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Five Minutes with.....Jason Tamblyn

Jul 06, 2017 10:49AM, Published by Ashley Pape, Categories: Health+Beauty, In Print, Life+Leisure, Today



Jason Tamblyn has a passion for distance running. The Beaverton, Oregon, native has logged more than 90,000 miles in races including the Boston Marathon and Disney Marathon. These days, he’s not training for any event; he’s helping locals become better runners at Bob Jones Nature Center. The two-time cancer survivor has made it his mission to nd ways to give back and make a positive difference in the lives of others. 

I DEVELOPED A LOVE FOR RUNNING:  in eight grade.  I stopped doing all my other sports to concentrate on running since I had some natural ability. 

SOME OF THE PROUDEST MOMENTS FROM MY RUNNING CAREER INCLUDE: running Cross Country at Sunset High School in Beaverton, Oregon, and in 1980 being part of the team to win the Oregon Cross Country State Championship. The second was placing in the top 20 out of more than 200 runners at the Furman Invitational in 1984 while both my parents and late uncle were in attendance.

MY MOTIVATION TO RUN STEMS FROM: the peace it gives me—just being able to get in the zone where I get an inner calm and feel the endorphins. Also, I nd it is a place to ponder life’s ups and downs.

THE RUNNER I MOST ADMIRE IS:  the late Steve Prefontaine, who ran at University of Oregon. Prefontaine died in an auto accident at age 24. At the time of his death, Prefontaine held every American record from 2,000 to 10,000 meters, which is quite amazing. My favorite quotes from Prefontaine are: “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift” and “Somebody may beat me, but they are going to have to bleed to do it.”

SURVIVING CANCER TWICE HAS SHOWN ME THAT: God has unaccomplished business for me on this earth. In May 2014, I was diagnosed with melanoma of the scalp and had initial surgery. I had a reoccurrence in September 2014. Doctors gave me a 70-percent chance of a deadly recurrence. By the grace of God, doctors re classed it as a sarcoma and not melanoma in 2015. Fortunately for me, sarcoma is not as deadly and aggressive as melanoma.

I WAS DRAWN TO BOB JONES NATURE CENTER (BJNC): when I was searching for some green space upon moving to Texas in 2014. I had tried some other natural areas, but they were crowded and on cement, and I wanted a place out in nature.

MY GUIDED SATURDAY-MORNING RUNS AT BJNC:  depend on the ability and goals of the folks who show up. I try to make the program fit various levels of runners or non-runners and adjust the distance and pace accordingly. Normally, we run between four and seven miles on the dirt trails.

WHEN I LEAD THE TRAILS RUNS, I PERSONALLY ENJOY: not only nature and regenerating myself, but helping people reach their goals, whether it’s running a 5K, 10K or a half or full marathon. Just watching  people become better runners fills me with joy.

WHEN I’M NOT RUNNING, I’M: watching live bands. I’m into hard rock and some new-rock bands. I also enjoy traveling to places such as Jamaica, Cancun and Lake Tahoe.

MY RUNNING PHILOSOPHY IS THAT: it’s something anyone can do. People who have never tried it would be surprised at what they can do over time. This was the case with two women I worked with going up to their rst half marathon. They couldn’t believe what they were able to do. I was proud of both of them for running the full 13 miles.

MY BEST ADVICE FOR NEW RUNNERS IS TO: not do too much too quickly. It’s easy to push yourself at first and think you should be able to get a certain number of miles in a certain time. You have to establish a base of miles, much like a pyramid, and that takes time and self-control.




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