The only mission of the Greenlee family on Valentine’s Day was to complete in the “Stadium to the Sea” Marathon that was held in Los Angeles. The course started at Dodger Stadium and ran across Los Angeles with runners going through the Sunset Strip, Hollywood Drive, the palm trees of Beverly Hills and the famous Rodeo Drive shopping district. The scenic marathon ended just steps from the Santa Monica pier.
Altus native Jeff Greenlee, wife Lisa, their three sons Adam, Alex and Todd, and nephew Zach all met in California to participate in this 26.2 mile marathon.
Jeff started running for better health and to stay in shape. He ran his first marathon in 2008 in Dallas, Texas. After completing his first marathon, others followed in San Antonio, Las Vegas, Boston, New York City, and Oklahoma City. He said that each marathon was unique and had it’s own personality. Greenlee said to be in the Boston marathon you can’t just decide you want to participate – you must qualify, and the New York City Marathon, which draws over 53,000 participants, is just a luck of the draw marathon. “People from all over the world are thrilled to run in this one,” said Greenlee.
Preparation and training is a major factor in running, along with diet. Greenlee said, “You have to start to build up to a run by adding miles weekly to help build up-speed. Increasing too fast, can lead to injuries and stress fractures. Eating plenty of carbohydrates and proteins strengthens muscle growth, and increases stamina. I eat a lot of pretzels for sodium, and pasta prior to a race.”
Many ask what goes through the mind running mile after mile. For Greenlee, he focuses on his running pace and time, while enjoying the sideline activities. “Bands are playing, people are cheering and there is always a variety of entertainment going on,” he said. He recalls a funny experience at the 13th mile near Hefner Park when he suddenly saw a runner dressed in a sunshine costume. He was unsure if the Oklahoma heat was causing hallucinations, “My first thought was ‘where did this guy come from?’” He explained that often times runners dress in costume to add to the fun.
The Greenlee boys, and nephew, are fairly new runners. Alex, the oldest son and wife live in Los Angeles. The twins, Alex and Todd live in New Orleans, and nephew Zach is from Oklahoma. The family decided to travel to California for the LA marathon. “Our mission is to cross the finish line, all together as a family,” said Jeff. “My wife Lisa is not a runner, but is our biggest cheerleader and supports us in every marathon.”
Greenlee added, “Over time my body will age and I won’t be as physically active. So at the present time I run, and try to stay healthy. I tell my sons, ‘while you’re young, stay healthy, be positive, and experience everything you can.’”
In closing, Jeff quoted an African proverb, “As individuals we can run fast, but together we run far.”
Reach Mary O. Esparza at 580-482-1221, ext. 2077