Unified Relay Prepares for Vermont City Marathon

“You know you’re a runner when ‘you’re crazy!’ becomes a compliment!” – Unknown.

My name is Shane Beam and I didn’t become certifiably “crazy” until April of 2012. I ran cross country in high school (graduated in 2005), but that was simply because I was trying to get into shape to be a better basketball player. High school ended, college came and went, and I put on a lot of weight. I went from playing in a basketball all-star game in high school…to weighing 380 pounds on March 21, 2012 (my 25th birthday). I knew I needed to make some serious lifestyle changes, or else I was on track for serious health consequences- or worse. In about a year I went from weighing 380 pounds to about 200 pounds. I did this via diet and exercise, no surgery and no gimmicks, and took my life back.

Over that year, I developed a new-found love for running. I went from trying the ‘couch to 5K’ program (I could barely jog 15 seconds when I started), to aiming for much bigger goals. I ran one race in that year (a 5K), but knew I needed to do something drastic – therefore, I decided to get ‘Unplugged.’ I ran the Run Vermont Unplugged half marathon in April of 2013, one year after deciding to transform my life, and finished in 1 hour and 46 minutes (an average of 8:10/mile). I blew my own expectations away and realized that the limits placed upon me were only in my head – I was truly capable of anything. I have since run the Unplugged race 3 more times (twice for myself and once to support a friend), the Vermont City Marathon 3-5-person relay once, and the full VCM two times (finishing in about 4.5 hours each time). Running has truly given me my life back.

Running has also introduced me to so many amazing people. The Vermont running community has been instrumental to any success I have had, and I firmly believe I wouldn’t have finished either of my marathons without that support. The Vermont running community has also introduced me to an amazing young man, a true ‘Rockstar!’ His name is Johnny Moretti and he and I are running the 2-person relay at the VCM this year. To say I’m excited would be an understatement. I met Johnny last September and we instantly hit it off, primarily due to our shared love for running. In talking about our running experiences, Johnny (who has run NINE half marathons, on both the east and west coast) and I realized that we are two completely different people, but that we have more in common than we would have assumed.

First, we are both amazing singers (just kidding – Johnny is the amazing singer, he has performed the national anthem at sporting events and it will give you goose bumps). Second, we discovered that we both have a shared love for a dry sense of humor (this is not a joke…get it? I promise it’s funny to Johnny and me). Third, and most importantly, we both discovered that we both have our own ‘baggage,’ so to speak. We talk openly about our challenges related to our everyday lives and related to running. We both realize that running can be the vehicle, in a sense, to help us deal with any issues we have going on. We push each other, we challenge each other, we sometimes annoy each other, we motivate each other, but above all else, we care about each other and our success, as teammates and as individuals. I see the challenge Johnny faces and it motivates me. Johnny sees the challenges I face and it motivates him. Our bond, and connection, is running and it has brought us closer. It has been therapeutic for the both of us.

This bond has lead us to the challenge of individually conquering 13.1 miles each, with a collective goal of dominating 26.2 total miles. We train together 3 days per week and we are putting in the work to have a good showing at the Vermont City Marathon this year. We have set up certain goals, time and pace wise, but our biggest goal is simple – have fun! Johnny is graduating from his school in August and this will be a fun event for him, with lots of support from the people that support him and from the Vermont running community. I’m running the first leg and he is going to finish strong across the finish line, looking like a true ‘Rock Star,’ because that’s exactly what he is! We’ll run hard, fast, smart, and motivated. But, most importantly, we will run for fun. If you see either of us running along the course, don’t hesitate to shout out to us (a simple ‘Two Shanes’ for me, and a ‘Rockstar!’ for Johnny would be more than enough). Any and all support is gladly appreciated, and will help us more than you know.

Isn’t that what running is all about? The accolades, PR’s, etc. are amazing…but it’s the support that WE provide each other, that’s where the true meaning of running comes into play. To that end, I have included a link at the bottom of this page. Special Olympics Vermont has graciously sponsored our entry into the VCM, and we would love to raise $500 to help support Special Olympics Vermont athletes. This is an organization that is near and dear to our hearts. Any amount is more than enough, and any sharing you could do would be amazing as well (I can be reached at shanebeam05@gmail.com for any questions about this).

Make a donation now!

Thank You so much for reading a little bit about Johnny and me. We look forward to seeing some of you on Sunday, May 28th. Feel free to tell us how ‘crazy’ we are for running 13.1 miles…we appreciate the compliment!

– Two Shanes and ‘Rockstar

 

“Surround yourself with people who challenge you, push you, and motivate you.”