Grounded Running Earl Pope – Featured Runner of the Week
Every runner deserves to be featured here! Earl Pope – Featured Runner of the Week is an amazing spotlight and we are honored to feature him here. All have their unique attributes and stories. The aim of having a Featured Runner of the Week is not to necessarily single out any individuals but we want to feature runners who through their uniqueness may one day inspire you to run or reach for new running highs. Every runner has broken their own barriers, whether it was the first big obstacle to take the first running step or entering a race. Each runner will have their own story and to most these stories to others are very inspiring.
We welcome your feedback and nominations of runners who you feel deserve to be featured here. Our Featured Runner of the Week is selected at random. Every runner deserves to be mentioned and we will do our best to select a wide field of runners to bring their stories for you to enjoy.
This week we feature another amazing local runner that can be found running and racing around the Lowcountry and will be focusing on expanding his racing up north this year as he takes on the New York City Marathon for a great cause! This week, let’s take a few minutes and get to know Earl Pope:
Earl Pope – Featured Runner of the Week
Name: Earl Pope
Where are you originally from? Ridgeland, SC
What is your favorite distance race? Why? I don’t really have a favorite distance to run because I enjoy doing all different distances in an effort to push myself to limits I didn’t think I could ever achieve. With that being said anything from a Half Marathon and below is good for me.
What originally got you into running? About 5 years ago I noticed myself getting really out of shape so I decided one evening I would start running a mile to try and get back into shape. I couldn’t run the whole mile without stopping to catch my breath and hoping I wouldn’t die. At this same time my youngest son was diagnosed with Epilepsy and my running took on a whole different meaning to me. As I became stronger and in better shape my focus was to raise awareness for Epilepsy in every race that I attended. I started the slogan #teamcoop for my son and it quickly caught on. After running some local 5k’s I began to get interested into triathlons and haven’t looked back since. Not only do I enjoy running but I like the sport of triathlon in that I must put together three different workouts into one race and complete it. It brings mental toughness to a new level for me and knowing that my family is waiting at the finish line to congratulate me makes it all worth it.
What is your main motivation to keep going? To maintain a healthy lifestyle and stay in shape. Sometimes I question myself as why do I subject my body to this much pain then after a workout I know exactly why. The feeling is like no other when you finish a workout and set a goal for a race and accomplish it.
When you are not running, what do you do? My wife and I have 3 kids so we stay very busy with High School sports. I also enjoy hunting and fishing when time allows.
What is your next race? My next scheduled race will be a Sprint Triathlon on Tybee Island in June but I am sure I will find a race to sign up before then.
Describe your perfect run? Anytime I can get out outside and run is a good day to me. Being from a small town it’s nice to run/bike out in the country and enjoy the beauty of the outdoors.
What piece of advice do you have for someone who is just starting out? Don’t get frustrated and give up. Stick with your training routine and build mental toughness with each workout. Running is something that is so rewarding so take the time to enjoy each run.
What has been the single greatest thing you have gotten back from running? I would say that I have gotten myself back into shape and enjoy a healthy lifestyle. I have changed my eating habits and it has helped me fuel my body for workouts.
What are your goals for this year? I will be running the New York City Marathon in November with the Athletes vs. Epilepsy and the Epilepsy Foundation. I am doing several fundraisers to help raise money for this event and raise awareness for Epilepsy. Last year during a run I had an idea that I wanted to run one more marathon and wanted to push my son through the race together. I started emailing the powers to be in New York about the race and started to get some feedback from them. In February I received an email that they do not allow strollers in the race so then I decided to just run it by myself and team up with the Epilepsy Foundation. My goal is to raise money to help fund the Epilepsy Foundation to find a cure for this disease. My son that has Epilepsy has always wanted to see the Statue of Liberty so this November we will make his dream come true. If anyone would like to donate there are several ways that you can help out. You can go to my fundraising page that was set up by the Epilepsy Foundation and donate online: CLICK HERE
I also have a bank account set up at South State Bank that you can mail your donation to:
South State Bank: NY Marathon Team Coop, PO Box 880, Ridgeland SC 29936
This will be my biggest accomplishment in my running career and look forward to the challenge ahead but with training, mental toughness, my family and support from friends all things are possible. I would like to thank Tim Waz and Grounded Running Beaufort for his support in this effort.
Thank you for taking the time to tell us your story Earl, you continue to motivate and inspire those around you through your ongoing friendship and support of the local running community! Keep up the great work and we wish you the best of luck this year! #staygrounded #runbeaufort
Grounded Running Beaufort
864 Parris Island Gateway Unit B – Beaufort, SC 29906 – 843-986.4523