East Nasty of the Week: Zach Barnett


Less than a year ago Zach Barnett HATED running. In fact the only real athletic activity that he liked to participate in was recreational cigarette smoking. Alright, so that is not “entirely” true, but he did in fact dislike running a good amount.


Zach comes from Paducah, Kentucky, a small river town on the border of Illinois. Growing up in rural Western Kentucky, Zach focused his talents on playing the trumpet. His skills were so good, that he landed a scholarship to Western Kentucky University. But “the Hilltoper” life was not for Zach, so after a year there he put down his trumpet, packed up his belongings, and headed south for David Lipscomb University. There he studied Organizational  Management, with a minor in German. By the way for all you travelers out there, his minor in German allowed Zach to spend a semester abroad in Vienna, Austria, so feel free to discuss with him the joys of Eastern Europe.


Now skip forward to this last January, when  Zach came to the realization that instead of sitting around and doing “nothing” all the time, he could just as easily be doing “something” with his life. So with that new mindset he went to a meeting at Mark Miller’s house about training for the 2009 Country Music half marathon. Zach knew Mark from his Lipscomb days, as his college roommate and Mark cycled together. So not long after that meeting, he joined East Nasty for its Wednesday night runs and Sunday morning training groups. He was, admittedly, not a fan in the beginning weeks. He claims that had he joined another running group, say one that has the initials N.S., he does not think that he would have stayed with it. But alas, he has become a runner.


In his first major race, Zach finished the Country Music Half Marathon with a chip time of 1:58:22. Quite the impressive feat, especially when I know people (me for example) who have trained and run that same race several times, and have yet to beat the 2 hour mark. Since April he has run in the Moon Pie 10 miler and the East Nasty Tomato 5K, and he is looking forward (somewhat) to more races in the future.


When I told people about Zach being made East Nasty of the Week, several people kept repeating two interesting facts about him. The first, and the one said more times than I can count, was that he makes a breakfast casserole that borders on life-changing. Apparently we will have to wait until Sunday morning brunches crank back up this winter to find out. The second fact was the promise that if you are a new member to East Nasty, Zach will buy you your first drink at 3 Crow Bar after a Wednesday night run. So all you new East Nasty’s out there, be sure you introduce yourself to Zach Barnett.

Rod Jones

11 Responses to East Nasty of the Week: Zach Barnett

  1. Alexis says:

    That photo is nothing short of amazing. Congrats Zach!

  2. Heidi H says:

    NOW I get it! Congrats Zach….love the picture. 🙂

  3. Christy says:

    Great smile!

  4. Erica Tober says:

    Yyyuuummmm – his breakfast casseroles ARE life changing! Bring back the spicey sausage Zach!

  5. Cristina says:

    Absolutely love the pic… and hope I can show up for brunch without doing a long run 😉

  6. John van der Harst says:

    See Zach. See Zach think. See Zach change. See Zach run!

    Probably same pattern he applies as a Vanderbilt researcher.

    I kid. Zach fits right in with the other East Nasty brainiacs. He’s a problem-solver by nature. Something not right? Fix it.

    I hate smoking, beer, and maybe even his casserole (I’m a vegan), but I always enjoy conversing with Zach.

  7. […] bacon fame) and Heidi will be hosting brunch this week.  Everyone is welcome – talk to Zach about what you need to […]

  8. Julie Beatty says:

    What can I bring? Fruit salad okay? -Julie

  9. […] final piece for Stacy’s ENOW is a picture that she sent me. Not since Zach Barnett’s write-up have I enjoyed a childhood picture this much. According to her she passed the can of beer […]

  10. […] Zach had the great idea of having a little post-run shelby picnic.  So this Sunday, the grill will be going, and it looks like the weather will be great.  So even if you have never joined us, this is a great week to join us to meet some of the nasties!  Here is the brunch sheet. […]

  11. […] well.   Long time Nasties: invite someone new to join you this week!   Maybe you can even convince Zach Barnett to buy them a […]

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