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Frank Midiri - Most Improved Male 2018

Frank was taken by surprise when his name was called out at the annual banquet for Most Improved Male Runner of 2018. He did not considered he could have been nominated, and he didn’t really want to walk in front of everyone at the banquet to get the award. Frank admits it is “most definitely humbling to know that other people recognize all the hard work and improvement that was accomplished last year.” I think this scene describes Frank perfectly. He’s fairly quiet, unassuming and humble, but don’t let that fool you—he is a fierce competitor.

Frank never really considered himself a runner for the first 36 years of his life, even though he played baseball and football. It all began with signing up for a Spartan Race—so he needed to train for it. He started running regularly in October 2016 (the race was the following year), and jumped straight to doing the Frostbite 10 miler in December of that year.

“After not being able to move for a few days after the Frostbite, I decided to sign-up for the Lincoln Half and ended up running five Spartans, a Warrior Dash, and four additional road races in 2017. Then 2018 brought eight more Spartan Races, five road races, and a trail race.“

Did I mention he was a fierce competitor? This is the reason fellow club members took notice of Frank in 2018. Even though he joined the SRRC in 2017, he continued training on his own. In 2018, he decided to start running with the Halfwits and doing speed work on Wednesdays.

He realized the encouragement and advice of other members was just what he needed—including the push from other competitors. “I really enjoy the Wednesday speed work. I have found it difficult to duplicate those conditions while running by myself. Having runners of similar pace running and pushing each other truly helps.“ Those who run with Frank agree about the push, and it goes both ways. Fellow club member James Kuhn says, “Every time I run with Frank, I run faster”.

In addition to running, Frank contributes a lot of his running success to consistency and cross training. He makes sure he not only hits the running workouts of speed and hills, he also makes sure he provides time for weights and yoga. Frank’s highlights of 2018 included personal records (PRs) in the Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon (1:51), Abe’s Amble 10K (49:35), the Springfield Half Marathon (1:50), and the Frostbite Festival 10 miler (1:20). The year also included a favorite moment—during the final mile of grueling Spartan Race (2,000 ft. in elevation gain over 8 miles), he calculated out he needed to complete the mile in less than 15 minutes to run the kid’s Spartan race with his 6-year old son, Carter. Of course, he made it in time.

The key moment which changed everything about running was signing up for the first Spartan Race, but he gives a lot of credit to a supportive spouse who allows him to go on this crazy journey. All of us married to supportive spouses who do not run can agree with those sentiments.

“My wife Renee deserves some major kudos for allowing me to train and race as often as I have. Because of her, I get to run, climb, and carry heavy objects through all sorts of terrain while disguising it as part of a vacation!” Keep on keeping on, Frank! We can’t wait to see what 2019 has in store for you!

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