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.