If you’re a runner or walker in Mississippi who makes the racing circuit, you’ve probably seen or at least heard of Rod’s Racers. It doesn’t take long to realize that if you need information or pictures of you or a loved one in a local race, Rod Simmons is the person to contact. The best thing about this is that it’s free for you! A few months ago, I decided to spotlight runners or walkers from Mississippi that are making an impact in our running communities. The first person that came to my mind was Rod. He works hard to not only promote races but also the importance of being healthy and active. I also believe that through Rod’s Racers, he’s brought a sense of camaraderie among the racers.
We met up with Rod at the Run for the Roses 5k Race in Prentiss back in April of this year. He is an extremely nice person who has an obvious love for this sport that only a runner/walker could understand. When he found out about my blog and Facebook page, he’s promoted it regularly amongst his many followers. Rod was also my right hand man when I began planning my first 5k race as a race director. He also was more than ready to advertise it for me when we were ready to promote it.
I really appreciate him taking the time out of his extremely busy schedule to answer a few questions to help you get to know him and about Rod’s Racers.
1.)Tell us about your family and work. I know April is at a lot of the races taking pictures and I’ve seen her race before too!
April & I have been married for 14 yrs. Our daughter Roslyn is 12. I’ve been nursing at the University Of Ms Medical Center since 1995.
2.)How did you get started in running?
I started running in 1990 as a Sophomore at East Flora High School in Flora, Ms. I ran the 2 Mile for the track team that went on to finish the season as state champs that year.
3.)When did you start race walking?
I started race walking in February 2009 after a 19 yr layoff from high school. My doctor gave me 3 months to chang my lifestyle after having repeat high cholesterol.
4.) Race walking looks so difficult! Do you find it to be harder than running?
Race walking can be difficult. You have to be disciplined to be a walker.
5.)What’s your favorite distance?
I love doing 8k or greater.
6.) Do you have a favorite race that you look forward to every year?
I enjoy Run 2 Eat 5k in Hattiesburg, YMCA Cotton Classic in Greenville & 300 Oaks Road Race 10k in Greenwood.
7.)What’s your best and worst racing experience?
Best – When I PR’d in Oct 2009 with a finish time of 32:50.
Worst – Sept 3, 2011. At 1/4 mile into the race, I hit the wall. All of my energy was gone but I still finished 4th overall in the walk.
8.) What’s an average training week for you?
A training week varies based on my work schedule and the weather.
9.) Do you do any cross-training?
I ride a mountain bike, stationary bike, elliptical machine, dumbbells, and strength training.
10.) What is Rod’s Racers and how/when did you decide to form this group?
Rod’s Racers was started a year ago. We promote road races in Mississippi. I want to help promote small races and support the race directors. We are made up of 5 people: My wife April does photos, Tim Irvine and Evelyn Watkins, from Meridian, cover East Mississippi, Frank Barrett, from Laurel, covers South Mississippi and takes photos. I am the founder and cover Central and North Mississippi.
11.)How can runners, walkers or race directors connect with Rod’s Racers?
They can visit in 3 ways: www.rodsracers-ms.net, www.facebook.com/rodsracers and www.twitter.com/rodsracers
12.) What are your goals for Rod’s Racers?
My goal is to create a chapter in each state to promote road races in those states.
13.) Approximately how many races do you/Rod’s Racers attend a year?
14.)If you could give someone advice that’s just starting out running or walking, what would you tell them?
Always consult your doctor before starting out to be sure you’re healthy.
Rod and his team do an outstanding job! Click the link on his logo below or give him a call if you need him at your next event or would like it promoted!