Crunchy Nanas?!

Posted by Filed Under: Runners Who Rock

1345986659_e16b73d26e.jpgA Crunchy Nana? What’s that? Well, it’s a runner, of course! A runner from our blog community to be precise about it. Let’s get to know this oddly labeled runner.

Nora doesn’t like mushy bananas. Nope. They give her a fit. She likes Crunchy Nanas. Yup. Every last bit. (sorry, my boy is five and into Dr. Seuss)green_bananas.jpg

What makes Nora rock? Well, I’ve only known her a short time but it hasn’t taken long to realize there is a lot that makes her cool.

To start with, Nora is an American living in the U.K so, you know she’s adventurous. This green banana lover started running before she was allowed to shave her legs (her admission – I wasn’t around to verify!).

She has fond memories of clocking her fastest mile (6:45) when she was a young 7th grader saying:

I can still remember how incredibly happy and accomplished I felt. It’s the same feeling I have as when I finish races now.

Can you relate?

click to enlargeYou could call Nora a well-rounded, all around athlete. She’s mixed her running career with biking, swimming, dancing, yoga and (holy cow!) even mountain climbing (click to enlarge).1266906219_cc49ee1246.jpg

Nora’s running really took off last year. Her words:

I started running at my current level about a year ago to beat back at the unhappiness and discontent I felt in my life. I knew if I could take control and become healthier physically, I’d be able to regain my perspective and a healthier outlook on life. To keep me really going, I signed up to run a half marathon for the British Heart Foundation in memory of my best friend’s son, who had died of complications with congenital heart problems at 3 weeks old. It made me take training really seriously. More serious than for my first half marathon. I figured if I was asking people for donations and running in Taran’s honor, it was only right not to slack or half-ass anything.


It took in a way running had never taken before. It’s like the chemical levels in my body adjusted themselves and I could feel myself again. I liked how I felt running, and I liked how running made me feel, overall in life as well as out on the runs. It helped me get my groove back. My ultimate goal is to never again lose my enthusiasm and zest.

Nora is loving running in England, having enjoyed jaunts in London and West Yorkshire. But, her favorite place to run so far is on the Thanet Coast.

People who say the English Channel are drab and ugly are just wrong. Sometimes the water color is amazing, nearly tropical-like, and the cliffs are beautiful. It’s a great place to run. (I’m kind of biased though. I became a volunteer coastal warden last year, and have become pretty attached.) Photo Courtesy Kat’s Photos

CrunchNanas was started to keep Nora’s family and friends up to date with her training, but spend any time there and you’ll soon find that she has other passions including photography, music and science (Nora writes a weekly science feature for CRN). She’s one busy gal!

It was really fun going through Nora’s archives. What’s the rock’nist thing I found there? Hands down, I’d say it’s that she’s run a race in Paris-Versailles. How cool is that? (Big Sur is a close second)

What does the future hold for Nora? She says she simply wants to have fun, stay healthy in body and mind, and break 2 hours on a half marathon (current PR is 2:00.27). She’d also like to run a half marathon on every continent except Antarctica (because its too cold and expensive!)

Nora, I hope I meet you for a run on one of the warmer continents one day.

Do you know someone who we should feature here? It could be a blogger like Nora, an elite athlete, or someone else. Just drop me a line to nominate a runner who you think rocks.

About Mark Iocchelli

Also known as the "Running Blogfather", I'm a 40-something marathoner who has beaten stress fractures and terrible shin splints. Now I'm running double the mileage with no pain - and I'm getting faster. I love to talk about running form and Arthur Lydiard. I also enjoy taking photographs, have a beautiful (and very patient!) wife, and am the proud father of two crazy kids. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments about the site.

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