Rachel Brunner

Occupation: Speech-Language Pathologist

Sport: Marathon/Triathlon

Favorite Training Food: Pink Lemonade Honey Stingers, almonds and KIND bars

Bike: 2012 Trek Madone WSD 4.6

Shoes: Mizuno Wave Riders

Favorite Recovery Food:
Chipotle burrito bowls, cheeseburgers or (gluten free!) pizza

Favorite Training Song: Muse “Supermassive Black Hole” and Eminem “Cinderella Man”

image_22013 Races: Illinois Half Marathon, Tri-Shark sprint tri, Rockford Triathlon, Racine Ironman 70.3, Quad Cities Bix 7, Ironman Wisconsin, Quad Cities Marathon

How are you going to be EPIC? 
After years of being woefully un-athletic, I started running casually in 2003 with my younger sister Megan. We ran a number of short road races together over the next few years and she spurred me on to complete my first half marathon with her at the U of I in 2009. Days after completing that race, enamored with running, I registered for the Chicago Marathon. I completed the marathon in 4:01:04 and uttered, exhausted, “I will NEVER be able to run any faster than I did today!” Since then, I’ve run a total of 7 marathons in 5 states +DC as well as countless shorter-distance races, and indeed I’ve gradually gotten faster. I’ve constantly been looking for another challenge and decided to register for Ironman Branson 70.3 early last year. In the months between registering and the event, I completed a number of sprint and Olympic-distance triathlons and basically made up training plans for myself along the way (with the help of random Google searches). While training and maintaining a number of jobs, I also muscled my way through a nasty personal crisis (divorce). I survived Branson, but it wasn’t pretty! Though it was a brutal experience, I knew I wanted to see if I had it in me to conquer a 140.6 mile event!

image_1I met Coach Laura at a trail race in the fall of 2012 and was drawn to her energy and passion for the sports of running and triathlon. Shortly thereafter, I decided to register for Ironman Wisconsin and to work with her, knowing I definitely couldn’t tackle that beast on my own! I have much room to improve in all areas of triathlon, but have already seen improvements in the pool that I truly never thought possible thanks to Laura’s guidance. I am PUMPED to get this season started and I am cautiously optimistic about my potential. I’d love to get a PR at the half marathon and Olympic-distance triathlon events this season. Even more importantly, I hope to conquer Ironman Wisconsin! I’m confident that, with Coach Laura at the helm, I will be prepared to take my training and racing further than I thought possible back in 2009 after that first marathon. I’m looking forward to an EPIC 2013!