to her. In addition to these deep friendships, almost her entire biological family is on the team – from her mother,father and sister, to nieces and nephews and, of course, her own son (see the family roster near the end of article).

Laurie’s husband, Ronald, is not on Beef Team, but enjoys cycling and helps alongside her at various volunteer events.  “Our nine-year-old son, Jake, is on Beef Team Kids”, says Laurie. “In the past, we’ve biked and run together for  various team challenges. But, now that he’s getting older, I’m hoping we can start doing 5ks with each other.”

Laurie took up running since high school, logging 3-miles as a warm-up before cheerleading practice. 

“In college, my sister Christie Mayer and I would always run the track at UT.  When I began working in my career, I continued to run for exercise,” explains Laurie.  “Today, I’m motivated to run for health and fitness, but also for fun!  I just like to run, and I prefer to run outdoors.  It’s my alone time. It’s my thinking time. It’s my prayer time.”

When Laurie is looking for some running role models for inspiration, she immediately thinks of her sister and mother without hesitation.

“Christie has been on the Texas Beef Team longer than me and her dedication to running is outstanding,” explains Laurie.  “She has planned trips for running, some far away, and has organized her weekend schedule just so she could run a race.”

“My mother, Angie Mayer, equally inspires me.  She is determined to continue running for exercise and health. If my mother can do it, then I can do it too! NO EXCUSES!”

Laurie mentions that her favorite race distance is a 10k.  She likes a 5k too, but finds that the shorter distance makes her too focused on running fast and trying to place – and that takes the fun out of it! In fact, her personal running mantra is “FOR FUN” and she says she picked these two, easy-to-repeat words because they help her relax, manage stress, and just “go with the flow.”  

When it comes to incorporating beef into her training diet and family menu, she names ground beef and brisket as the two cuts she prefers.  But she also likes steak!

“I’m a simple girl, I love spaghetti and meat sauce,” Laurie says. “When my husband is not working on the weekend, we’ll also cook ups some briskets. Usually we do a couple, but one weekend everyone in the family wanted their own brisket. So, my husband made five by pulling out all the barbecue pits and pellet grills we could find!”

“Honestly, one of the most useful things I’ve learned since being on the Beef Team are learning all the nuances of the different cuts of beef.  Now, I know what to shop for in the store, so I can have the best grilling experience at home.”

Read on to learn more about this amazing lady who received the “Ultimate Active Family” award at the Texas Beef Team Retreat this past May.

Other Hobbies:  I enjoy fishing, playing dominoes, watching movies, and spending time with my husband, son, and entire family. I love to fish, I play intramural kickball, and find it fun to ride 4-wheelers.  I absolutely love watching my nieces, nephews, and son play in their school and extracurricular sports.  I’m a hands-on mom with my son when it comes to baseball.  My pitching has improved this past year while helping my son with batting practice!  My son is also in Cub Scouts, so I do a lot of things with that, like a recent camping in Hunt, Texas. Other parents couldn’t believe how I am right there with the kids the entire time kayaking, canoeing, paddle boating, and swimming.  Other parents were at the campsite relaxing and taking naps, while I was going 110%!

Animals: I love animals! Two chickens showed up in our neighborhood in April.  Of course, we let them in our backyard.  My son and I drove around looking for the owners with no luck.  I posted online that we found some chickens, but no one claimed them.  So, WE KEPT THEM!  I believe they are Sussex chickens, and they are laying hens at that!  We are absolutely in love with them. I now follow several backyard chicken Facebook groups.  This new hobby is the craziest thing! Looks like when we get to move out into the country, not only will we have cattle, but we will also have chickens!

Favorite Race Story: One of my favorite race memories is the 5K at the Don’t Tread on My Tri in San Marcos.  My sister did the actual triathlon, but my mother and I were just doing the 5k. Before the race, we were visiting with people at the various booths and didn’t realize the 5K had started without us. When we figured it out, we had to run from the festival area to the start line to start line.  This was probably the best thing that could have happened because sometimes I have so much anxiety before races that I begin to dread them, my nerves just eat me up.  This time, I didn’t have a spare second to think about all that, and I just had to start running.  The course was hilly and, even though I started later than the other runners, I still managed to pass them up and place in the race!

Favorite Races: My favorite team-sponsored race was definitely the Shiner GASP bike ride. I really enjoyed this race, because I could ride with my husband, sister, and mother.  The race was for a good cause and the after-party was fabulous.  As always, my family passed out medals every year, which gave us the chance to congratulate others and meet new people.  Unfortunately, they canceled the race indefinitely this year. Now, I will be looking for my new favorite, sponsored race!  It just may be the Shiner Beer Run.

Beef Team Memories:  This past year, my mother, who is also on the team, and I had a booth at the Field of Honor for Warriors Weekend in Victoria.  My son helped post flags with Cub Scouts while there too.  The organization hosting the event interviewed me about our Beef Team booth, and I felt that I represented well.  This was truly an honor to me.  I am so proud of being on the Texas Beef Team and love to share good things about it to everyone

More Beef Team Family Memories: A very memorable thing that we did as a family was going out to my sister’s house in Nursery, Texas to run a 5K run all together for one of the team challenges a few years ago. We just ran from her house down the country roads and back.  Then, when we got back to the house, we had the kids do a little grilling for us in their Beef Team apparel.  We even made a video of it.  It was really fun!  Now, all the kids are growing up so fast.  I’m not sure that we will have an opportunity to do this again.  I’m glad that we did it when we did!  These are all my family members on the team:

  • Jake Kovar – son
  • Christie Mayer – sister
  • Angie Mayer – mother
  • George Mayer – father
  • Megan Miori – niece
  • Anna Claire Miori – niece
  • James Miori – nephew
  • Luke Miori – nephew
  • Emily Mayer Bain – niece

Running Obstacles & Injuries: One year, I broke my toe.  I had to stay off it for a while, but I did squeeze in a run here and there plus play my intramural kickball.  Luckily, it wasn’t my kicking foot!  During the past two years, I had gained some weight due to eating too much and not running enough.  This year, I made it my goal to get back in shape.  I’m eating healthier and running more again.

Post-Race Reward:   This may sound silly to some, but I reward myself with popsicles or snow cones!  I don’t drink alcohol, so this is my vice! I love the refreshing ice and sweet syrup! 

Hypothetical Celebrity Running Partner: I would pick Lisa Kudrow who played Phoebe on Friends.  If you’ve seen the episode where she runs with Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) in the park, then you just know why I picked her.  She runs for FUN!!!!

Favorite Running Gear:  I wear New Balance shoes and I have a favorite pair of running shorts.  Nothing specific about them, it’s just a comfortable pair!

Running Music:  I don’t listen to music while running.  It’s my quiet time to think and pray.  It’s my time to clear my head from all the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

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