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Silicon Valley Half Spotlight: Richard Walters

The Silicon Valley Half, 10K & 5K presented by Excite Credit Union is Friday, September 18 – Sunday, September 27. Run Local is spotlighting a couple of its runners and partners throughout the week. Visit svhalfmarathon.com to learn more and register today.

Richard Walters joined us in April for the Run Local Pod and we followed-up with him as he prepares to run his SV Half Marathon this weekend. He also shares with the Run Local community his Running with a Purpose philosophy to inspire others.

It amazes me what your mind and body are capable of when serving others. Negative thinking… gone.  Pain… squashed.  Purpose achieved.

Where did you grow up and where is your local now? 

I reside in Dublin, CA; work with Excite in the San Jose market and originally from Salt Lake City, UT. 

At Excite I work out of our corporate office near Almaden Expressway & Capitol Expressway, there are some great restaurants in the Willow Glen area that is nearby that I enjoy! 

Where will you be running your Half Marathon this weekend?

Running for me for this event will be different than what is “normal” for me.  I have been fighting a couple of minor injuries and my original intent was to PR for this race, but unfortunately, that will not be a possibility.  I’m still deciding on where I will walk/run my course this coming week, as I do plan on completing my 13.1 miles!  Some of my favorite places to run:

  • San Francisco (love running across the bridge)
  • Any nature trails (since I reside in the East Bay, I often am caught on the Iron Horse Trail)
  • Coastal run (love running in Half Moon Bay or Pacifica).

Since we did the podcast in April how has work continued to evolve?

Excite Credit Union branch operations have been one of the items impacted most.  At the beginning of the pandemic, we noticed reduced branch traffic and eventually adjusted our hours so that we could have our team members focus on meeting Members through appropriate digital channels.  We have seen an influx in Members that have been able to access the credit union digitally, which has been a positive change for Members that wanted to conduct business from the safety of their home.  Our Team Members have also really stepped up to the occasion, and have been empathetic, hardworking and flexible to adapt during the pandemic. 

Since we did the podcast what has evolved for you personally, especially with your running, that has allowed you to stay resilient? 

During the pandemic, my workout routine has definitely shifted.  I normally would supplement my running routine with cross training in a gym.  With the closure of many businesses (including gyms) this caused me to change up my routine some.  I kept running, to stay healthy throughout the pandemic, but without diligent cross-training, it eventually led to some common running injuries.  This is a shameless plug to make sure that you have a good cross training plan and stretch to avoid injuring yourself!

What are three things anyone can do, regardless of age or income, to improve their financial health? 

  1. Start – sometimes the hardest thing to do is start and stay committed to the process.
  2. Access your support network.
  3. Have an open mind, and be willing to continue to learn.

Richard’s Running With Purpose

It started with a weight-loss goal. After a surprising “step on the scale” moment, I realized it was time to make a few changes in life. That led me to pick up running and focusing on nutrition. 

One of the first goals I had was to run a mile in under 8 minutes.  That seems like a big challenge to tackle, but within the first year of running, I was able to achieve that. From there, I set my eyes on completing a Half Marathon without stopping.  Which I completed in 2013 with a time of 1:49:36.  From there – the “running addiction” set in and the momentum continued with the desire to improve race time. My best race time was 1:32:04 (Livermore Half Marathon) at a pace of 7:02/mile.  My goal for the SV Half was to finish in under 1:30:00 or a 6:52/mile pace. 

One unintended, yet very surprising, consequence of running was the change in mindset that occurred.  Suddenly, running became less and less about myself, and more about empathizing and relating to others. It became about a greater purpose.  Many races, like the SV Half, have beneficiaries to assist those in need, such as the Silicon Valley Education Foundation (SVEF).  SVEF is the largest educational nonprofit in Silicon Valley and is guided by the belief that all students are capable of pursuing higher education and boosting their future economic mobility regardless of their background.

It amazes me what your mind and body are capable of when serving others. Negative thinking… gone.  Pain… squashed.  Purpose achieved.

Fighting to finish at my personal best pales in comparison to the fight for upward mobility that kids in the foster system endure each day. Suddenly, my problems seem so minuscule and really propels my purpose in running.