The Run Fit Racing Team is taking shape and I wanted to take a moment to introduce the newest member of the 2018 Run Fit Racing Team. Craig Braun is the owner of Lighthouse Events, the premier racing event company in the state of Wisconsin. In September of 2017 we partnered with Lighthouse Events to become the official nutrition sponsor of the Winter Run Series. Ever since, Craig has been a phenomenal partner in helping us grow Run Fit Nutrition.
We conducted a quick Q&A with Craig to help you all get to know him a little bit better. Also check out Lighthouse Event’s website Here.
Q: How and why did you get started running?
A: I started running when I was in 7th grade and had to complete a one mile run as fast as I could for the presidential physical fitness test in my middle school gym class. My mom was the gym teacher and I had to be the cool kid in class. So, I had to go fast and I had to win. I remember that running came easy to me and I was naturally good at it. Throughout middle school into high school I started to grow a deeper passion for running and competed on our varsity team for all four years. I started to love the feeling that came with running – floating over the pavement, it’s such a smooth and calming feeling. I also soon found out that running was not the cool sport in High School… bummer. I was far too skinny to play football so I stuck with cross & track / field. I competed in college cross and then transitioned into long distance triathlon a bit. Today I run to get lost. Trail running and ultra distance running / mountain races have become my current passion. It’s my time to get lost in the woods, see nobody, talk to nobody and just let my mind calm down.
Q: What keeps you motivated to run?
A: My wife, my coach, my son, my friends. I’m an extremely self-motivated person in all aspects of my life except running. I need someone to kick me in the ass everyday and remind me to get out of the office, shut off and go run for a bit. I’m much happier when I run so the support group I have around me is not only essential to my running career, but also to my personal health, family health and all around well-being. Once I get running, the passion to be better, get faster and push myself further is what keeps me going. Building mental strength, physical strength, it’s all good for you.
Q: What is your greatest achievement in running?
A: I don’t really run to achieve anything. Finishing an event is great and all but that’s not what it’s about for me. Running, for me, is about learning and growing. So, my greatest achievement or lesson I’ve learned from running is one of my biggest failures. My senior year of High School was a breakout year for me. I was killing it and running on full throttle all season. The final race of my high school career was the most disappointing of my high school career. I pushed as hard as I could for 3.1 miles and to this day believe I literally couldn’t have went another second faster. I missed qualifying for state in a VERY tough field by literally 1 foot. I gave it all I had and that still wasn’t enough. Also, our number 3 runner somehow ran out of his mind and beat me – I’d been our number one runner and had not been beaten for the last 2 years straight. It was devastating. But, as I laid on the ground in the back corner of the finish shoot completely gassed, I was taught the biggest lesson of my life. If you do your absolute best, there’s nothing you can be mad about and you can’t be defeated. I picked myself up off the ground, went and gave our #3 a big hug and congratulated him and left that meet a changed person. I didn’t make it to state, but I took home something much more valuable that has stuck with me forever. If you’re washing dishes, do it the best you can. If you’re being a parent, do it the very best you can. Big or small, this lesson can be applied to literally everything in your life. I would say this is also the same day that i realized I’ll be running for as long as my legs allow.
Q: What running goals do you have for 2018?
A: 2018 is all about consistency and absolutely crushing the Pikes Peak Marathon. I’m signed up for one event and only one event. The goal is to run under 6 hours which should put me in the top 150 for the field. Getting to run with and compete with (kind of) the best mountain runners int he world is a very humbling and exciting experience. They come hauling ass down the mountain past you while you’re sucking air on the way up. A sub goal for the race is to run the 13.1 miles down the mountain in under 1:15. That should put me around the 50th fastest time down the mountain which means I beat seem pros or at least copied their form and pace down the mountain. How sick would that be! The final goal is to have fun and enjoy the training during the week 🙂
Q: What long-term running goals do you have, beyond 2018?
A: My long-term running goal is to race (not just compete) in a 100 mile mountain race. I’ve got my eye on Leadville but I’ve heard lot’s of negative comments about the event. I’m not set on which 100 I’ll do, but I know I need to do one, and do one well, whatever that means. 2018 is a building year and a speed year to race Pikes, 2019 will be the year of the 50k and 50 milers and then 2020 should be the year I race a 100 miler. We’ll see what happens.
Q: You own the premier running event company in the state of WI, Lighthouse Events. Tell us about Lighthouse Events.
A: I’m flattered that you call us the premier event company. I think we do a really great job and I’m proud of what we do but there are some other really solid companies around our area. Lighthouse is a community of people relentlessly working towards their goals. We’re about taking anyone at anytime and welcoming them to our huge family of athletes. My ultimate goal is to positively impact as many people in my life as I can. Right now, Lighthouse and the events we produce acts as a great Segway for me to do that. We produce running, tri, trail and ultra distance events in Wisconsin and around the country. There’s a very bright future for Lighthouse and I’m excited to see where this thing ends up going. I’ve made a ton of great friends in my job and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to make a living an in industry I enjoy.
Q: Any special events you want to add, and what is the long-term vision for Lighthouse Events?
A: We’re pretty comfy with our lineup right now. My rule has and is quality over quantity. To me, it doesn’t make sense to have 60 races you produce that bring in 200 – 300 people. It’s a lot of work to really execute a great event and the more races you add the more you saturate your market and hurt your current races and some of the other races that have been established for sometime around us. The focus for me has really been community and people. The question isn’t so much how can we make more money and grow the business. It’s how can we connect more people and encourage those who race with us. Like I said before, I’m extremely grateful to have this position and be able to connect with thousands of people every year. Putting on a smooth and well executed event is the expectation, I think the experience and the focus on people is what makes us special and is the reason we continue to grow that events we have. If you take care of the people who run with you now, they will bring friends and you will grow your events. It’s pretty simple really. Just be nice to people and work with integrity. I don’t think that really answered your question but that’s what I’m rolling with. 🙂
Q: Tell us about your life and interests outside of Lighthouse Events and running.
A: I love being a dad and a husband. Helping my family and being around is one of my favorite things to do. I’m a full on family man and love it. I also love snowboarding, playing guitar, singing, reading, racing / riding motocross, watching dem packers and have a whiskey or three is a good time also. I love getting involved in other people’s goals and helping them succeed in them. I’m pretty open to just about anything, Having fun and spending your time learning something or getting better at something is always good. I’m the kind of guy who would be pumped to go skydiving and equally pumped to learn how to sew. Weird, huh?
Q: What does it mean to you to be a part of the Run Fit Nutrition Racing Team?
A: I’m honored to be representing Run Fit on the race team for 2018. Hearing Jay talk with such passion about his product and hearing his story is reason enough to buy the product and support the business. In relation to my goals stated above, I want to help promote this business as much as possible. Good, hardworking people deserve recognition and exposure. If I can be a small part of the success of Run Fit, I’ll be happy. Also, having used the products prior to being on the team, I believe in them and can speak highly of them from my own experience. It’s exciting to be part of the company and be along for the ride as the brand grows and becomes a staple for runners around the country.
As you can tell, when it comes to his family, running, his business, and helping other’s reach their goals, Craig is a very passionate individual. He’s one of a kind and we are happy to have him as part of the Run Fit Nutrition family.
~ Run Fit Nutrition