It’s back to school time! All the NRC teachers and NexGen kids are lacing up their sneakers for another marathon year. So in honor of their quest for learning, it is with my best Charlie Brown teacher voice that I say, “Wahwah wahwah wahwah” which translates to “Our history lesson today is on two noteworthy NRCers”!
Our Runners of the Month happen to be in the same family, married in fact. While their stories are unique, they so easily intertwine that I’ve decided to combine their articles into one. Excited to do my homework on this pair, I met up with them after an NRC Saturday run and, just as I’d suspected, Zack and Andrea Klint are total class acts with just a little class clown thrown in for good measure. Read on and you’ll see what I mean, but pay attention – there could be a pop quiz!
Soft-spoken, kindhearted, and fair is our female NRCer, Andrea Klint. She has only been running with NRC, which was her first foray into the sport, for a little over a year, but has already achieved some impressive goals. Our male NRCer and her husband, Zack Klint, is unassuming, which is not easy to be when you are 6’ 5”. Determined and focused, Zack is outgoing, friendly and possesses a hilarious dry wit that will have you almost choking on your Uncle Bud’s hush puppies. Together, they are equally as adorable as they are formidable speedsters. They have two precious children, Jon (5) and Glenda (3), and to think it all began with a strawberry milkshake. But we’ll get to that soon enough.
Andrea grew up in the Akron, Ohio area just about 3 hours away from Zack who grew up near Dayton. She is the oldest of three girls and he is the youngest of 3 boys. From a very early age, Andrea loved to dance and had a natural talent for ballet. She spent the majority of her time dancing and was even in a pre-professional company, which traveled every summer. Her toe shoes graced stages from New York to Pennsylvania to North Carolina and Taiwan! Having been all-consuming, Andrea decided to go another direction in college, but admits she couldn’t help but be excited to notice Glenda’s new found love of her tutu!
Now, Zack grew up in a family where soccer was the sport. Both older brothers played, his Dad coached and refereed, so his brothers ended up coaching, and then he ended up coaching eventually. Every spring and fall was all about soccer and in the winter he would do different things – swimming, basketball, and even wrestling in junior high! Zack says wrestling was pretty funny! I can imagine…like puberty isn’t bad enough, they had to add tights! Zack says he would have played soccer in college, but wasn’t fast enough (huh?!), plus knee injuries had impacted him, as well. Still he loves the sport, which made watching his son, Jon, start his first soccer season that much sweeter.
Then as fate would have it the two both decided to attend Ohio University. Andrea, seeking a change from her ballet studies, majored in Dietetics and Zack, keeping in line with his interests, majored in Exercise Physiology going on to get his Masters. While in college they both worked at the university wellness center. Zack’s job was to be back in the fitness area and Andrea staffed the front desk, but Tuesdays when they both worked, Zack admits he “never spent a second in that stinking fitness area”. The first night they worked together Andrea mentioned that she liked strawberry milkshakes, so the next week Zack came in with, you guessed it, a strawberry milkshake, and then again the week after that and the week after that, until eventually they had their first date. Tuesdays were never the same again. In fact, their legacy lives on to this day. Since their romance, the wellness center made a policy that if you were dating you could no longer work the same shift! (Nice!)
Fast forward to graduation, June 2001. Two days after matriculation, the graduates packed up to head out into the world. Stuck with a U-Haul way too large for their humble beginnings, they stopped by their parents homes to get a few more things, you know the essentials, a pot, some pans, cups; it was enough for their belongings to at least cover the U-Haul floor up to a foot high so they wouldn’t slide all over the place! Zack drove the trailer and Andrea drove their car down to Nashville where internships awaited.
Later that year, at their college Homecoming (which also happened to be Andrea’s birthday), Zack popped the question! She was completely blindsided. While there was no doubt in her mind that she and Zack would be together forever, they hadn’t been talking about rings or wedding plans lately, so when he proposed it was a big surprise! They were married in May 2003.
The first year for Zack and Andrea was pretty tough. During the time that they were completing their clinical internships, Zack would intern in the summer, while Andrea was working to pay the bills and vice versa for months at a time. They got through it and one thing led to another. He was offered a position then not long after, she secured a job, too. Since coming to Tennessee, the Klint’s have lived in Green Hills, Franklin and Nolensville and they will tell you Nolensville is the best place they’ve lived hands down!
One of the reasons that they like their community so much is NRC, but they had lived there for a while before coming to run. Pre-NRC, Zack had been running about 20 minutes at a time. He saw NRC’s listing on the Fleet Feet website and funny enough, he’d also seen a “bald” guy running around the neighborhood with some other people on a fairly regular basis. He thought it might be the club, but wasn’t sure. Then, on a Saturday morning just before Thanksgiving 2011, Zack ventured out to meet NRC and there was that guy, our beloved Scott Alexander, so he knew it had been the crew running and laughing by his house all those times.
As for Andrea, she says Zack kind of threw her under the bus to get her to run, but she’s glad he did! Fellow NRCer, Erin Pryor, had just begun her FREE yoga class on Sundays around the time Zack started running with NRC. Amy Klotz, NRC’s website masta’, kept encouraging Zack to have Andrea come out at least for the yoga class, if not for the run. Andrea had never been a runner ever, but she was open to the yoga idea and tried the class. There she met Scott and Amy K who kept putting the bug in her ear to come and run. At one of the NRC get-togethers at Arrington, Scott basically said, “If you come to NRC, I will run with you no matter what.” So, she finally went the first Wednesday of May 2012 and… Scott was true to his word and ran every step with her. She doesn’t know what her pace was or how far she went, but she remembers being exhausted at a mile in and turning to Scott to say, “I think I’m going to walk here.” To which he replied, “Oh, I was going to walk here, too!” Now, knowing all his accomplishments, she realizes that this was likely a little fib, but appreciates the kindness and support. From then on she caught the running bug!
Oh, but she still attends yoga every Sunday! Zack has been to yoga too, but always jokes that while they are gracefully stretching in the pose “Bird of Paradise” he is struggling in his own rendition of “Dead Crane”! Hah!
Both Zack and Andrea have come a long way since they first started running not so long ago. Working together as a great team, they juggle their lively little ones and bustling home life with their busy careers and still make time for each other to train and run races. It really is amazing!
Andrea ran her first half marathon at the Tom King in downtown Nashville. It was clear that day, she had the competitive juices flowing, and she was ready to push herself even at mile 3. It was one of those race days we runners dream of and she finished in 1:53! After that Andrea decided to try for a PR on the flat course at Carmel. Zack said it was NRCers Wayne and Kate Jacks, cheering outside the hotel, who caught him and asked if he’d heard about Andrea’s time. Since he was racing also, he hadn’t heard. Andrea had bested her Tom King time with a 1:49. Spurred on by friends and her newfound love of running, Andrea has offered to help others accomplish a sub 2:00 half by pacing a group at the Middle Half in October. This will also be good training for her first full in Huntsville!
Zack has done about 8 half marathons including Tom King and Music City, plus a couple of 5ks. But, we can’t forget his first marathon in NRC’s home away from home, Carmel, Indiana last year. It was there that Zack completed a stellar, first time marathon performance of 3:53, but it was not easy. Zack took his marathon by storm, heading out fast with paces in the mid-8s, but said the last 5 miles were torture. I believe the term he used was, “legs like tree trunks”. But, Andrea said that he was already talking about what he could do differently the next time that night at dinner! Zack is not slowing down either and plans to run with his favorite team, “Win or Lose, We Booze” for TN Ragnar this October.
As you can imagine with two young children, they can’t usually do races at the same time. I guess it is a bit hard to get a baby sitter to come to your house at 5:30 in the morning! Luckily, thanks to the NRC babysitting network via Joe Singer, they are getting to do the Middle Half together. They are also splitting up for the 5k and 10k to do the Labor Day race, the Franklin Classic, as part of TEAM NRC!
What you might not know is that Zack is a carpenter at heart following after his father’s footsteps. Take a tour of their home and you’ll see a wooden bench, toy chest, and tons of other projects he has made by hand. You also might be surprised to know that around the end of high school and going into college… Zack had long hair! (Mental note, definitely need a picture!) You know, the all one length, parted down the middle, hairdo – yep that’s it.
While Zack was not cutting his hair, Andrea was memorizing Patrick Swayze’s abs and every single line from the movie Dirty Dancing! I’m not exaggerating. She knows every single word to the songs, too. She even had a Onesie for Glenda that said “Nobody puts baby in a corner!” Not so surprising, Andrea loves cooking and trying new recipes. She plans out all of their meals for the week every Saturday (wow!), while Zack is running. Both Jon and Glenda cast their vote for Mom’s Mac ‘n’ Cheese as their favorite Mom-cooked meal!
Spending time with family is paramount and leaves little time for other things. Teaching Jon to tie his shoes, playing dress up with Glenda and having family dance-a-thons while getting dinner ready, all take priority over video games and reality TV, and you can tell it by hanging out with their children. Jon and Glenda are bright, happy, incredible kiddoes who are a special part of NRC NexGen. Jon’s already collecting race shirts! He ran the Firecracker 1k and is running the 1k at the Franklin Classic!
They both appreciate the friends they’ve made through NRC. Honestly, Andrea doesn’t know if she would even be running if she hadn’t started with NRC. She really fed off of the enthusiasm and optimism, and their encouragement was a big factor. She notes that the support system for them has grown just by being a part of this group. When she had a stress fracture in September, and was out from running and in a boot for eight weeks, she got an email at least once a week during that time from someone in NRC checking on her to see how she was doing. She was blown away. She had only been running with the crew for 4 months at that time. Zack shares her sentiments. He said, “We liked the community before, but now we really feel like we are “a part” of the community.”
Making deeper friendships and getting more involved in the community has been really cool for the Klints. They said it is also great knowing that you can post on the NRC Facebook page that you need a run on an odd day or time, and there will almost always be someone else who will run with you. In the same way, if you post that you just want to go out for a drink, there will be a friend or two who’ll join you, too. So, keep you’re eyes out for these two and catch them out at an NRC run or social event. Hang with them and you’ll have “the time of your life”! (That one was for you, Andrea.) They are two of the best people you’ll ever meet and we are so glad to have them each as part of the club! Congratulations, Zack and Andrea!