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Our members come from all walks of life and are of all strides. Our Member Spotlight is one way to get to know your fellow runners.
This month’s Member Spotlight is on Rob McAnnally:

Background (Age, Gender, Birthplace, and Running Experience): Robbie M. McAnnally (Rob); Age 50, M, Born in Groton, CT, and I’ve been racing since 2016–I was a reluctant runner training for the US Air Force and a cyclist prior to meeting Elizabeth and being lured into running for real.

What is your formula? What are the common classes or recovery elements this member does/uses? What are the common classes or recovery elements this member does/uses?  I am early morning gym guy — I love formula run, tread and train, and train classes for full body fitness combined with running longer distances outside.  I’ve been trying to increase my weekly mileage for the last few months and during the quarantine, I’ve been mostly successful, but I miss the tread and train work a lot.  For recovery, I love, love, LOVE the compression sleeves and cryo treatments.  I’d like to work the IR sauna and some PT massage into my recovery elements too.

Why did you start running? Initially, I started running to conquer the 1.5 mile run for the US Air Force.  I actually started by getting up before high school and running for 20 mins, gradually increasing my endurance time and speed to pass the test.  Later, in college, I ran with AFROTC and ran my first 5K and, during my first assignment, on a lark, I ran the Malmstrom AFB “Warrior Run” where we repelled off the command building in full combat boots and web gear, picked up an M-16, ran 6.5 miles our to the obstacle, completed the 1.5 mile obstacle course, and ran 6.5 miles back to the finish.  I was 25 and could basically just pick up and go at that point–not the way to run essentially a half marathon in combat gear LOL!  I ran off and on for years, but got really serious when Elizabeth O’Reilly encouraged me to train for a race–she said, “C’mon, it’ll be fun!”  My first race was Pacer’s St Patrick’s Day 5K/10K/Double–we ran the double–and it went well, so I ran the GW Classic later that year and thought maybe I could do a half marathon.  Two weeks later, I was sent to Geneva, Switzerland for work and upon arriving at the US Embassy, I was talking to people at the post about where to run in Geneva and my recent 10-mile race.  I mentioned that probably my next goal should be a half marathon and they said, “Oh really?  Well, the Geneva Marathon is next weekend, registration is still open and easy on the web, and they have a half marathon race.”  At that point, I was stuck–no backing down now for the new guy, so I signed up and ran it without knowing if I could–I pulled a 1:54 time and thought that REALLY WAS FUN and that was it–I was hooked!

Favorite quote? “Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.”  -Winston Churchill

What are your hobbies?  Running, biking, fitness, and travel.

What is your PR in your favorite distance? 1:47:49 in the United Half Marathon. 1:20 flat on the GW Classic. Half Marathon is easily my favorite distance, although the challenge of running my first marathon is calling.

What is your pre-race ritual (meal, sleep, general preparation, etc.)? Post-race? Spaghetti dinner the night before with an order to go, lay out my clothes, gels, affix my bib, get to bed a little early–wake up and eat the to-go order of spaghetti (cold, of course), gear up and go.  Post race–I like to give thanks for being fit enough to complete the race, shower up and get a little champagne with Elizabeth (or maybe a beer at the finish if it’s just me running that day).  I joined FRC because I wanted to be part of a running community and to learn more about running.  I particularly loved the focus of all the strength training to what a runner needs to grow and improve–and I loved the recovery services, which are often left out of most gym experiences.  The focus on training AND recovery is so important, if you are going to maximize your performance and propel yourself forward as a runner.  I’ve learned so much from all of the coaches and athletes–different approaches, mindsets, and techniques.  It’s incredible how much it’s improved my enjoyment of running!

Do you have a favorite class/service?  Back to back Formula Run right into a Train class with Jim is for sure my favorite combo–it really pushes me and feels like a real accomplishment if I survive!  Love the compression sleeves too.  

Favorite workout music? I love current music–pop, rap, hip-hop–to work with.  I lived through the 80s and am not all that motivated by a throwback soundtrack (Sorry, Carol!) even though Liz loves it! LOL. My race playlist has some killer Coldplay, TobyMac, and a mix of high-paced pop music.

Do you have any races lined up in 2020? Goals for 2020?  I had big goals for 2020 (the year I turned 50) for races and training with FRC.  Unfortunately, COVID had other ideas, so my spring races were all cancelled—Unite.d NYC Half, Cherry Blossom 10-miler, GW Classic, and the Popular Brooklyn Half.  I also wanted to run the 50th NYC Marathon, as my first marathon at age 50–I can’t imagine that will happen now, but I will continue training and deepening my running and fitness.  People are dying, so the races can wait.  It’s a small sacrifice to make to help defeat this virus.

What has been your favorite part of being a member at FRC?  The encouragement, love, and support of a down-to-earth community of runners.  There are incredible athletes at FRC, but I have never felt out of place.  I’m not an incredible athlete–I just love running–but the FRC community has embraced my goals and encouraged me to challenge myself in ways that help me grow without ever making me feel like I was less.  It’s an amazing group of people and I cannot wait until it’s safe to reopen.  I am excited to see where this journey takes all of us.

If you or someone you know would like to be featured in our Member Spotlight, please email i[email protected]