XTERRA Philly Trail Run Series Champions: Diane and Tom Grim
Tom and Diane Grim celebrated the fourth anniversary of their wedding earlier this month the best way they know how - running and biking.
It's how they met and how they stay together, even though they don't necessarily like to train together.
"We tried to train together when we first met, but I would always fall behind and whine about it so we decided it was best to each do our own thing," said Diane. "We might go together on a group run, but we only see each other at the start and then we each go our own way. We've found that's what works best."
It has actually worked wonders in the XTERRA Philly Trail Run Series. The Grims each emerged as an age-group champion when the final standings for the series were calculated last month.
Diane won the women's 50-54 age group, and was the only runner in the entire series to go undefeated in her age group through all five races. Making it more impressive, she was considered the top overall female runner in the entire series, having placed in the top four at each race, including two first place overall finishes.
"When I'm out running the course, I'm not thinking about how old or young the other runners are," Diane said. "But I have to admit, it does feel pretty good at the end when you turn around and see all these young girls finishing behind you."
Tom won the men's 60-64 age group, and placed either first or second in that age group at every race.
Interestingly enough, Tom was the pace-setter when they started training together several years ago. Now, Diane is the faster of the two on the Philly trails.
"I have to give him credit because he got me started in this, and he taught me everything about it," Diane said. "It's funny because if we were to go on a training run, just the two of us, he'd be way ahead of me. But when we get in that group setting in a race, something happens - that switch just turns on inside me and I keep going."
As Tom put it: "I guess I'm more of a trainer and she's more of a racer. Her friends call her 'Diesel' because she goes so hard in the races. I don't know how she does it, but once that gun goes off to start the race, she's gone. I'd kill myself if I tried to catch her."
The Grims also enter cycling races together, and Diane is also considered an elite competitor on the local cycling circuit.
"We met on our bikes, and then started training together," Tom said. "And long story short, we got married and we're both still doing what we can to stay healthy and active."
Diane works as a general manager at a cafe, and Tom works as a project manager for an electric company.
They will take some vacation time at the end of September so that they can enter the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship at the Snowbasin Resort near Ogden, Utah, on Sept. 25. They will likely be contenders in their respective age groups, even though it will be their first running experience in Utah, and at the XTERRA Nationals.
"We just want to go and experience the whole thing," Diane said. "We don't have expectations. We've never been to Utah, so we don't know the course, or how the altitude and weather might affect us. We just want to have fun, and after the race we'll spend some time relaxing and enjoying the area."
The XTERRA Trail Run National Championship is open to runners of all ages and skill levels. Online registration is open at www.xterratrailrun.com.
2011 Philly Series Champions
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