Member Spotlight: Darren McBurnett

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What excites you most about running the 2014 TCS New York City Marathon?
I have always wanted to run the NYC Marathon but what excites me the most is that I am running for a charity that I believe in.

What is your favorite place to run and why?
I love running in the morning. Doesn’t matter where as long as it’s in the morning.

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
AC/DC, 90’s, Newsboys, 80’s when I am in the mood.

What is your favorite post-run meal?
Chocolate milk, Protein shake and Pop-Tarts….Brown Sugar kind.

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
I started running at age 11. In the 6th grade we would run around the field and I always came in first (don’t know why but it always felt good and I was comfortable (kind of like I was meant to do it).

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
I never wear the race t-shirt before the race that I do. I always thought it was bad luck and I never wanted to jinx myself……weird.

Why 26.2?
As you stroll through life, I believe you have to always challenge yourself at least once a year to let yourself know you are alive.

Tell us a little more about yourself
I started running in the sixth grade but finally went out for track in the 7th and 8th grade. I was naturally good at it and that led to running Cross Country when I went to High school. I ran Cross Country, Track, Indoor Track and Swim Team and went to State my senior year in Cross Country. Also during my High School years I started doing Triathlons out of curiosity then I got really good at them. Did my First Ironman at age 17 in Massachusetts in 1988 (it was the Cape Cod endurance Triathlon at that time). Turned pro at 18 and was nationally ranked. I loved it. At that time there was nothing I wanted to do but run and do Triathlons. I went to college and Graduated from Purdue. I had a good college life but never got fast enough to make a difference in any sports. I joined the Navy to pay back student loans and that is where my life got interesting.

I went to Basic Underwater Demolition SEAL Training in 1996 and went to SEAL TEAM TWO in 1997. Well now I am 43 years old and I have had a busy Navy Career. I went to SEAL TEAM 2, 4, 8 and now currently at SEAL TEAM 3. I have deployed to every Theater and been in every conflict that the U.S. has been involved with since 1999 to include Kosovo, Bosnia, Afghanistan, Iraq and other nasty places in the Middle east. As I come to the end of my Naval Career I found myself going back to where I started in life, running. All the drive and lessons I have learned when I was running resonated through my career. I have more time to run now and I want to give back to the sport that forged me to what I am today. I believe if you give the youth of today a chance, you never know where they will end up. Sometimes all they need is a chance.

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