Local runner, rider-athlete pushing limits for WF half marathon

January 7, 2019 | 3:00 am

Updated January 8, 2019 | 12:05 am

Robin Tucker and Josh Taylor are training for the Wendell Foster half marathon. | Photo by AP Imagery

Robin Tucker knows how to push her limits. At 34, she has completed several half marathons and 5K races, but her start in the sport of running began with a little Disney magic.

“I hated running growing up,” Tucker said.

However, she soon found she did want to be a part of runDisney marathon weekends, held throughout the year at Walt Disney World Resort with options to run a 5K, 10K, half and full marathon.

Once she completed that 5K, she began thinking of other challenges and pushing herself to run more each time.

“It’s awesome to think I can do it,” Tucker said of her inner strength.

Approached by her friend, Sarah Poole, Vice President of Intermediate Care Facility at Wendell Foster, Tucker was asked if she would be interested in pushing her limits again, but this time literally pushing.

Poole approached her with the idea of running in the stroller division in the inaugural Wendell Foster half marathon that is being held in Owensboro on March 23, 2019. This means she would be racing as an individual while pushing one of the residents at Wendell Foster.

Tucker jumped right in and has begun training for the race with Josh Taylor, a 35-year-old resident of the cottages at Wendell Foster.

Tucker and Taylor head out Saturday for the first group training run at Legends. | Photo by AP Imagery

Just being able to do it — the need to get out and get active — is a major reason why Tucker wanted the challenge to partner with Taylor. Although she said it is completely different running with a stroller, she is learning that once again, she is not limited physically to do it.

Taylor is also training for the race by exercising, stretching his legs and sleeping in the morning after the training runs.

Taylor said he gets nervous before Saturday morning runs because he is not a morning person, but he is excited about the race and keeps the schedule on his calendar.

Tucker and Taylor did not know each other prior to their training, and Taylor has never participated in the stroller division, but they have become a team.

“He’s a trooper,” Tucker said. “He is doing additional physical therapy because he is confined in a stroller for longer.”

Although it has been an adjustment for Tucker and both have had to learn their limitations are, Taylor just enjoys getting out and looking around while training.

“I like to run with Robin,” Taylor said.

The team has coordinated their schedules and run every Tuesday after each gets off work; they use Saturdays for their longer runs.

Tucker says it has been nice to be able to start the training runs from Taylor’s residence at Wendell Foster because transportation is their biggest challenge. Taylor not only would require a vehicle with a lift, but also help to move him from his chair to his stroller at a new location.

Tucker says Taylor has been very involved in the runs and will alert her when there is a bump or a hill, something she had not previously worried much about when running alone.

Another feature that has proven useful is Tucker’s cell phone and apps. Taylor is able to listen to the mapped route Tucker created for the run.

“He can hear all parts — the route, when we are going to turn,” Tucker said. “And one of his major things is he controls the music.”

Tucker said this was initially an adjustment for her because she was used to running with earbuds and now they use a speaker with her Amazon Prime music. Taylor chooses the songs, and she is never certain what her DJ will play.

“I just play the music, it doesn’t matter to me,” Taylor said.

Using a run-three-walk-one-minute strategy, what Tucker has used in previous runs, her goal is to beat a 14-minute mile.

“If I make it — or if I don’t, that’s totally fine,” Tucker said. “I just want to finish with him and be proud with him.”

Taylor has already told his family about his training for the upcoming marathon and his mom is planning to be in the crowd to cheer them on.

January 7, 2019 | 3:00 am

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