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Madison Marathon Profile: Ed and Michelle Poelsterl

Ed and Michelle Poelsterl will be celebrating their 12th wedding anniversary in a unique and active way: by running the Madison Half Marathon together on November 13, 2016, covering 13.1 miles side by side. It's a journey that has brought them even closer to each other while they've focused on their health, discovered a shared joy in staying active, and dedicated themselves to setting a good example for their two children.

Michelle and Ed show off their medals after a race in Madison in 2013. Photo courtesy of Michelle Poelsterl.

Michelle and Ed show off their medals after a race in Madison in 2013. Photo courtesy of Michelle Poelsterl.

Focal Flame Photography (FFP): You told us that you ran in Madison before in the Madison Mini-Marathon. Have you participated in similar events elsewhere?
Ed and Michelle: Yes we have been running half marathons and marathons since 2012. Michelle has run 2 marathons, 26 half marathons , and a variety of smaller races. Ed has run 8 marathons and 21 half marathons plus a few duathlons, one triathlon and a variety of smaller races.

FFP:  Are there personal accomplishments that you are particularly proud of?
Michelle: I am proud that I’ve been able to come back after an injury that plagued me after the Chicago Marathon until I finally got it looked at this past spring. I battled back and while I’m not as strong as I was in the spring. I’m still running.

Ed: In four years I have gone from not running at all to doing a 5k, 10k, half and full marathon fairly quick. The year I ran my first full marathon I ended up running 3 marathons that fall. Running helped me lose over 60 pounds in a six-month time span.

FFP: What does running and participating in events, such as Madison Marathon events mean to you?
Michelle: For me running is just a reminder of how far I’ve come in my health and fitness journey.  I know I’m being a good example for our boys and that by running together we are showing our children our commitment to each other.

Ed: I think there are not a lot of couples out there that do this, but we work as a team to train and we usually have fun when we run together. Each race means something different when we run it: for fun, to earn a PR, to run with a group, etc.

Michelle is proud of the example they are setting for their boys, seen here in a family photo. Photo courtesy of Michelle Poelsterl

Michelle is proud of the example they are setting for their boys, seen here in a family photo. Photo courtesy of Michelle Poelsterl

FFP: With so many races to choose from, why did you pick the Madison Marathon event?
Michelle: Honestly we picked this race simply because it fell on our anniversary. We hadn’t planned to run a late fall race but when we saw the date we thought, why not, what a fun way to celebrate 12 years of marriage. We also love running in Madison.

FFP: Can you tell us what it has been like to train/prepare for the event?
Michelle: I think I can speak for both of us when I say we haven’t followed a specific training plan. We are running to run and adding miles as needed.

FFP: What will it mean to you to participate in the November race?
Michelle and Ed: It is one more memory to attach to November 13. It’s not the way most couples celebrate their wedding day, but it works for us. And if you had told us 12 years ago that this is how we would celebrate year 12, we would have laughed uncontrollably!

Post race smiles after the 2105 Chicago Marathon. Photo Courtesy Michelle Poelsterl

Post race smiles after the 2105 Chicago Marathon. Photo Courtesy Michelle Poelsterl

FFP: Is there anything else you would like to share about your experience?
Ed: I was never really a runner but it was something fun and exciting. Now we do it to be together and for our health.

This article is part of a series featuring athletes and others who are participating in a Madison Marathon event in 2016. Focal Flame Photography is honored to serve as official photographers for the Madison Marathon. All runners will receive free FocalShare™ digital race photos courtesy of the event organizers. The autumn events will take place on November 13, 2016 on the streets of our capitol city.

-by Suellen Adams