Publix Inspires Customers To Be Active
As a generous partner, Publix contributes more than healthy refreshments to runners crossing the finish line of the OUC Orlando Half Marathon & Lake Eola 5k. When half marathon training season comes around Publix displays posters in nearly 80 Central Florida stores, enticing the community to register for Orlando’s hometown half marathon or 5k!
Vivid photography captures the essence of this event and inspires shoppers to stop and ask themselves "could I run a half marathon too?!"
We caught up with local runner and teacher Jermaine Lamar (JM), featured on this year's poster to learn about why he loves this sport.
TSE: When did you start running?
JM: I started running at the age of 9. I continued running middle distances through high school and did some leisure running in college. Six years ago I got into distance running and the next year I ran my first race at the UCF 5 miler. October 16, 2021 marks 5 years of racing.
TSE: Why did you start running?
JM: I started running as a way to express my natural gift. I lacked size in football and hit-power in baseball, so I naturally gravitated toward the track where I was gifted speed.
TSE: What is your favorite distance?
JM: My favorite distance is the half marathon. I think I've completed 36 or 37 half marathons over the past 5 years.
TSE: What do you enjoy most about running?
JM: What I enjoy most about running is the community and camaraderie. People from all walks of life come together to share a space that promotes inclusivity, health, fitness, and personal growth.
TSE: Do you have a favorite race?
JM: It's a hard decision to make. The OUC Orlando Half Marathon and Nona 5K both share a special place in my heart. I grew up near the downtown area, so the OUC Half feels like home. I now live in the Lake Nona area, so over the past 4 years, the Nona 5K has been the race where I can share a space with neighbors and friends.
TSE: What do you do when you’re not running?
JM: My wife and I love adventure, so outside of running we're usually biking or hiking our local trails and forests.
TSE: You are a teacher, correct? Do you incorporate running or lessons learned from running into your teaching?
JM: I am an Elementary Math Coach (Teacher in simple terms). Distance running and Education have many parallels. We set high goals, build a plan, persevere through the ups and downs of the process, monitor for progress, execute the race or test, reflect on the results, fine-tune, and try again. Marathon training has taught me resilience, consistency, perseverance, and commitment. I try to instill these same qualities in my students.
TSE: You have done the OUC Orlando Half Marathon four times, what do you like best about this event?
JM: I like that this event is not just a race, but a running experience. There are thousands of runners from all over the world looking to run fast in some of Orlando's best weather. After the race, we come together for the post-race celebration (adhering to COVID protocols) and enjoy the music, vendors, and stories behind the miles. We often think that running looks like moving fast, but it also looks like a fist-bump, words of encouragement, photos with friends, and forming new bonds with other local runners.
TSE: What advice do you have for runners doing their very first OUC Orlando Half Marathon?
JM: The miles fly by when you're having fun. Immerse yourself in the race experience by running with friends or joining a pace group. Reserve this space for the celebration of months of training.