Well it is a new year and high time we crown the first East Nasty of the Week for 2010. I wanted it to be someone extra special for the honor, thus we picked magnificent Heidi Huerta. She is one of the original East Nastys, as in she was there at one of the first runs, and yet she has somehow missed being selected for this great recognition until now. Crazy, I know!
Heidi was both born and “made” in Taiwan. Her parents are both Bolivian, and yet from such international beginnings, she ended up growing up in Pensacola, Florida. She has always been an athlete, playing basketball and tennis throughout high school and college. Then, sometime in 2004, she decided to join up with a local “watering hole’s” running group. Dubbed the “McGuire’s Running Club,” the group would meet weekly for a 3+ mile run, and then all head over to McGuire’s Irish Pub for 1/2 price pitchers (perhaps we need to talk to 3 Crow about this idea.) It quickly became her social outlet and great way to get a little exercise.
One night, as she and her friends Meri and Bruce were enjoying some post-run refreshments, they began discussing the idea of running a marathon. At first Heidi said “NO WAY!” to the idea, but they worked on her a little bit, and so she decided to enter the lottery system of the NYC Marathon. In her head she was thinking that she first off would probably not even get in, and if she did, she claimed that if her training did not go well, then she could always just drop out. Well…she rocked out her training, she loved the race, and like she told me, “that’s all she wrote!” Since 2005 Heidi has completed 5 marathons (it would be 6 but she was forced to stop at mile 20 of the Chicago Marathon in 2007 when they canceled the whole thing due to heat) and 9 half marathons.
So what does Heidi have on the slate for 2010? Well for one thing she would like to set a marathon PR this Fall, and she is also training for The Gulf Coast Half Ironman (as is Jim Schwan,) which will be held on May 8th this year in Panama City. That is 70.3 miles in distance, just in case anyone was interested. Besides that, she will just continue doing what she does best, inspiring everyone around her.