Marathon man

Nine years ago, Brian Gold, assistant vice president of business banking at Brookfield-based North Shore Bank, started running with his wife, Heidi, as a way to lose weight.

A few years later, a few of his friends convinced him to run one of the largest half marathon races in the country, and from that point on he was hooked on running. In just a few years, Gold has completed 21 half-marathons and finished his first full marathon this year.

“In the beginning it was my friends who convinced me that if I could run six miles I could run 13,” Gold said. “I didn’t have any real expectations for that first race but I did have three goals, not to walk, to finish and to basically not die afterwards.”

Gold started off trying to finish the half marathons in under two hours. Now his training has become less about losing weight and more about being fit and being a runner.

“I’ve been really trying to work on speed and interval training and hill work,” Gold said. “It’s now very intense as opposed to the casual leisure running I was doing with my wife early on.”

Even before he finishes one race, Gold is looking for the next one to sign up for.

He has traveled to Florida for the Disney half marathon, to Cincinnati for the Flying Pig half marathon and has also completed races in Chicago, Phoenix and in areas throughout Wisconsin.

“It’s a great excuse to go someplace new,” Gold said. “Now my goal is to run the full marathon in the places I’ve completed the half-marathons.”

Gold now runs five to six days a week. He says Heidi is his number one cheerleader but does not compete in the races with him.

“I used to be the type of athlete who only ran as part of another sport,” Gold said. “It’s so enjoyable. The running community is so welcoming and accepting of all sizes, shapes and speeds of people. It’s not as much about winning for me, it’s more about the camaraderie and the idea of finishing something you never thought you could do.”

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