“Music is my life and it always has been, but running is my second passion. I use music and running to keep a healthy life. Running keeps me fit, evacuates most of my stress and allows me to think deeply about what’s going on in my life. Music plays towards my emotional health, experience emotions and forget about everything else. I use music a lot before and after my runs. I listen to it during my warm ups and stretching. Strangely enough, running is one of the rare moments in my life when I don’t actually listen to music. I want to concentrate on my breathing, running cadence and take advantage of the elements around me — nature, people, the life of the city. ” – HOKA fan Eric Karsenty from London, UK
“When my then fiancé, now husband, was diagnosed with cancer in 2012, my entire perspective on life changed. Things that seemed to be important before didn’t matter anymore. We both felt an array of emotions — scared, angry and sad as we were going through such a life-changing event in our mid-20s. I had run a handful of races before his diagnosis ranging from 5Ks to half marathons. I definitely had the running bug, but his cancer diagnosis really hit me hard and transformed my running. For a while, running was the only thing that got me out of bed each morning. I ran more than I had because it made me feel like myself again. It helped me clear my head each morning, reset for the day and be ready for what life had in store for me. I know it’s cliché to say running is my therapy, but during that life event it really was and still is today. Thankfully, my husband has been cancer free since 2012. Running helped me keep a clear mind and allowed me to stay positive through it all. ” – HOKA Field Service Rep Melissa Territo from Austin, TX
Melissa’s favorite shoe is the Mach.
“Running saved my life. When I was given an initial diagnosis of Hodgkin’s lymphoma, I was a very sick man. Three weeks later, my oncologist called and said they didn’t know what I had, but it wasn’t lymphoma. They didn’t find the cells that had been there only a few short weeks ago. The true diagnosis was sarcoidosis, an autoimmune disorder that affected my lymph nodes and attacked my lungs and endocrine system. Due to the damage from the sarcoidosis, I have to take testosterone shots for the rest of my life. And to further complicate things, I allowed myself to get over 350 pounds. With the state of my lungs, any activity that might help me lose weight was very limited. We came to the conclusion that a gastrectomy would be my best option, but my main lifestyle change was choosing moving and this led to running.
I started out walking for just ten minutes on the treadmill, but I could barely do it with the state of my lungs. Now, I run 10km every morning. This brought me to my next goal, a full marathon. For my first marathon, I decided to use running to help someone who was there for me during some of my darkest times, my brother-in-law David. David has battled polycystic kidney disease for years and was recently given a second chance at life through a kidney transplant. With his support, I was able to finish the Chicago Marathon and raise money for the PKD Foundation to celebrate the second chances that we’ve both been given.” – HOKA fan Scott Allgood from Fair Play, SC
Scott’s favorite shoe is the Clifton 4
“After college, I drove myself into a period of self-doubt. It led me to a job that consumed my life. I was working close to 80 hours a week and became incredibly stressed. I started to isolate myself from the people that cared about me and supported me the most. My job turned into a lifeline and for the first time in my life, I felt alone. I turned to running as an outlet. Running was an escape from the long hours, the stress and the anxiety. It allowed me to turn inwards towards the negative emotions I was dealing with and come face to face with my internal struggles. With this new focus, my runs started becoming longer and with each run, my daily stress and anxiety seemed to dissolve. Running will always be there to create balance in my life and continue to guide me onto the next great adventure.” – Matt Welch, who now works as a HOKA Field Service Rep in San Diego, CA
Matt’s favorite shoe is the Clifton 4.
On November 5, 2017, Sandy Villines set the record for the fastest women’s transcontinental run. She ran 57 miles a day for 54 consecutive days.
“In 2009, I became fascinated with ultrarunning. I remember hearing about Pete Kostelnick’s record-breaking transcontinental run and was so inspired that I decided I could do it too. I fell in love with ultrarunning and realized what my body was capable of doing if my mind was silenced. I thought my transcontinental run would be an amazing way to inspire people to never give up and believe in their dreams.
I figured the hardest part of the journey would be dealing with physical pain and mental toughness. This was 100% accurate as it became a challenge to go out every single day and get my miles in. We faced every weather element imaginable from blazing desert heat, to sub-zero temperatures, hailstorms, pouring rain and even a blizzard. The mental challenges were tough. My daily goals became less about a certain number and more of a daily positive view. My crew was so positive and every day one of my crew members wrote a motivational quote on the bathroom mirror. I looked forward to those quotes and often replayed them in my head.
I ate anywhere from 6,000 to 10,000 calories a day and the most calories consumed were when we were in elevation. But, eating became a chore. My crew got creative and made tuna slaw, egg mash and fried rice balls. I also ate a lot of mashed potatoes, eggs with mayo, apple sauce, sticks of butter and protein drinks that could have anywhere between 2,000 or 4,000 calories. If we were near a town, a real treat was getting fries and a burger or pizza and ice cream. Sometimes all of the above.” – HOKA fan Sandy Villine from San Jose, CA
Sandy’s favorite shoe is the Arahi.