New Beginnings for Runners Lounge

Greetings Loungers,

I hope everyone has had a great beginning to 2012. Earlier last year it was posted that The Runner’s Lounge site was going to be changing hands. You probably haven’t noticed any changes at all, and this is true. Something we’ve wanted to do here at Runner’s Lounge is to keep the existing format that you all are accustomed to. But coming to an end in 2011 we realized that a few changes would need to be made to continue the Runner’s Lounge.

When we think of a new year, we think of new beginnings, fresh starts, and a time to press the reset button. So what better time to start fresh with new changes than in 2012.  We know that the driving force behind the Runner’s Lounge site is the forum, driven by you. In the changes we have tried to retain the integrity of the forum and your content; but due to some technical difficulties, the security would become severely compromised when we move forward. So to keep your personal information and privacy secure, we’ve decided to hit the reset button. The site will undergo a slight facelift, and still have a forum (but a much more secure one). But don’t worry, it’s our plan to take all of the current and past posts and compile them into an archive in which you can still search and find the information.

What does this mean for you...? 

Everyone will need to visit the new site, tentatively set to go live February 1st., and create a new user profile for the forum, and start posting. 

We value your loyalty to The Runner’s Lounge website and hope this change doesn’t push you away. This change isn’t something that will happen over night, and there may be a few features that you like to use that may be gone. But don’t worry, we are working hard to make the site better and incorporate these features as soon as possible. Thank you for your willingness to understand and being flexible during this time of change with the Runner’s Lounge website. 


The Runner’s Lounge.


Goodbye, Thank You, and Good Luck!

Who knew two ordinary runners could have so much fun?

Logo 07 28 09 After hundreds of blog posts, thousands of introductions to runners, and some of the most uplifting running conversations, Amy and I are stepping aside at Runners' Lounge.  We have handed over the "hosting" of this wonderful place for runners to a new owner.

The Lounge will continue and the new owner has some fresh ideas and great enthusiasm for the future. We're looking forward to watching Runners' Lounge continue as a place for runners and running conersation to come together.

Our goal was to create an online community where runners of all abilities and experiences could meet and share collective wisdom, experiences and resources.  Runners' Lounge became that and more.  It provided us a special opportunity to meet many wonderful people who also share our passion for running.  Thank you for allowing us into your running lives and for sharing your advice, stories, insight, and inspiration.  What we learned about running is exceeded only by the privilege of meeting all of our running friends.

May you continue to find enjoyment, success and meaning in your running and througout your lives.


Amy & Tom

Amy Hunold-VanGundy

Tom Green

Final Call for Runners' Lounge

Amy and I appreciate hearing from those who reached out to us after the October message about the future of Runners' Lounge.  It is exciting to know so many other runners share our interest in supporting fellow runners and the running community.  

Our goal remains to find a good host and owners for this online community for runners.  Before we make a final decision, we wanted to provide one final opportunity for you to voice your interest. 

Runners Lounge logo 0308 In the interest of continuing this social platform for runners to talk about their passion and support other running, we are opening up the site for bid

Put together your ideas and dreams with your running friends and enthusiasts to explore how you can advance the sport of running, and enjoy the business rewards of operating Runners' Lounge.

No later than January 20th, please send your proposed idea and bid to us at and  We will review all bids and make a decision in early February from the proposals submitted.

All offers will be considered and the site can be purchased simply and affordably. 

Operating Runners' Lounge provides an opportunity to advance the sport of running by connecting runners to discussing their interests, challenges, and experiences related to running. Runners' Lounge also offers extensive business rewards.  Purchasing Runners' Lounge includes:

  • Runners' Lounge registered name, and/or website domain name
  • Website content
  • Website platform design, code, and administration system

Again, If you have an interest in hosting and connecting runners with others and running resources, all offers will be considered and the site can be purchased very affordably. 

Please respond with your proposal by January 20th.

Your friends in running!

Tom and Amy

Runners' Lounge

The On-Line Community For Runners 

Runners' Lounge seeking a new owner

Amy and I want to announce to our online running friends that we seeking a new host of Runners' Lounge.

We launched the Runners Lounge interactive online community more than three years ago and it has been a wonderful experience. However, some job and family commitments compel us to look for new owners.  We are hopeful to find one or more running enthusiasts who might be the next owner and host of Runners' Lounge.   

Runners Lounge logo 0308 Operating RL has also been very rewarding, giving us the opportunity to meet running friends all over the world.  It’s truly been like operating a lounge, a friendly meet-up place where runners meet existing or new friends, and discuss their interests, challenges, and experiences related to running.  We feel like we’ve created one large and many smaller running communities for runners to talk about their passion and support other runners.

We’ve been thrilled by the great advice, encouragement, and resources runners have shared. And our work with retailers, running organizations, and figureheads in running have allowed us to advance the sport we love, and enjoy some of the business rewards.

What does owning Runners’ Lounge mean? Options could include, but are not limited to purchasing:

  • Runners' Lounge registered name, and/or website domain name
  • Runners' Lounge club, event, and retailer databases
  • Website content
  • Website platform design, code, and administration system
The possibilities are virtually unlimited. The future owner of Runners' Lounge will have the options to redesign, continue, discontinue, re-purpose, or re-brand Runners’ Lounge to achieve its own goals. If you have an interest, please just let us know and we can discuss further, including answer your questions and provide a more detailed summary of the Runners’ Lounge history, features, functionality, and business data.

Your friends in running!

Tom and Amy

Owners Runners' Lounge™

The On-Line Community For Runners  


Read More About Rachel Jones

Book cover In the book The Ultimate Runner, Rachel Jones shares a memorable race  experience of The Grand Bara.  Her story was intriguing to us and we wanted to learn more about her.   Here is more about Rachel and her running life:

Why did I start running?
My friend described a 15k race in the middle of the Grand Bara, one of the flattest deserts on earth. She said the starting gun was actually a set of French fighter jets doing a low flyover just as the sun rose over a mountain range. I didn’t want to miss that and started training. I kept running because it is something I can start and finish. I know when I’m done and I know what I have accomplished. I live in Djibouti and most of my life and work is intangible. Language study, non-governmental aid work is never done – the poor are always poor, the sick are always sick. We work to alleviate it but the difficulties are overwhelming. Running is something I am able to keep track of, something I can feel successful in, even if it is just for the fact of completing a run in 115 degree heat or shaving five seconds off my time.

Best Running Advice?

Enjoy it.
Running wisdom I wish I knew earlier?

Don’t run through pain.

Favorite tip I pass along?

Just do it. Don’t be embarrassed about your time, how you look in tight pants or how hard you breathe. Rachel Just put on a pair of shoes and see what happens.

Favorite running memory, run or race?
This answer is a bit long, but funny. It is from my blog:

I left the house at 5:50 a.m. for a short jog before the kids woke up. I hadn’t gone more than a quarter kilometer when I saw a group of Djiboutian girls jogging toward me. We smiled and waved at one another, I was too shocked to say anything, and I passed them.

I have seen French men wearing too-short shorts, naked men, dead men, barking dogs, dead dogs, dead cats, dead crows, dead snakes, car accidents, dancing women, American soldiers showering homeless children with bags of peanut M and M’s, sky divers, fluorescent purple sunsets, body parts, toilet seat covers, condoms, fist fights, men urinating, men taking a dump, men taking a shower, men holding hands, men praying, six people on a bicycle, six people on a motorcycle…but I have never seen twenty-five obese Djiboutian girls jogging. I’ve never seen more than two at a time other than at the track.

I continued running straight ahead, then suddenly, without a second thought, turned around and sprinted to catch up with the group.

“Can I run with you?” I asked in Somali.

“Oui,” they answered in unison French, grinning.

“There aren’t many women who run, especially in this neighborhood,” I said, again in Somali.

They began asking me questions in French and I answered in Somali. They were out of breath but the pace was slow (about thirteen minutes miles).

We passed my house and I said, “Waa tan, xafadayda.” This is my house.”

“Allah!” the girl next to me cried. “You speak Somali!”

It only took them eight minutes to realize it.

From that moment on, I was a part of the group. They gave me a spot in the front, center, with three of the largest girls on either side. Their coach, Abdi, jogged on the outside. He motivated the stragglers and made sure cars and buses didn’t swerve too close to his team.

We ran about ten more minutes when I caught the blurred picture out of the corner of my eye of a sheep running at my side.

“How did a sheep get in here with us?” I asked.

“She’s ours,” Fadouma answered.

“You’re joking.”

“No. This is Gilane and that is Lulla. They run with us every morning.”

“Don’t they get tired?”

“Oh no, we are so fat and slow they keep up just fine.”

The two sheep ran at my side. I had never dodged sheep legs and flouncing, fat sheep butts before on a run. I lay one hand on Gilane’s back and laughed out loud.

I was a surprise vision for the entire neighborhood. Most people were used to seeing me run alone by now but they had never seen a group of twenty-five Djiboutian girls and a white woman running down the street with two sheep.

Men hung out of bus windows and cars pulled up next to us to stop and stare. Truckers swerved and coach Abdi yelled at them to back off. They yelled back that they wanted to watch the spectacle.

I was also a surprise vision to the team itself – a married women with three children who was strong enough to not even be breathing heavily. As we talked, they were so engaged in our conversations coach Abdi tripped over a stone on the sidewalk and almost face-planted in the dirt. Five minutes later Fadouma did an actual face-plant on the sidewalk while talking with me about life in Somaliland. The rest of the team had to stop and take a laugh break while she brushed herself off, chattering the entire time.

Most of the girls were seriously overweight, which their thinner friends pointed out with great joy and acceptance.

“Look! Look how fat Fadouma is. But she can run!”

“We run slow so the fat girls can keep up.”

“The fat girls run in front so we don’t pass them.”

“You aren’t fat. I’m not too fat. She is really, really fat. See how she bounces?”

The heavier girls smiled and waved and laughed, there was no shame in their body sizes. They all knew they were beautiful. They all knew they were stronger than almost every other female in Djibouti because they were awake at 5:50 a.m. running in the street with courage and happiness.

And sheep.

My running dream?
To hit a 24:00 5k and to be able to keep running as I get older.

What keeps me running?
The desire to be healthy and to feel strong and the community I feel when talking with other runners. The way it connects me to the places I go – Djibouti, Kenya, Ethiopia, Minnesota, South Carolina, Texas, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, France. I see the countries with my eyes and feel them with my feet, I get unique glimpses as a runner that I wouldn’t get as a tourist or business traveler.

Runners can contact me on my blog or via email: They can also read other articles I have written about running in Djibouti at and search Djibouti.

Meet Harry Jacobs

Book cover Harry runs for his life.  And he shares his story of how running helped him manage diabetes, his weight and his life.   His story gets the ball rolling in the book The Ultimate Runner and is a model to others who struggle with similar issues.   Get to know the Harry behind the story.

Why did you start running?

I started running when I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes.  My weight Harry 1 at the time was over 300 lbs.  Over the next 1.5 years I dropped 100 lbs. Running turned my life around and gave it purpose.  As I often say “I run for my life.”

Best running advice you ever received?

No matter what distance your run or race at it is your distance.  You cannot compare yourself to that person who runs faster and farther than yourself.  Your distance and training is yours so be happy that you are doing what you are doing.

Running wisdom you wished you learned earlier in your running?

It is not how fast you go; it’s the fact that you finish that is what is important.

Favorite tip you pass along to runners?

Enjoy yourself, have fun, isn’t that what running is all about?

Most read/used running book?

Running Room’s Book on Running by John Stanton

Favorite running memory, run or race?

Finishing the Bluenose Marathon in Nova Scotia, I ran that race and it is up hill both ways. Harry 2

Your running dream?

To run for a very long time, and to stay healthy so I can.

What keeps you running?

Me, I keep me running, so that I can stay health and live a long life to be with my grandson Tre.

How can runners contact you?

Plenty of pictures can be seen of me on Facebook, just search for Harry Jacobs, or feel free  to say hi  Also I am often lurking about on the forums at

Meet Megan

Continuing our introduction of the contributors to the Ultimate Runner to our friends in the Lounge, please welcome Megan Williams.  Megan Book cover contributed a story to the Emotional and Spiritual Insight section with her story about her Ironman race.   Get to know Megan outside of her story: Megan

Why did you start running?
I used to get really nervous before math tests in middle school, and my father figured out that if I ran a mile before school, I was a lot happier.

Best running advice you ever received? 
It doesn't feel any better to walk in the marathon; it just hurts longer.

Running wisdom you wished you learned earlier in your running? 
Running is a great sport, because if you're willing to put in the hard work, you can beat someone with a lot more natural talent than you do.

Favorite tip you pass along to runners?
One of the ways the marathon is not like real life is that you will always get a do-over. There is always another marathon.

Most read/used running book?
Joan Benoit Samuelson's Running for Women

Favorite running memory, run or race? 
Mile 24 of my first marathon when I realized I was going to finish.  Twenty plus marathons later, there is nothing quite like that first marathon.

Your running dream? 
To keep learning

What keeps you running? 
My two year old twins

How can runners contact you

Check out Dana Barclay

Every runner has a story.   And every runner has something they are running for, from, or to.  In the book, The Ultimate Runner, we are blessed with many stories runners have shared with us that keep us moving.  The stories keep us running.  Dana Barclay is one of the contributors to the book and shares her story of how running helped her recover from addiction to alcohol.   We hope you enjoy her story and get to know her through a recent interview and check out her blog.

Why did you start running?   

It was quite by accident actually.  I had hit a few bumps in the road of life (more like big gapping Dana chuckholes) and found myself a month or so out of an alcohol treatment facility, feeling lost, miserable and physically unhealthy.  I had always been an athletic person so working out seemed like a natural step to improve my physical and emotional health.  I walked first but that turned into running as I wanted more of a cardiovascular workout. So it really wasn’t intentional, it just happened and evolved.

Best running advice you ever received?   

In a word, form.  Developing and maintaining good form has turned me into an injury-free runner.  I focus on my body alignment from the top down:  eyes focused forward and ahead, spine erect, extended and relaxed, hips loose, knees and feet pointed forward and swinging in a pendulum-like motion and lean into the run. I imagine a string pulling me forward from my feet through my head while staying loose and relaxed.

Running wisdom you wished you learned earlier in your running?    

I did not begin running until I was nearly 50.  I wish I had discovered the sport much earlier in my life and perhaps I would have not fallen into some of the pitfalls that I did.  Like alcoholism.

Favorite tip you pass along to runners?  

Listen to your body.  I tend to throw myself completely into activities that I enjoy and sometimes this behavior gets me into trouble.  There is something to be said for too much of a good thing!  My tip is to let my body tell me when I am overdoing it.  By listening to my body I can prevent injury and burnout.

Most read/used running book? 

Chi-Running by Danny and Katherine Dreyer.  I developed my running form from the principles presented in the book as well as body sensing and injury prevention techniques.  One of my goals is to attend a workshop of theirs someday but it seems I am never in the right place at the right time….yet.

Favorite running memory, run or race?  

A few years ago my significant other and I were stranded on the island of Providenciales in the Turks and Dana dog Caicos.  We were in the midst of moving our boat from Miami to St Maarten in the Caribbean when we encountered mechanical problems, spending several weeks there getting repairs done.  While our boat was in the shipyard I met a local island dog who took a liking to one us.  Dog followed me around and slept by the boat at night.  He was a funny guy. I just called him Dog.

Early one morning, I decided to take a run through the shipyard and down the only road into the place back towards town.  Dog started following me and while I wasn’t crazy about the idea, he insisted so off we went.  It was a great road, no people, no traffic, just a dog and me with birds, trees and tropical brush with an occasional puddle for Dog to splash in.  Dog stayed right with me, having a great time.

Thirty minutes into the run, Dog stopped dead in the road and sat down.  He stared at me as I jogged a few laps around him.  I encouraged him to continue on, but he seemed determined not to go any farther down the road.  Not wanting to leave my running buddy behind, I started back toward the shipyard.  Dog seemed to think that was a great idea.  Dog stayed with me until we reached our starting point.  Dog and I had had a wonderful invigorating run and a great time together.  I had a new running buddy!      Later that day my significant other and I loaded up into our rental car to head to town for supplies.  I chattered on to him about how great the run had been and how Dog had plopped butt down and refused to proceed further.  A non-runner, his reply was “u-huh.”  Riveting stuff to him I suppose.

We drove past the spot where Dog and I stopped and about a quarter mile beyond, we passed a house sitting close to the road with three very large dogs running free in the unfenced yard.  The trio came bounding out at our car, attempting to bite our tires and creating all kinds of ruckus.  As a local dog, Dog probably knew about these vicious neighboring dogs and I would like to think he was watching out for me as much as he was himself.    

Your running dream? 

Run when I can, where I can for as long as I am physically able to do so.  I would like to be one of those runners in the local 5K in 70+ age bracket!

What keeps you running? 

This is the most difficult question for me to answer.  Actually it is not really a question.  Not running isn’t Dana 3 an option. The idea doesn’t even occur to me.  Fitting a run in at times can be a challenge, as sometimes I find myself in places where there is no good safe place to run.  I am an early morning female runner and I take this into account when I am traveling in new places.  Safety first.   If, however, I had to name one thing that keeps me, going  it would be goal-setting.  I keep a runner log where I set yearly, monthly, weekly and daily goals.  This works well for me as I am very self-motivated and competitive even if the competition is only within me.

Contacts: is my blog

Mike Rush

Book cover With Father's Day fast approaching, it seemed only fitting to connect with you with one of the running dad's who contributed to The Ultimate Runner.   Mike Rush shared his story of running a 5K with his daughter and the accomplishment of finishing the event together in the story, My Medallion.   As a parent who has slowly run a race with a child, I can identify with the moment of joy when finishing - no matter how long it took to get to the line.   Get to know Mike as he shares more about his running life.

Why did you start running?
I'd been teaching public school for five or six years when I realized I had a lot of personal stuff to think about.  I also needed to get into better shape.  Running was the answer.  My first running experience was a little less than half a mile in t-shirt, sweat pants, and high-top Converse basketball shoes.

Best running advice you ever received?
Refuel and hydrate during the run.  I didn't eat anything during my first marathon until about mile 20.  A lady was holding orange wedges and I was so hungry I ate the orange along with the peel.  I also thought I needed to run through all the water stations, as though I was trying to maintain my world-class pace (I finished in over 5 hours).  I hardly got any water down me, and this was on a humid Arkansas day in mid-May.  They've run that marathon in March every year since.  My second year, I ran with a pacer, one of those "gotta run a marathon in all fifty states" people.  She had been offered a free entry if she'd be the 11-minute pacer.  She taught me to drink at all the stations and that year, the organizers had arranged for goop at all the stations too, so I ate as well.  What a much better race.

Running wisdom you wished you learned earlier in your running?
Well, the above fits this question well.  However, for this one, I'll offer, "plan out bathroom stops on the long runs."  I have been caught so many times needing to go when there just wasn't a private place to do that.  I've emptied bladder and bowels in the most ridiculous and frightening places.  Maybe the wisdom I actually needed was how to manage those two organs so I wouldn't get caught out on the road with a load.  The absolute worst was the day I ran two ten-mile loops that ended back at my house.  After the first loop there was nothing I could do except change all my clothes and take a shower.

Favorite tip you pass along to runners?
Okay, this is a weird one, but when I started the long out-and-backs, I learned a trick that helped me finish.  On the way out, knowing I'd be on the other side of the road much later and much more fatigued, I talked to myself about the other side of the street.  "Okay, you'll be over there in a couple hours, be strong!"  I even talked to the street.  "I'll be all over you in a couple hours!"  I don't know how or why, but it helped.  Even after three or four hours of running, to run in a place I where I knew I'd be, a place where I had already encouraged myself, helped me finish.

Most read/used running book?
I ate up one of Dr. Sheehan's books back in the late 80's, but I don't have it, can't remember the title, and can't find it on the web.

Favorite running memory, run or race?
Well, the one I wrote about for Ultimate Runner is definitely a favorite.  I also cherish my first 20 mile run because I had never run further than 14 when I did it.  I had a ten mile loop and just decided to run it twice.  However, I got in deep trouble with my wife because I didn't tell her I was running it again after I got home.

Your running dream?
My running dream was to run an overseas marathon.  I lived in the Netherlands and wanted to run the London.  I applied, but since it would have been my first, I needed a compelling story to get a shot.  But I was just a late-thirties American dude with no other reason to run the thing than personal glory.  Had I survived cancer or was blind, I'd have had a much better chance.  As it was, they didn't invite me.  My feelings got hurt and I didn't run seriously again until I returned to the states.

What keeps you running?
Well...I'm actually taking a hiatus.  I'm letting the knees and hips heal themselves while at the same time, my wife and I have discovered swimming.  It's the first physical activity we've ever found we can do together.

How can runners contact you?
My email is  His blog is:

Last Minute Gift For Your Favorite Running Dad

Time is running out until Father's Day - just a few days to go!Book cover

If you are still looking for the perfect gift for the running dad in your life, look no further than The Ultimate  Runner.  A compilation of stories and inspiration which will keep your favorite running dad moving!

Hurry - order today

On Amazon, if you order today you could have it in 2 days in many locations!   Your dad will never know you waited until the last minute

About Runners' Lounge

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