People Profiles – David Turpin

David-Turpin-2David Turpin was the first person beside my immediate friends and family to show up for a group run. The very first Saturday that I scheduled a group run I made sure to have several friends and family members show up because I honestly didn’t expect anyone else to be there. I got there bright and early that morning before my family to make sure I was there to greet anyone that happened to show up. When I pulled in I saw a car sitting there and thought, no way, somebody showed up. David got out of the car and I nervously asked him if he was here for Run Richmond and he said yes.

To this day it amazes the way people get connected to Run Richmond. Facebook apparently decided David would be interested and put it in his feed and the rest is history. David still does most of our group runs. He travels frequently to do races with his daughter and right now is nursing an injury, but most Saturdays David will be out there running with us. So let’s get to know a little bit more about David.

David Turpin


Most of our readers don’t know you so can you tell us a little bit about where you are from, how and when you became a runner?

Age: 52  Computer geek by trade but I enjoy nature, hiking, photography and of course running. I have lived in the Richmond area and attended school here all my life. I am married and have two daughters. I was never involved in organized sports at all in high school and didn’t get into running until I was about 45. I was trying to lose weight at the time and was amazed how running and diet could help you lose weight quickly. I started running 5ks and read the book Ultra Marathon Man by Dean Karnazes and was hooked. Nothing else has given me the same sense of achievement.

Are you currently training for a race or just running to maintain?

I am maintaining at the moment with mostly short runs and 5k races toward the end of the year. During January I try to plan out my goals for the year and decide what I races I want to attempt. I have a marathon planned but am happy with running half marathons.  I would like to try a Tough Mudder or similar for fun.

What is your favorite race distance?

I enjoy all distances but to date, Half Marathon. For me it’s just the right distance. It does require some training time but it’s manageable for the long runs. You can run a half in the morning and still be able to enjoy the rest of your day. I’m going to complete a marathon this year (fingers crossed) so I may have a different opinion after that.

 What race PR are you most proud of and what is the PR?

The Iron Horse in Midway was my first half ran in 2011. I ran a 1:53 which is not super-fast but it was pretty good for me. It was just the excitement of the first big race. I have ran it several times since but don’t think I have run it any faster.

 You have mentioned to me before that your times have been going the wrong way the last couple years. What motivates you to keep going even though you aren’t necessarily progress the way you would want?

One thing I have learned over the years is that you’re going to have highs and lows in you performance. Injury, age, nutrition, even weather they all play a factor. I enjoy seeing others archive their goals as much as I do achieving my own. It’s important to be happy with what you have achieved but always be reaching for that next level.

Do you currently have a running or health goal for yourself?

Weight has always been a struggle for me and I know losing weight has a big impact on performance. So taking off a few pounds is on the agenda. Long term I would like to run a race in all 50 states. This may take me a while.

 What would you consider must have running gear?

Running Shoes- It DOES matter. I didn’t think so at first. Spend some time choosing a shoe that works for you … not what someone else is wearing. Definitely not easy to figure out. Running stores can help advise you and will sometimes let you exchange if you are not happy with the shoe. 

Running Watch- Definitely a running watch to track your pace mainly. If you can’t afford it use a smartphone app to keep you pace. Phones are a little less convenient than the watch.

Cheap cell Phone- I like to carry a cheap cell phone for emergency’s if running over 5 miles (iPhone is too big and heavy). I have a plan with T mobile 3.00 a month. I have gotten sick on runs before far away from home/truck. It’s not a good feeling not being able to contact someone.

ID – I also have a ROADid bracelet has names and phone numbers on it in case of emergency. I never take it off. It also has the phrase “NEVER GIVE UP” at the bottom. I look at that for motivate when the miles get tough.

 If you are running alone do you listen to music?

In training, I normally do especially if you run alone it helps keep me in the zone. In races I do often but turn the music down so I can hear the crowd’s/spectators. You don’t want to miss that. It is the best part of the race.

 How many days per week do you train?

Generally 4 days a week. I try to throw in some cross training, which I think is important. I just don’t enjoy cross training and much as running. I do my longer runs on Saturday or Sunday. It important to have rest day where you only do light cross training or easy running. This gives your body time to recover.

 We joked about you being an elite athlete when I asked you to do this and you made sure to point out that I had the wrong person. So if you aren’t an elite athlete what advice would you give to new runners or even walkers to encourage them?

READ about running and injury prevention. We have unlimited resources on the internet. You just need to find a reliable source. I can’t tell you how many mistakes I made and injuries I could have prevented if I had taken the time to read.   I had planter fasciitis, runner’s knee and a black toenail before I even knew they had a name. lol 

Runners starting out should consider Run-walk-run method. Do an amazon search for Jeff Galloway or Galloway Method. Very sound advice and an amazing person. Once you become an experienced runner you can decide if you want to continue this method.

Don’t worry about what others think about you and your running. Including things like your weight or how fast you run. Truth is the running community is very accepting of all types of runners. Most people don’t notice the things your most concerned about. Once you’re running consider yourself a true runner. There’s no special club or distance to be considered one.

Finally just so we can figure out what type of person you are…What is your favorite movie?

I’m not much of a movie watcher but really enjoyed “The Martian”. I have not seen the Star Wars movie yet so that could change.

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