Member Spotlight: John Lyons

By: Kevin Brandon

John, thanks for taking time to speak with us. Could you tell us a bit about yourself? How did you end up in Philadelphia and running with PRTC?

Of course. I’m originally from the Philly suburbs and lived here for about a year and a half after I finished school. In 2011, I moved to Miami for a new job, was there for a few years before moving to New York for work, and finally moved back to Philly in March of 2016 for a new job. I’m super happy to be back in Philadelphia and the city has changed a lot while I was away.

When did you first become a runner? Did a specific event compel you to take on the sport?

I did cross country in the third and fourth grades and our races were at Belmont Plateau. I think I was usually in the middle of the back and I stopped because I played football for a few years. So I basically didn’t run from the age of 10 until I turned 28. I started running again in the summer of 2014, which was about 9 months after I moved to New York. I was looking for something that I could do when I was traveling to stay in shape and after a month or two I realized I didn’t hate it.

Once you began running, how has your career developed? Take us through day one to today.

I was really surprised – I thought running would be a decent way to stay in shape but I didn’t think I’d be particularly good at it. I haven’t raced a lot since I got back to running, but I’m pretty happy to run consistently five or six days a week and avoid injuries.

Can you tell us about a not-so-great running moment?

Probably the 2011 Corporate Challenge 5k in Miami. I had just moved down there for work and some people from my office were running in a race that started in ended outside of our office. I figured I’d do okay even though I hadn’t run at all in 15-20 years, but ended up walking a big part of the race and finished in 45:09 and was exhausted.

Regarding your running future, what are your near and long-term goals?

I guess I should run a 5k soon since I just realized that my only official race time is over 45 minutes . . . But more seriously, I’d like to focus a bit on shorter distances and see if I can get my mile time down near 4:30 sometime in 2017. I’d also like to run some 5k races later this summer. Eventually I’d like to properly train for a half marathon, but that might need to wait until 2018 or later.

How would you schedule an ideal work/running day?

I’m not a morning person, so ideally I’d rather run after work – I’d much rather run at 10 pm than 7 am. But in the winter I try to get out whenever I can for a run at lunch – it doesn’t happen often but it is nice to run when it isn’t dark and cold. The Boxer Trail is super nice on a sunny winter day if you can make it out during the day.

Can you tell us what you do professionally?

I’m a lawyer in Center City and mostly do civil litigation on the defense side. I travel a lot for work which is interesting but makes running consistently a bit of a challenge.

Any non-running related hobbies, hidden skills or talents we may enjoy hearing about?

Hmmm, I try to play squash once or twice a week but I’m not very good at it. I really like to ski and climb, but unfortunately don’t get to do it as frequently as I’d like. Otherwise, I’ve been busy exploring all of Philly’s new restaurants and just enjoying the city since I moved back.

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