We recently got word of a man on a mission from our friends over at the Carmel Marathon. They were so impressed with the challenging goal of one participant of this year’s upcoming race on April 21st they just had to introduce Michael Kloosterman of Team Fight for a Q&A and we are sure glad they did so. Here is what we found…
MK: Honestly because I am a stubborn fool who likes to overcome personal shortfalls (laziness primarily). I actually hate running which is part of its draw to me… The more I can push myself through relatively impossible tasks the better I feel. I believe this is why I’ve set my 10-10-10 goal this year… It is another mountain I believe I can summit but I know the road will be long and the probability of failure is high…
WM: How many marathons have you run and what is your fondest marathon moment?
MK: (5). Fondest thus far would be the moment my best friend Pat and I shared just after I completed my first marathon. He is an experienced runner who paid it forward and got me into the sport. He paced me through the first 16 miles, finished well ahead of me, and waited for me just after the finish line. I was exhausted both mentally and physically and I lost it on his shoulder. He reassured me that crying is okay and perfectly normal. He has been there for me during all of the hardest points in my life and that is one of the many moments with him that I will never forget.
WM: What races are you currently training for this spring?
MK: My 10 Marathons in 10 States raising at least $10,000 for the Ulman Cancer Fund mission has me visiting some very cool places and will be putting me in front of more than 1.5 million people… I am starting with the Carmel Marathon Championship Weekend. Carmel is a beautiful quaint suburban city located just North of Indianapolis and just happens to be where my buddy Pat lives. The Carmel Marathon Championship Weekend is a newer race but if the community as a whole can stand as a basis of comparison then race should be a great and memorable experience. My current schedule has me running in (5) marathons this spring / early summer with another (5) in the fall.
o Carmel, IN Marathon Championship Weekend
o Nashville, TN Rock N’ Roll Marathon
o Delaware Marathon Running Festival
o Rite Aid Cleveland, OH Marathon
o ½ Saur, ½ Kraut Marathon through Philadelphia, PA
o (Summer-esque Break)
o Denver, CO Rock N’ Roll Marathon
o Under Armour Baltimore Marathon
o Grand Rapids, MI Marathon
o Marine Corps Marathon DC/VA
o ING New York City Marathon
MK: Nope! This is my first time as well! I personally am using the fundraising as a golden carrot to lead me to my goal… I would say that you can’t be shy to get out and talk to people about your cause. History’s greatest leaders can often be categorized as Fanatics… People tend to follow others who show great passion. If you truly believe in something you’ll be surprised at what you can accomplish with others.
First time marathoner advice: Don’t forget to enjoy the atmosphere and its okay to cry!
WM: Who is your inspiration?
MK: My father. He always championed the phrase “P.M.A.” Positive. Mental. Attitude. It’s amazing what a person can achieve if they don’t get in their own way.
WM: How has the marathon changed your life?
MK: I used to be a fat body… I peaked above 250lbs… My father passed away from a heart attack when I was 20. I gained a whole bunch of weight and started to have heart problems of my own. I literally flipped a switch one night and armed with nothing but a P.M.A I shed almost 90lbs in a year. When I started I could barely run a ¼ mile. When I finished I was running 7:24 splits in short 10k and 10miler races. I knew I wanted more… It was a long road but 4 years after tipping the scales at my peak I was crossing the finish line of the Under Armour Baltimore Marathon with my best friend. Been hooked ever since…
WM: Are you still looking for title sponsors for your races…?
MK: Why yes I am! Thanks for asking! As if the base goal and schedule wasn’t hard enough I will be carrying a flag through each of my races. With regards to my fundraising I am taking the same physical tangible product approach that Ulman Cancer Fund takes with their benefactors… Part of my fundraising efforts includes selling ADVERTISING SPACE under my main flag in the form of sponsor banners. For guaranteed donation levels I will be championing sponsors names through each of their selected races. Ultimately I will be in front of more than 1.5 million people so for the amount of exposure the relative cost is cheap… and tax deductible!
*If you’d like to donate to the cause and support this incredible goal you can click this link for donations.