The Rapidian

Strength in numbers: Local runner shares her journey

May it be the number of miles or number of friends, local runner Stephanie Freriks Doublestein shares her journey of strength in running.
From left to right: Annie (daughter), Jason (husband), Jemma (daughter) and Doublestein.

From left to right: Annie (daughter), Jason (husband), Jemma (daughter) and Doublestein. /Stephanie Freriks Doublestein

Gazelle Girl Half Marathon & 5K

PRICES & DEADLINES

Half Marathon Cost:
Feb 28 – April 10: $85
Late registration at Expotique on April 12: $95
No race day registration.
Half Marathoners register before March 23, 2014 to insure that your NAME is on your bib!
Online registration closes April 9 at midnight.

5K Cost:
Feb 28 – April 10: $30
Late registration at Expotique on April 12 (no shirt guaranteed): $35
No race day registration.
Online registration closes April 9 at midnight.

EVENT SCHEDULE:
April 12, 2014
Expotique & Packet Pickup
12-8pm - downtown Grand Rapids

April 13, 2014
6-7:30am Packet Pickup (no race day registration)
7:55am - National Anthem
8am - Half Marathon start at Rosa Parks Circle
8:15am - 5k run/walk start at Rosa Parks Circle

(via the Gazelle Girl website)

Annie (left) and Doublestein before Annie's first 5K.

Annie (left) and Doublestein before Annie's first 5K. /Jason Doublestein

Doublstein and friend Sarah's shoes before a long run while training for the 2013 Fifth Third River Bank 25K

Doublstein and friend Sarah's shoes before a long run while training for the 2013 Fifth Third River Bank 25K /Stephanie Doublestein

Stephanie Freriks Doublestein is, in a word, a powerhouse. She sits as Editor-in-Chief of Rapid Growth Media, is a mother of two young girls and has a love for running. Well, sort of.

“By my senior year of high school, I really hated it. In fact, when I was in college, my suitemates and I would go out for a few miles as a way to procrastinate,” says Doublestein. While running wasn’t the first thing on her to-do list, Doublestein stuck to it long enough to meet someone else with the same struggle.

“When you run with someone for a couple hours, you really get to know that person; it really bonded us,” recalls Doublestein. Thien-Di Do and Doublestein met and in 2000 decided they were going to train for their first half marathon together. Avid runners across the spectrum will attest, ‘once you run your first, you’ll be hooked.’ Upon completion of Mackinac Island half marathon, Doublestein then went on to run the Chicago Marathon in 2003 with her husband Jason Doublestein.

“It’s one of those things you can say, ‘I ran a marathon.’ Regardless of what you do with the rest of your life or how lazy you get afterwards, you can always say you ran a marathon,” chuckles Doublestein. Lazy, however, was never an option for this powerhouse. She continued running and to this day has completed the Fifth Third River Bank Run 25K (while pregnant) and the Grand Rapids Half Marathon.

“I don't listen to music when I run,” she shares.  “It's like my therapy time. All day, I'm doing things for other people and being busy. It's the one time I get to be alone and turn it off.” In 2006, Doublestein met her neighbor Sarah Cavanaugh. To this day, the two can be seen running together all the time.

“There’s something really great about finding that someone, that person, you have and can call up and say, ‘Hey, want to go for a run?’” shares Doublestein. This year, the two have decided to run the Gazelle Girl Half Marathon for the first time.

“I like that Gazelle Girl gives back and it's for women. I love that it has this wonderful, encouraging atmosphere for women,” she says. Doublestein also believes spring races require some serious commitment.

“When you sign up for [these races] in January, you have this fantasy of how awesome it’s going to be,” she says. “Then reality sets in. You know you have to get [to the gym] and do those miles. You just have to embrace it and have a great time in spite of it.”

Which is a little like running.

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