Last night was a big night for the man many of my running friends credit for getting us to where we are as runners. Danny Haralson is a local running coach here in Birmingham, Alabama. Through his Run University, Danny has coached several thousand people over the years. Last night, we had the honor of celebrating Danny’s 60th birthday. Credit goes to his lovely wife, Micki, for pulling off a giant surprise party. Of course, there was never a doubt that Danny would show up since the party was at Cahaba Brewing Company in downtown Birmingham. There was a great crowd there to honor Danny and to help him celebrate.
If it weren’t for Danny, I would most certainly not be running at all. I reluctantly joined his Couch to 5K (C25K) program in May 2008 and our target race was the Race to the Courthouse near the end of June. In all honesty, I hated the running for just about the entire first six weeks, but I credit the way Danny runs his program to keeping me involved and interested. Although he really doesn’t charge enough, Danny sends almost daily emails to the members of his program. I still contend that the emails alone are worth more than his fee. His emails are filled with bits of information related to running around topics such as clothing, nutrition, and inspiration. You can tell as you read his emails that Danny is writing the very same thing he would be saying if he was standing in front you. He is constantly encouraging you and reminding you to focus on what you can do, not what you can’t. Before you know it, you’re running 3 miles and ready for the 5K. The best part is that it doesn’t stop at the 5K unless you want it to. Danny will work with you all the way to a 10K, half marathon, and marathon. It all depends on what you want to accomplish.
Because of Danny’s methods and the great friends I’ve made running, I’m still going and can’t imagine what my life would be like without running. I guess I would still be that lazy overweight guy sitting on the couch watching TV. Instead, here I am four years after Danny’s C25K program having run 16 marathons (including two 50Ks and a 10-hour endurance run) and 20 half marathons in addition to numerous 10Ks, 5Ks, and various other distances. I would not have done ANY of that without Danny Haralson. That’s why I always give him first shot at my drink ticket!