It is my pleasure to introduce you to our newest East Nasty of the Week (ENOW), Mike Clark! If you don’t recognize this ENOW then you definitely need to get out more. Mike is EVERYWHERE East Nasty is – Wednesday night runs, there; P2T, there; Saturday morning continuing P2T runs, there; Lasty Nasty, there; winning 2nd Place in his Age Group at a local 5K, there. Now, let’s get to know the man behind the shorts.
Mike was born in and grew up in Nashville. He was a nerd in high school and describes it as, “not a good time period of my life”. Mike persevered and graduated from Lipscomb University with a Business Management/Marketing degree. He sang in the chorus all four years, which he says was a great thrill. He was also a member of Phi Mu Alpha, an international music fraternity. The more you know!
Mike has lived in Nashville for over 40 years. He is a proud Eighth Grade Math teacher at Joelton Middle School. He started running in January of 2007 and was introduced to East Nasty in 2008 via Chuck Hargrove. Mike has been a regular since 2009 and on the board since 2012. His biggest accomplishment in running happened in 2009 when he ran a 5k in 24:59, his PR.
When asked what he enjoys most about East Nasty, Mike says, “It is like family to me. From the Princess Posse, P2T trainers and trainees, and “the girls” (they know who they are), they have all changed my life. Too many great people to name who have blessed my life through East Nasty.”
Speaking of the Princess Posse, Mike’s friend, and fellow ENOW, Susi Willis, has this to say about her friend, “Mike Clark is good people. He is a sweet guy and very much a supporter of people’s running journeys, wherever they may be starting. He has been a good friend and cheerleader to my running buddies, the Princess Posse. He has shown up to cheer us on at races, listened to all kinds of silliness related to running “outfits” and taken on the challenge of being the only guy at many post-run breakfasts with us. When I think of Mike Clark, I think of his volunteerism to the Couch to 5Krs- both for the summer EN program and for leading the Winter program that NRC hosts. He also has been leading the Tomato 5krs on a 5K to 5 mile program the last 3 seasons as well. One training in particular sticks out to me from this summer, before the run, Mike asked us to turn to someone and thank them for being in your life. It was very touching. He gives a lot to EN and really helps people transition past the 5k accomplishment to keep running and stay active.”
Mike’s most memorable East Nasty experience is the Tomato 5K. He says, “The past three years, the end of the Tomato 5K is very emotional. After 8 weeks of hot, hard training; everyone is ecstatic about finishing the race. Coaches are there to greet them and we take a group picture. An experience I always treasure.”
Fellow P2T coaches, The Jeremy’s (Payne and Taylor), had this to say, “Mike has played a key role in shaping our East Nasty experience. He was there to coach us through our first 5k three years ago, and he encouraged and supported us to become coaches ourselves. Mike is always positive and makes the success of each Potato 2 Tomato his personal mission. His light-hearted approach to running makes it fun for everyone around. Whether it is a quick pep talk or a well-placed “your momma” reference, he is always there to help. We’re just two of hundreds of individuals Mike has committed countless hours towards to help us reach our goals. Want a true measure of his passion? He celebrates each of our successes by making it a point to stay at the finish to greet all of his runners as they finish – no matter if they are Fasty or Lasty.”
When Mike’s not running, he enjoys listening to music, traveling and watching baseball games. His bucket list is to go every major league ballpark. So far, he has been to 20.
Mike, this post is well deserved and long over-due. Thank you for all you do for East Nasty, particularly our newer runners that come to us via P2T. Welcome to the ENOW club!