These 5 Business Influencers are Prepping for Their Next Marathon

When they’re not building a company, opening restaurants or creating economic development strategies, these local influencers trade their business suits for athletic wear, training for the next big race.

Brandom Gengelbach

Executive Vice President of Economic Development
Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce

Brandom Gengelbach — whose resume includes 10 marathons, three half-IRONMANs and Olympic distance triathlons — typically trains for six months. He starts by building a short base each week and gradually building his distance over time; for longer runs, he starts with 10 miles on the first week and builds up to 20 miles. He also incorporates a day to work on speed and tempo. Like many distance runners, Gengelbach does not run the full race distance before the race itself. Instead, he completes at least two 20-mile runs and nothing further. “I never do more than 20 miles during any single training run leading up to a marathon,” he says.

Kari Crowe Seher
Melt Ice Creams

Last year, Kari Crowe Seher completed her biggest run yet — the Leadville Trail 100, a 100-mile trail race through the Colorado mountains. That’s 29 hours and 53 minutes of nonstop running and hiking at an elevation upwards of 10,000 feet.
Training for Leadville was a nine-month ordeal. Seher would start as early as 2:30 a.m., some weeks covering anywhere from 65 to 95 total miles. In addition to psychological preparation, Seher says she hired a run coach who sent her weekly running plans, including distance, sprinting, hill workouts and trail work. She also worked with a strength coach at Enduralab for strength training and injury prevention.

Robert Sturns
Economic Development Director
City of Fort Worth

A three-time half marathon runner, sprint marathoner and a soon-to-be full marathoner, Robert Sturns trains with a mix of running, cycling or strength workouts. He does short runs during the week and longer ones on the weekends. While training for half marathons, he begins ramping up his mileage anywhere from eight to 12 weeks before the race. “I’m training for the Cowtown Marathon right now,” Sturns says. “Just haven’t made up my mind yet if I’m going to run the half or the full — but leaning towards the full.”

Elyse Dickerson
CEO and Co-Founder
Eosera, Inc. 

Elyse Dickerson has been hooked on marathon running since 1997 when she competed in her first marathon in Chicago. Among her biggest accomplishments to date — completing the full IRONMAN Wisconsin. She hired a coach to train for the full IRONMAN, but for other races, she trained with Luke’s Locker or other tri training groups.

Jon Bonnell
Bonnell’s Fine Texas Cuisine, Waters Restaurant, Buffalo Bros 

Jon Bonnell admits his lifestyle wasn’t the healthiest when he started his career. So he decided to make a change, losing 45 pounds and finding a new hobby — running marathons. Today, his athletic resume is extensive: two full IRONMANs, 70 triathlons and 90 running races (to name a few). He also serves on the committee for the upcoming Cowtown Marathon, which takes place Feb. 23-24.

“Ridiculous” is how Bonnell describes training for an IRONMAN — swimming twice a week, biking three times a week, running five or six times a week and allowing a few weeks to taper training demands to prevent soreness or tiredness on the day of the race.