62 episodes

On your journeys of fitness and faith, we are helping you stay motivated to be stronger physically and spiritually on the new RUN THE RACE podcast. Host Jason Dennis - veteran WTVM news anchor, marathon runner and missionary, will talk to experts and people with inspiring stories as we dig deeper into the mind, body and soul.

Run The Race WTVM

    • Health & Fitness
    • 5.0 • 50 Ratings

On your journeys of fitness and faith, we are helping you stay motivated to be stronger physically and spiritually on the new RUN THE RACE podcast. Host Jason Dennis - veteran WTVM news anchor, marathon runner and missionary, will talk to experts and people with inspiring stories as we dig deeper into the mind, body and soul.

    #62: Ultra Couple Takes On Cancer & Long Races (453 miles in a dome)

    #62: Ultra Couple Takes On Cancer & Long Races (453 miles in a dome)

    Running a 100 mile race is hard, but both of my guests this week have done it well, and now they're in another race - one against cancer. I start this episode with a rapid recap of an event for which they are race directors that I took part in (2:40) called #onemileatatime, a 24 hour trail running event in Griffin Georgia where I lasted 8+ hours and ran my longest distance ever so far: 35 miles, some in the rain, burning 5000 calories.

    (7:08) Kevin & Annie Randolph help lead Revolution Running, putting on around 10 races each year, including the latest one I mentioned above, where he actually finished 2nd place with 75 miles. He talks about the weather/conditions/trail and format of #onemileatatime on a 1.05 mile loop, how it's like last man standing with a twist, and how a friend who passed away from cancer inspired the name.

    Athletic Annie, who's run 50+ ultras or more than a marathon, (14:40) is now battling breast cancer, saying God is with her every step. She opens up about how being an ultra runner has helped her during the chemo treatments, plus how continuing running is helping her survive. (18:07) She talks about cancer and faith, this crisis driving her to God vs. times in the past when she's tried to do things on her own.

    In the "Fast Four" rapid fire questions, (20:00)we learn about their car jobs, being race directors, workouts besides runs, living with gratitude, and mission work in Bosnia.

    (27:15) We dig into their running adventures, including Kevin doing 453 miles in 6 days inside a dome! But why? How wife motivated him to not stay in bed too long, and he saw amazing athletic feats, but the cost for him was 3+ months of zombie-like fatigue afterwards. We also chat about (32:27) how they transitioned to ultra running on trails and if the training is the same. Difficult times vaulted Annie into her first marathon and 50K, saying she loves a challenge and it helped her with emotional suffering, eventually winning 1st place female at a brutal 50 mile trail race in Georgia. How does she acclimate to heat and humidity, heading into the summer? She shares her secret.

    They discuss what it's like (40:14)on race days for race directors and getting back to those after a difficult 2020 of canceled races due to the COVID-19 pandemic. One of their favorites is the Stinger 6-24 hours one on a track, where one man qualified for world competition. They love seeing people, of all skill/running levels, achieve their goals!

    (48:04) This married couple also dive into how God and Love connect to their running and life together. They both fight back tears in discussing how they help each other. But as for crying during races, they have different philosophies on that, unless it involves coyotes, (55:45) Running for causes is also very important to them. You can sign up for the Sunshine Endurance one next month, with proceeds benefiting this couple and their medical bills. It has 6 & 12 hour options, virtual or in person at a 2 mile loop in Locust Grove GA. They're thankful for support from family, friends and the running community!

    (1:02:20) I close it out with "Food for Thought" segment on exercising during cancer treatment, "Parting Gift" inspiration from college basketball coach who fought cancer Jimmy Valvano, and a prayer.

    Thanks for listening! Make sure to SUBSCRIBE to this podcast. And please share it with your friends using #RunTheRacePodcast. Also, write a quick review about it. For more info, go to www.wtvm.com/podcast/.

    • 1 hr 7 min
    #61: Pro Wrestler Goes 40 Years In The Ring, Even Vs. a Bear

    #61: Pro Wrestler Goes 40 Years In The Ring, Even Vs. a Bear

    To hear extraordinary and inspiring stories of faith and fitness (like fighting a bear), make sure to SUBSCRIBE to this podcast. Former wrestling icon, now gym owner Jerry Oates opens up about a lot as this week's guest.

    I start off this wrestling-themed episode with (2:02) some thoughts on "wrestling with God," and (3:30) a quick recap of my latest marathon in the 14th state and my fastest 26.2 mile race yet.

    (7:45) We start the chat with former pro wrestler Jerry Oates - who had more than 4,000 matches in 40 years - talking about his and tag team partner's experience wrestling a muzzled 450 lb. bear named Victor inside a ring set up at a mall in Columbus GA.

    Is wrestling fake entertainment? (12:42) You'll want to hear Oates' answer, as a big guy who did a lot of stunts. (14:34) We get to know him some in the "Fast 4" rapid fire questions. He says you can do anything you want to do and he treats his body like the temple God gave him. Oates says he's lived all his dreams, but there's one more. And one of his secrets to success is always having a challenge or ambition to look forward to.

    (23:10) This former veteran wrestler has advice for people of all shapes and ages and fitness levels when it comes to getting fit and getting motivated to go to the gym, no matter the excuses. He's 73 years old and still works out 5 days per week.

    Oates (27:35) started his wrestling career at age 22 in 1970 and was able to compete in a wrestling match in 5 different decades, his last one being in his early 60s. No special costume or stage name, but he was on a lot of main events around the world. (30:58) He talks about some of his highlights, including places where he wrestled: the Superdome and also in the sacred "sumo palace" in Japan.

    (33:14) Imagine jumping in the ring at age 62. Oates did it, despite having 6 knee surgeries. (36:05) We talk about some of those injuries and (40:20) how workouts at the gym can help prevent you from getting hurt.

    (43:30) For him, it's now rewarding to help others get fit at Oates Gym, reopened during the pandemic in Columbus GA, saying there's no quick fix. (45:50) This former pro also discusses how prayer and hard work helped him earn success in a long wrestling career.

    (52:12) In our final segments, I talk about how faith can be like a wrestling match, as we question God, in "Food for Thought." The "Parting Gift" comes from the Bible then a closing prayer.

    Thanks for listening! And please share it with your friends using #RunTheRacePodcast. Also, write a quick review about it. For more info, go to www.wtvm.com/podcast/.

    • 57 min
    #60: Drill SGT-turned-Pastor on Hope for you & Black Lives Matter

    #60: Drill SGT-turned-Pastor on Hope for you & Black Lives Matter

    Just in time for Easter, our guest for the 60th episode of this podcast is a former Army drill sergeant who now leads a racially diverse church in Georgia. We talk about how all of us can bridge the racial divide, the meaning of the upcoming holiday, this pastor's Vegan lifestyle and how he takes care of his body, lessons learned from 20 years in the military, and more. After a quick overview of (2:43) a recent hiking adventure with my son, and how much Jesus walked on a daily basis, we get into the chat.

    (5:40) Pastor Derrick Shields, of Christ Community Church in Columbus GA, was recently featured in the national magazine Guideposts. He opens up in that editorial and with me about Black Lives Matter, lending some context to that phrase and how it can be divisive inside and outside the church. He also explains how and why the church he leads is so multiracial.

    (12:34) In the "Fast Four," we learn about his current mission, losing good fitness habits during the pandemic and new goals to get fit, plus (17:39) leadership lessons learned as a drill sgt. and airborne instructor.

    (19:50) What can churchgoers and nonbelievers do to develop more racial diversity around us? He has a simple answer. (23:54) Pastor Derrick also talks about the "Super Bowl for churches" which is Easter, how it brings hope for a better tomorrow. He also explains how the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us about the effectiveness of online ministry.

    No meat, no problem. (28:25) He details why he's vegan, how it helps him with fitness, sluggishness, focus, and following the Bible's teachings on how our body is a temple. (34:44) Pastor Derrick is honest about he sabotaged opportunities to move up the ranks during two decades in the Army, but how that time as a soldier taught him about diversity. Despite rebellion and resistance, he gave into the call to ministry a decade after the Army. (45:50) He gives us a closing prayer, following by my "food for thought" segment on diversity issues in gyms and a "parting gift" about Easter.

    Thanks for listening! Make sure to SUBSCRIBE to this podcast. And please share it with your friends using #RunTheRacePodcast. Also, write a quick review about it. For more info, go to www.wtvm.com/podcast/.

    • 53 min
    #59: Women's Marathon USA Champ-now-Coach Helps Runners Smile

    #59: Women's Marathon USA Champ-now-Coach Helps Runners Smile

    As we talk fitness and faith on a regular basis, make sure to subscribe to this podcast, to hear fascinating guests like professional runner and coach Esther Erb Atkins! On this episode, we talk about her "smiler" reputation, having in-person races amidst COVID-19, her 2:33 marathon finish and championships, injury prevention, performance anxiety, the race she's organized that I'm running this weekend, and more.

    I start with a quick update on ultra ultra runner Brandon Lott (he was on episode #56) who has now finished his second ITI 350 miler, a race that took him 10+ days in snowy Alaska.

    (6:07) Our chat with McKirdy Trained running coach Esther Atkins starts with why she's known as the "smiler" in the running world and why she holds her hands in the shape of a heart over her head at finish lines. It has something to do with pain, Carpe Diem, and being grateful for her competitors pushing her.

    In the "Fast Four," (11:50) we learn about this pro runner's current jobs at work and home, facing an injury for while now while trying to make it back to the Olympic trials, being 18 weeks pregnant (and still running kinda fast), how being a cello player helped her as a runner, and getting a tattoo with her fiance-now-husband that means "From a place of love" plus how that's connected to her spiritual faith.

    (18:58) As the COVID-19 pandemic continues impacting us, when could things be back to normal for races? Esther talks about it being a time of self-discovery and in-person races that are still happening, like the McKirdy micro marathon in Greenville SC that she's leading.

    We dive into (25:05) how she got started in running, from gaining weight on study abroad trip...to being a legendary runner at Case Western Reserve University where she was a 6-time All-American and DIII champion...to her 2:46 marathon debut in Berlin...to turning pro and beating that time by more than 10 minutes to win the 2014 national title in the USA marathon championships...to competing multiple times in the Olympic trials. (34:21) How was she able to run 26.2 miles that fast?

    There's also a big mental aspect to competing. (36:34) Esther has severe performance anxiety early in her running career, even hyperventilating at some national races. (40:20) Like many of us, she also listens to music or podcasts (like this one) when running solo.

    (44:15) As a coach and someone that's been fighting an injury for more than a year, Esther gives us the top 3 things to help prevent and come back from injuries, including misconceptions about ice and heat and running slower.

    Esther is also excited (51:52) and more prepared in her current pregnancy, after having 2 miscarriages. Looking forward to meeting her in person at my next marathon, my 14th state for a marathon! (57:35) We close the episode with "food for thought" about how smiling can impact your workout, a "parting gift" from The Bible about a happy heart, then a Prayer.

    Thanks for listening! And please share it with your friends using #RunTheRacePodcast. Also, write a quick review about it. For more info, go to www.wtvm.com/podcast/.

    • 1 hr 2 min
    #58: Movie Star and Filmmaker Deliver Faith on the Big Screen

    #58: Movie Star and Filmmaker Deliver Faith on the Big Screen

    This is a 2-for-1 episode, as we chat with the star of a new faith-based movie T.C. Stallings, a former pro football player who's now been in more than 20 films, plus Ty Manns, the writer/executive producer of that film "My Brother's Keeper" which hits select theaters Friday, March 19. Want inspiration when it comes to your fitness and/or faith? Subscribe to this podcast!

    With this double feature, you also get some previews of "coming attractions": (1:15) some of the trailer of that new military story for the big screen and (2:16) a brief interview with next week's podcast guest, elite runner and coach Esther Atkins discussing an upcoming in-person marathon in SC that I'm running this month and still has spots open, how they're keeping the race COVID-safe.

    (11:23) Then we get into an in-depth chat with Stallings and Mann, first about "My Brother's Keeper" which is based in part on the experience of Manns' father returning home from the Vietnam War. PTSD is one of the issues tackled in the movie. T.C. plays the main character, Sgt. 1st Class Travis Fox. He researched the role by listening to soldiers and hopes to do the role justice, putting the spotlight on struggles of faith in God and trust in others. Military vet Manns opens up about his dad getting out of control after returning from deployment, then his transformation into a pastor. This is the 3rd movie this pair has done together. T.C. calls it the most challenging role of the 22 films he's been in so far.

    Thanks for listening! And please share it with your friends using #RunTheRacePodcast. Also, write a quick review about it. For more info, go to www.wtvm.com/podcast/.

    • 1 hr 7 min
    #57: From Cocaine to Christ to Jail Chaplain

    #57: From Cocaine to Christ to Jail Chaplain

    This is one of the best interviews I've had the honor to do so far as the host of this podcast. It's a powerful story of tragedy and hope from a now jail chaplain, almost 70 years old, about his 3 decades of drug addiction, overcoming it by the power of God, and now helping other addicts and homeless like he was.

    After a brief introduction and talking about logging more running miles than ever (but I'm not addicted to running), we start the chat (5:23) with Chaplain Neil Richardson. He describes what he went through overcoming 30 years of cocaine addiction when he lived in Miami. He tried to do it all by himself, kept using, then finally gave his life to Jesus. This son of an alcoholic mom went from being a "successful addict" with his own business and living an evil lifestyle that led to being divorced and homeless...to rebuilding his life and body, getting to be a father again to his 3 sons.

    (11:06) Cocaine became his idol, more important than his family and job. A conversation with his one of his sons ripped his heart out and was a turning point for this addict. Chaplain Neil said it also helped to have his enabler wife kick him out, then for a pastor to walk him through the drug recovery process. (15:45) In the "Fast 4," we learn about this Chaplain of the Muscogee County Jail (Columbus GA) and executive director of SafeHouse Ministries who leaves home every day at 4:20am to walk 3 miles, lifting weights at lunch, as a private person who lives with fish. He gives us 3 things to do in life thanks to 1 Thessalonians 5.

    Why did he leave Miami for Columbus, GA? (19:15) It has to do with him getting a flesh-eating disease, selling cars, and another jail to volunteer at. (22:59) Chaplain Neil breaks down his typical day behind bars, with many requests from inmates for spiritual help. How does his perspective as a former addict help him reach these inmates? He describes their "faith based dorms" in the jail too.

    (26:57) We all know someone dealing with drug addiction. Whether that's you or a family member or friend, this chaplain gives us keys to success for recovery, including tough love rules, boundaries, and consequences (some good). Nobody wants to be an addict, but are they willing to do what it takes to quit?

    On the other side now, (32:56) Neil Richardson is helping homeless through his SafeHouse Ministries, which he started so that people getting out of jail will have a better chance of staying out of jail. it includes shelter, a substance abuse program, and help getting a job. The goal is to give people hope.

    (40:24) Fitness is important too. Chaplain Neil wakes up before 4am daily so he can have 3 hours to do his private time with the Lord, walk/exercise, pray, all to be spiritually and physically ready for the day. And now he's a healthy and sober father (about to be a grandfather), welcomed years ago back into the family. He talks about David in the Bible and hoe God accepts us "AS IS."

    (46:05) After Chaplain Neil's closing prayer, (49:30) our final segments are "Food for Thought" about exercise helping with substance use disorders and a "Parting Gift" about getting out of our comfort zone.

    Thanks for listening! Make sure to subscribe to this podcast. And please share it with your friends using #RunTheRacePodcast. Also, write a quick review about it. For more info, go to www.wtvm.com/podcast/.

    • 54 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
50 Ratings

50 Ratings

Franks house to go ,

Great podcast and episode 57 is outstanding

Jason has a very natural interview style and easy listen to. The podcast is packed with helpful information. Good for the body and the spirit!!!

Devin T James ,

Love it!

Jason is a remarkable talent. Love the podcast!

cstfgal ,

Inspiring

Love this podcast! In a world full of despair this show displays humankind being triumphant. You don’t have to be a runner to enjoy this podcast. This is for anyone wanted to be better and see others being better. Keep up the good work!

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