Running is a family affair for Emily Kurian (age 30) of Madison, Wisconsin. Her journey as a runner started at a young age when her older brothers joined the junior high cross country team. She followed in their footsteps. As wife of IronMan and accomplished regional runner Joe Kurian (winner of the 2006 Madison Marathon), Emily continues to race with the ultimate goal of maintaining a healthy lifestyle as a lifelong runner. She holds the title for 1st place woman in the 2013 Madison Marathon. Emily and husband Joe competed in the New York City Marathon on Sunday, November 2, 2014.
Focal Flame Photography, the official event photography service provider for the 2014 Madison Marathon events, asked her about why she runs.
Focal Flame Photography (FFP): How many Madison Marathons or Half Marathons have you run?
Emily Kurian: I have run the Madison Half Marathon and Marathon, and will be taking on the Marathon again on November 9. (Editor's Note: Emily was the female winner of the 2013 Fall Madison Marathon, and 5th place overall.)
FFP: Do you participate in other similar events?
Emily: Growing up in Springfield, IL, one of my favorite races is the Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon. Having recently moved to Madison, I am participating in more local races such as the New Year's Day dash, Madison Half Marathon in the spring, Madison Mini Marathon in the fall, as well as the Syttende Mai 20K. I have also gotten into some really great trail runs like Bear Trax 20K in Kettle Moraine Park.
Emily's Personal Story
FFP: What does running and participating in events such as the Madison Marathon mean to you?
Emily: When I was about 9 or 10, my older brothers joined the junior high cross country team. I followed in their footsteps running cross country and track in high school and then continued to run cross country at St Louis University. After college, I continued to maintain my running to stay active. While I have remained somewhat competitive and continue to race, my ultimate goal is to be a "lifelong runner" and to maintain a healthy way of life.
FFP: With so many races to choose from, why do you participate in the Madison Marathon? What makes it special?
Emily: To have such an incredible event here in my backyard (somewhat literally), I couldn't NOT run it!! Sharing the experience of running my daily routes through Madison with so many others is a thrill!
FFP: Do you do anything special to make the race more meaningful or fun?
Emily: I am honored to have my husband, Joe Kurian, and his training partner, Thomas Brunold, both previous Madison Marathon winners, to train and race alongside me. They definitely help me through any rough spots along the way.
FFP: What would you tell other racers about participating in the Madison Marathon?
Emily: The course is great — both scenic and challenging!
This article is part of a series featuring athletes who are participating in a Madison Marathon event in 2014. The Fall Half-Marathon and Marathon races will occur on November 9 on the streets of Wisconsin's capitol city. For more information or to register, visit Madison Marathon.
- interview by Deborah Proctor