Interview with a Runner

This week we're highlighting someone extra special, Jessica's dad, Dennis Elliott.  Dennis inspired Jessica to start running at a young age because it was a way for her to spend time with him and he made it look so cool. With a marathon PR of 2:47, this dad of six is one natural born fast runner.  One of the best parts of moving back to Oregon is getting to run with this guy again!

When did you start running?
I started running during my first year in law school. I had a friend who introduced me to it as a way to stay in shape. I needed something to counteract my part time smoking habit. It actually worked.  I quit smoking after law school and kept running.

What inspired you to run?
I spent a lot of time in Eugene, Oregon in the mid 70s, and it was a hot bed of distance running. The crowd I hung out with was into marathons. I ran to keep up with them. I'm still trying to catch them.

What is your favorite running route? Why?
My favorite running route is Tryon Creek State Park in Portland, Oregon. It is shady and cool in the summer, full of color in the fall and awash with trilliums in the spring.

Favorite post-run meal?
Margarita on the rocks, no salt.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received?
Train on hills. It gives you twice the workout in the same amount of time.

Are you running for fun or sport? 
Six years ago I was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. I now run to help keep the disease at bay. My pace and distance have reduced considerably, but I still enjoy running (flat and short).

Favorite way to sweat other than run?
An intense game of family pickleball. I spent years purposely losing to my kids. Now that they're grown up, they never let me win.