Christine Kennedy was honored on December 3rd at the Jesse Owens Award Ceremony as the 2011 USATF Masters Athlete of the Year. Kennedy’s remarkable versatility as a runner led her to victories in events ranging from the 5,000 meters to the marathon distance this year. She won titles in the 5K, 10K and 15K at the USA Masters and then two more in the 5K and the marathon at the World Masters Athletics Championships. At 56 years old, she has set her sights on repeating these wins in 2012 with continued use of the ElliptiGO elliptical bike to give herself that special edge.
“I was so honored to receive this award and I feel very grateful to still be running competitively,” states Kennedy. Injuries are a constant concern for runners and athletes of all ages, but Masters runners are particularly susceptible after putting their bodies through years of high mileage training. Christine has been no exception to the rule.
Five years ago she suffered two herniated disks in her back, which made it impossible to get in all of the workouts she wanted. Over the last two years she also suffered a small calf injury that flares up from time to time. Though her body has healed well, it was the mental side of being unable to train as she wanted to that posed her biggest challenge.
“It’s incredibly frustrating to have to back off your training, knowing the miles you’re supposed to be putting in,” remarked Kennedy. “Even when you’re healthy, like I am now, it’s still difficult to take it easy on those recovery days and be happy with a workout where you don’t push yourself. As a Masters runner, I know how important cross-training is, but it’s easier said than done. That’s why I love the ElliptiGO elliptical bicycle.”
Designed by runners, the ElliptiGO elliptical bike is the first outdoor, low-impact, fitness device specifically designed to emulate the running motion. It allows athletes of all levels to get a high-intensity workout without experiencing the repetitive impact of running. Healthy athletes and injured athletes alike have found it the most effective way to get an outdoor running experience without the usual pounding on their bodies.
“I was introduced to ElliptiGO by Brian Pilcher, another Masters runner, whom I knew was injured and unable to run,” recalls Christine. “But then I saw him at a 10K race and had to find out how he was able to compete again. He told me about how he’d been using an ElliptiGO elliptical bicycle for only a few months but had already been able to get himself back into shape without pain – I was completely intrigued.”
Brian lent Christine his ElliptiGO bike so she could try it out for herself, and she loved it so much she bought one of her own. “It was just such a relief for me to find the ElliptiGO bike. It keeps me fit, it doesn’t aggravate my previous injury, and I don’t feel guilty about taking a recovery day. I still spare my body but my fitness only grows, and mentally I feel great about each workout,” said Christine.
“One of the great uses of the ElliptiGO elliptical bike is to extend a healthy runner’s career,” said Bryan Pate, Co-Founder and Co-President of ElliptiGO. “Our bodies will inevitably show some wear and tear as we get older, so if a healthy runner like Christine can incorporate the ElliptiGO elliptical bicycle into their training now and replace a few high-impact workouts a week, they can lessen the impact to their body and hopefully remain a runner for life.”
Christine uses the ElliptiGO bike to replace three running workouts a week and believes that it gives her an extra edge. “I feel you have to take advantage of everything you can in order to continue competing at this level. When other runners see me on my bike, they say, ‘So THAT’S your secret!’ And they’re right. It’s what’s keeping me mentally and physically at the top of my game, and I intend to use it to repeat my victories in 2012 and beyond.”