Debbie Sayers

Debbie after Raleigh 70.3I started running in 1977 to get in shape for track despite the fact that I was told by my allergist in elementary school that I would only be able to swim because I had asthma and required a controlled environment.  Prior to February 1977 I only ran for a couple weeks to get in shape for basketball.

 I ran with my dad and complained the entire way....too long, too hot, too boring.  Despite by initial objections, I had success on the track team, and when I was offered the opportunity to be part of the first girls' cross country at our school (think Title IX), I decided to give it a shot.  I ran cross country and track for the next seven years and was fortunate enough to have coaches at the high school and college levels who knew how to balance high level training and racing with fun, giving me a life-long love for the sport.  I am also grateful for a father who never let asthma be an excuse for inactivity.

Debbie at a track meet

With 34 years of running under my belt (including running through one pregnancy and partway through another, 5 marathons in college and one at 45-plus, and many shorter races), I was starting to find myself injured every two years or so.  I was coming off a calf injury in the fall of 2010 when my physical therapist suggested I try insoles and get fitted for shoes.  Frustrated by places where I was treated like a second-class customer because I was not young, thin, and fast, I showed up at Fleet Feet Knoxville and was treated like an athlete.  I was sold. READ MORE

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