NRC Runner’s Of The Month – Lauren Reed and Roy Tamez


Lauren Reed

This month’s female Member of the Month is not just another pretty face.  Her bright, blue eyes and captivating smile are mesmerizing, true.  But along with her caring, bubbly personality, she is an ambitious, unwavering, go-getter!  Whether it’s work or play, Lauren Reed is a force to be reckoned with.

Lauren was born in St. Louis, Missouri and moved to Nashville with her family when she was 10 years old.  She is the oldest of four kids, which makes sense.  Her confidence, organization, drive and leadership are telltale traits of a first-born child.  Fearless from the beginning, she taught herself how to do a back handspring in her own backyard!  After seeing this, her parents decided to get her into gymnastics quick, so she wouldn’t get hurt.  That turned out to be a perfect fit for Lauren.  With Lauren’s petite frame, you might imagine she was the one standing on someone’s hand at the top of a huge pyramid.  You’d be right!  Cheerleading was a big part of her life.  She participated on both her high school squad doing football games and competitions, along with an All-Star Squad that was strictly competition and traveled nationally.  She says her favorite event was tumbling, although she swears she is completely uncoordinated.  Determined to succeed, when routines were being taught, she would watch and memorize the sequences, then go run them on her own until she had them perfect.

Lauren’s hard work paid off through a cheerleading scholarship and she went on to Murray State in Kentucky.  It was there, during her freshman year, that she met her future husband.  She had ventured out to a Sigma Chi party one night.  It was 3 am and she happened to bump into a tall, handsome senior, Richard Reed, who made her an offer she couldn’t refuse.  They were instantly smitten and their romance began. Unfortunately, he had to leave for a job out-of-state after graduation.  A month later, he returned to Murray because he missed her so much he had to come back.  Isn’t that sweet!  Then in Lauren’s senior year, Richard found an opportunity in Louisville.  Upon graduating, she secured a spot at a major PR firm there and joined him.  The two married soon after and have an adorable, almost four year old son, Jack Henry.

Lauren knew she wanted to work in Public Relations from the start.  She studied abroad in London, shadowing at Edelman, the world’s largest public relations firm and went to work straight from college with a firm based in Louisville.  She excelled during her first few years there so much so that they sent her to Nashville to open their Tennessee office.  She was also the recipient of the Mercury Award for emerging public relations professionals in Middle Tennessee.

Just last year, Lauren took a big jump and started her own public relations company.  With her brand new office open in Germantown, Lauren is grateful for her clients and truly enjoys helping them tell their stories.  NRC runners got a taste of her success not long ago at the pre-grand opening event of her client, Rock Bottom Brewery and she has also lent her expertise to the C25K program as head of the sponsorship recruitment and as a running mentor.  Lauren ran the 5K with her sister, Meredith.

Lauren used to dread running. Then a few years ago she saw an ad for Ellie’s Run for Africa in her church bulletin.  Little did she know this was a hilly, cross-country 5K held in Percy Warner Park!  She signed up and planned on training…but didn’t.  Race day she put on her sweats and hoodie and met up with one of her sisters.  As they headed out of Nolensville that morning, she thought, “Hey, should we eat?”  So, they stopped at a convenience store, browsed the aisles and decided on a Slim Fast.  Nice, pre-race fuel!  It took her 40 minutes, but as soon as she finished she was ready to sign up for her next race!  She did the I Run for the Party 10k and then took on the Women’s Half Marathon in September.  All of these races are wrought with hills, but of course this doesn’t faze Lauren.  She continued her momentum and has completed many other races since then.

During training for the 2012 Chicago Marathon, Lauren started having issues with her knee and discovered that her years of tumbling and cheerleading had taken their toll on her joints.  She visited a friend of NRC, Dr. Johnson, and learned that what she had was basically arthritis.  He recommended an injectable treatment and handed her a brochure with models all over the age of 65!  Lauren laughed it off, agreed to the treatment and got amazing results.  She was able to resume running pain free and although she was unable to do Chicago due to the timing, she completed the Rocket City Marathon just months later with a great time.  She participated in the Rutherford Relay last year and has plans with fellow NRCers, Jeff and Wendy Mucci, for a Ragnar TN team of husbands and wives they’ve lovingly named, “Couples Therapy”! So far it is just the four of them, so let them know if you want to be on this fun-loving team!

For fun (well maybe that’s not the right word) she has just recently started accompanying her hubby to CrossFit classes.  Even though the classes are really hard, she has yet to have a class that is tougher than doing a marathon so, when it gets difficult she just tells herself, it’s not tougher than mile 24!  Now that’s great motivation!  In turn, Richard drank the running kool-aid, joining Lauren for runs this past Fall.  Resolved to get healthy, he began running and has achieved some pretty awesome weight loss goals.  Also, a C25K mentor, he is doing his first half alongside his beautiful wife at the ever-popular Murfreesboro Middle Half this October.

Lauren has ambitious running goals.  For the Middle Half she is aiming for a sub-1:50, which is a 6-minute personal record.  She is registered for Rocket City again this year and wants to finish in 4:15.  She really wants to do a 50K some day, but for now she’s looking to improve her marathon time.  She’s excited to return to her favorite race next year, the New Orleans Half Marathon. Depending on how much she crushes her time there, she hopes to “dance” the full Carmel Marathon in April 2014, Wendy Mucci style!  Seriously though, she loves the idea of having fun, taking photos, interacting with people, and soaking in the experience every step of the way.

Between being mom, wife and business owner, there is little time for much else; but just as she finds time to run, she avoids burnout through spending time with her other love, the beach.  In fact, she makes a point to visit a new beach at least every other year.  A few faves are St. John and Kauai, where she surfed for the first time.  As you would expect, someone who stood one-legged on a hand in the air had no trouble on a surfboard.

What does she love about NRC?  The people and how they help each other meet their goals!  Like when she was going for a half marathon PR.  She thinks NRCers Joe and Lisa Singer cared more about her getting in under 2 hours than she did! They helped her train and paced her for 11 miles on race day. During her first marathon, Scott Alexander jumped in and ran with her with his khaki shorts on for ten miles. Joe Singer joined them around mile 18 and the whole time they would not let her give up, especially after she hit the dreaded marathon wall.

It’s this kind of camaraderie that sets NRC apart from other clubs.  If she hadn’t heard about NRC from member, Shannon Nelson, who was her Fleet Feet pace leader for the Country Music Half, she may have never come.  She’d heard that NRC was all fast runners and was afraid she couldn’t keep up, so Shannon told her to come and run with her.  Her first run was with Shannon, Terry Bickel, Kathy Sorensen, and Jennifer Manternach.  That was last February and we’re so thankful she decided to make NRC her place to be on Wednesday nights!  She definitely has the spirit of NRC!  Giver her a shout out and congratulate her at the next run!



You don’t have to hang out with NRC very long and you’ll hear those three little words that rouse the hearts of even the most defeated athlete, “RUN LIKE ROY”!  Coined by a fellow NRCer, Wayne Jacks at the Tom King Half, the battle cry has truly taken hold.  Why such a short phrase can instantly lengthen the stride and lighten the load for NRCers in their moments of need is obvious once you get to know Roy Tamez.

Born in Houston, TX, Roy is proud of his “Tex-Mex” roots.  He was adopted by his loving parents into a family of 5 sisters and 2 brothers, all much older.  Growing up in the 70’s, Roy was kind of a hippie.  To those who know him, this probably makes a lot of sense with his laid-back attitude and long locks.  After school, he joined the U.S. Air Force and served 4 and half years for his country.  He was stationed in Okinawa and spent time in Japan, the Philippines, Korea and Germany.  Being so young and unfamiliar with other cultures at the time, he recalls, “It really made you appreciate what you had back home.  Even if you weren’t wealthy back in the states, experiencing these others places, you realized how much you really had.”   He met his wife, Darlene, at Andrews Air Force base in 1979 and they have been together ever since.

Roy always wanted to live in California.  So after the Air Force, he went home to Houston, told his family he was moving to Cali, packed up his car and headed for the West Coast.  He settled down in Sacramento where his family would reside for many years.  It was heaven to him and the perfect place to raise their two children, Ryan (who lives in South Beach Miami, FL) and April (who lives near Nolensville).

You might think a guy with his own tag line was running marathons in his youth, but not so.  Throughout most of his life, Roy would run on and off, signing up for a 5k or 10k every six months or so, but never really trained.  He chose the New York Marathon as his first, where he finished in 4:26, but it just about killed him.  With no real training, he relied on the people cheering along the way as he went through the five boroughs to motivate him.  Good thing he is a natural.  Other races he has done include the San Diego Marathon (running injured) in 2007 and the Orange County Marathon in 2008.

It wasn’t until 2011 that Roy felt compelled to begin running more seriously.  Crazy, huh?!  Living in downtown Miami in a high-rise condo, he looked down one day to find the starting line for the ING marathon right outside his front door.  He took it as a sign that he needed to do that race.  Darlene was in, too, but this time they joined a group to train that was using intervals (running fine minutes and walking one) just like NRC C25K!  This is amazing when you realize that just a few years later he would quality for the Boston Marathon.

After retiring in 2008, Roy realized running was a great way to fill his days.  It was fun, kept him healthy, and wouldn’t tap out their retirement fund.  When he did the Fleet Feet Trail Series and ran Percy Warner Park, it was love at first muddy sock!  He just completed an Ultra Trail Run (50 miles) in Gnaw Bone, Indiana which took him 12 and half hours to complete!  It was really tough and beat him up, so of course he’ll be doing another one!  He’s also doing the Nashville Ultra 50 mile road race.  If you’re looking for some ultra-inspiring entertainment, Roy recommends the documentary, Unbreakable: The Western States 100, which follows four runners through their experiences in preparing and racing this epic ultra trail course.

Lucky for us Roy and Darlene moved to Nashville in December 2011 to be close to their grandsons and got wind of NRC through Fleet Feet.  He finally came out in March 2012.  Not long after Scott and others welcomed him into NRC, he got lost on one of the routes.  He had started out with a fast paced group, but the hills were too much.  It was dark, he was new to the route and had no idea which way to go, so he waited by a stop sign until a group of little headlights made their way up the path.  It was Adriane Martinez, Tandy Blaylock and myself, among others, who got the honor of rescuing Roy that night!

He’s a busy guy for being retired.  He will be doing the Montreal marathon in September, the StumpJump 50k Trail Ultra in early October, and then the California International Marathon in Sacramento where he will be racing along side our Nevada Running Club.  More recently, Roy and Darlene have started a vegan diet.  This has them exploring new foods and trying out recipes.  How has this impacted his running?  Well, he’s run 2 marathons, several halfs and a 50 miler as a vegan and he’s never felt better!

Roy is among an elite group of runners who have qualified for Boston 2014.  He thanks Joe Singer, another NRC BQer, for planting the seed.  Without him taking note of Roy’s race times, seeing potential and telling him to go for it, it may not have happened.  The Marine Corp Marathon last October was his first attempt.  He missed it by 8 seconds, but just a week later, he qualified at the Savannah Marathon!   Now encouraging others, he’s one of the mentors for the C25K 4Runners as they prepare to break personal records of their own!

The support and inspiration he’s received from NRC has really made a difference in his life in more ways than one.  Running wise, he says he has never been this fast or been able to go this far before, and he attributes it to NRC.  Most importantly, he appreciates what Scott has been able to do in pulling everyone together, even as our numbers grow.  NRC has quickly become his running family, which means a lot to him.

Roy is cool, but kind; wise, yet rugged.  He’s relaxed like a California sunset, yet as fierce as an Okinawa volcano when the competition’s on.  He inspires us to run like him and we are extremely blessed to have him as part of NRC.  If you haven’t met him yet, definitely make a point to introduce yourself at our next run and tell him congrats!  Peace.

– Amy O.