The Face of a Champion
Bill Galloway has been a part of the Johnston Health Foundation’s Champions 5K/10K since its humble beginnings in 2012.
“I signed up and ran the very first Champions 5K for fun,” Galloway recalls. “It rained and a small number of runners completed the run.”
During most of his races, you will find Galloway sporting a shirt that says “Run Local.” He is drawn to races that support local charities, like the Johnston Health Foundation.
“I love what the Foundation does and the consistent effort to improve the race,” he says. “The Champions event is well-organized with high energy and is better supported than many of the much longer races that I do each year. It is fun to do and that makes it easy to encourage others to participate.”
As First Citizens Bank’s Eastern Piedmont Area Executive, Galloway serves as a team captain and encourages his co-workers to join him each year, as the event provides an opportunity for the staff to socialize outside of work in a fun environment.
“Some associates train to prepare and others walk on race day,” he said. “It does not matter what someone’s time is on the race. Being outside and together is much more important.”
While the annual event brings Galloway’s work family together, running has also provided many bonding experiences for Galloway’s actual family. Bill’s wife, Amy, enjoys participating in 5K – 7K running events, and his son, David, is known to run 100 mile trail races all over the east and west coasts, while his parents tag along as his crew members.
Though Galloway looks to David as the “real” runner of the family, he has also built up his own pretty impressive running résumé, spanning decades. His fitness journey began as a casual runner in college, where he routinely ran six to eight miles per week. He continued running two mile sessions for more than 25 years until his son encouraged him to expand his running distance.
“It was a physical challenge, as well as a mental challenge, to go further,” Galloway said of his first 8K race. “The mental aspect was learning to run more than an hour.”
Galloway then tackled the “Uwharrie 8 Miler,” followed by the “Uwharrie 20 Miler” and his first trail marathon at Medoc Mountain. Now, Galloway signs up for two trail marathons and several 10 to 20 mile events each year.
Galloway says that running is his medicine. He acknowledges the impact that running has had on him, both mentally and physically.
“Since I started running longer distances six years ago and doing the necessary training involved, I have lost 15 pounds and kept it off,” he said. “I have lowered my cholesterol by 15-20 points and my blood pressure has dropped about 15-20 points. Both are well within the normal ranges now.”
How does he do it? Galloway and his wife, along with their dog Bailey, make time to run and hike four to six times per week and have tracked their runs and hikes on an office calendar on the kitchen bar for the past five years.
“It has become our norm,” he says.
Stella Moody, a 70 year old retiree of Clayton, enjoys cooking and entertaining her family and friends. “How can you love that lifestyle and not have weight battles?” said Stella. She added, “Food has been a source of comfort for all occasions, including a divorce and relocation to different parts of the country.”
While living alone, Stella said food became her friend and her usual friends visited regularly: fried chicken, fried fish, French fries, hushpuppies, and her best friend “no portion control.” In addition to frequent visits to Chick-fil-a and Bojangles, Stella also adapted a sedentary lifestyle.
She recalled, “Painful joints and knees, plus weight gain began to take its toll on my life and emotions. I worried about living alone and began asking myself what will happen when I can’t walk downstairs with these bad knees to cook my meals or travel to the drive-thru. Who would take care of me when all of my family lives out of state?”
Stella says she had two conversations, one with herself and one with God. Later that day, she found a newspaper ad for a weight loss and exercise community for people with arthritis. Fellow participants and staff associated with the group provided encouragement and information about nutrition and exercise, leading Stella to walking and strength training.
In early 2018, Stella set a goal to complete seven 10K races in honor of turning 70 in October. She completed her first 10K in April – the Champions 10K.
To date, she has completed three 5K races and one 10K race. Along the way, she has lost 44 pounds.
“I am proud of my accomplishments and very thankful to God and the support He provided through people just like me, struggling to avoid diseases and striving to regain a healthier lifestyle,” she said. “It is a lifestyle change of eating well, enjoying healthy food, holding yourself accountable for your success and finding new things and new people just like you to keep you motivated and moving.”
“My health is at the end of my fork and my success is on the road I walk.”
Join us April 19 for the Champions 5K/10K.