Twin Cities in Motion

20 Questions, Miles of Answers- Taya Upkes

posted on Wed, Mar 19 2014 9:48 am by TCM Staff

1. Name: Taya Upkes

2. Age: 24

3. City: Blaine, MN

4. Profession: Mechanical Engineer at Cummins Power Generation

5. When (or why) you started running: I was a college softball player and always hated running.  When I was done with the sport, I decided to try running now that it was no longer punishment. I decided to try a running club in June of 2011 and haven't stopped since! I lost 80 pounds throughout the journey with a change in diet and running and have made some awesome friends and gone to some great places to race.

6. Best Run/Running Experience: I think it was crossing the finish line at the Chicago Marathon this year in October.  My mom was there and a bunch of my running friends from Kansas City and from Minneapolis so I knew I had so many people to share the experience with.  The race was awesome and I felt great the whole time and finished in 3:54, which was an improvement from June when I ran the Minneapolis Marathon in 5:35

7. Worst Run/ Running Experience: I had been out of town and when I came back all I had in my pantry were green beans and I didn't want to go shopping.  For two days I ate nothing but green beans.  This didn't sit well in my stomach and my club had a workout around the Lakes.  I was sprinting to every single portipotti available that run and didn't think I would ever make it through!  Luckily, I had an awesome running coach that helped me get through that.

8. Dream Training Partner: My dog, he is so happy when we go running that it makes the run seem amazing

9. Training Shoe: Brooks Adrenaline GTS 12

10. Favorite Running Route: The Luce Line in Plymouth, just recently discovered this and it is awesome!

11. Favorite time of Day to run:  Early in the morning, once I have finally conviced myself to get out of bed

12. Pre-Race Food: A couple of bananas

13. Post-Race Food: Chips and salsa!! 

14. Favorite Running Accessory: My Garmin

15. Current or Future Goal: I would like to try to BQ at Fargo in 2014 

16. Upcoming Race: Tuscobia Winter Ultra 35 miler

UPDATE from Taya: "I completed the Tuscobia ultra and now have the little rock 5k this saturday and the little rock marathon Sunday and fargo marathon in may :)"

17. Favorite non-running activities: I love to play and coach softball

19. Pump up Music: I usually blast Backstreet Boys on my way to running in the morning

20. Advice for a Brand New Runner: Join a club or find some good running buddies!  They help keep you motivated and the bond you create through those miles is something that cannot be broken.


 Love Backstreet Boys, too? Want to become running buddies? Tweet her @tayup12.


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