This week's Runner Bio interview is with Tim Allen.
Tim Allen, SF FrontRunners Member
How long have you been running with FrontRunners and what attracted you to the club?
Tim - I started running with FR's in the spring of 1991. I'd been running a little off and on since I was 20, and over time I saw a pattern: when I ran regularly, I felt happier. In addition to running, I hoped to meet a wonderful guy who was fun to be with, good looking, and would make a great life partner. After my first year, I decided that FR's didn't work as a dating service but was a decent running club. Six months later I met a guy who seemed like a great catch except that he was too young. I dated him anyway and he turned out to be fun to be with, good looking, and a great life partner. Next October we'll celebrate our 20th year together.
Where did you grow up and what brought you to the Bay Area?
Tim - I grew up mostly in East Lansing, Michigan. When friends moved here to the Bay Area, I started visiting, and fell in love with San Francisco.
What do you do for work/during the day?
Tim - I work as a consultant helping design, finance, and evaluate programs related to mental health, homelessness, and HIV. My biggest clients are UCSF, the CDC, and county health departments.
What do you enjoy in your spare time?
Tim - I love to play the piano and guitar. My partner is a classical musician, and through him I've gotten involved in organizing groups presenting classical music. I also like woodworking, and for the last few years I've been trying to teach myself to build acoustic guitars. I'm on my third instrument.
That’s amazing! Hopefully we get an official FrontRunners guitar someday. Are you involved with any other clubs around the Bay Area or elsewhere?
Tim - Not any athletic clubs, although when I travel I like to run with other FrontRunners groups such as DC, NY, and London.
Before coming to FrontRunners, did you do much running or any other active activity on a regular routine?
Tim - I'd run a few miles a week to lose weight. Then I'd stop running and gain the weight back.
Your awesome companion, Ripley, attends most of our runs. How long have you had her and what is one of the things you enjoy most with her?
Tim - Ripley the dog is 8 years old. She loves to meet people and loves to run. Her companionship adds a lot to my appreciation of both those activities.
Any advice to people thinking of getting a dog in the city?
Tim - Before I got Ripley I was leery of the commitment, but now I can't imagine being without a dog. It does require time and, if you hire a walker while you're at work, there's cost. To most of us it's well worth it. Regarding what kind of dog: little dogs need exercise too, and their size does not make them that much easier to take care of. Many of us like the calmer temperament often found in midsize and larger breeds. I recommend taking time to find a type of dog that really suits you. If you like dogs, doing this research is interesting and fun.
What is one of your fondest memories of FrontRunners so far?
Tim - I remember working up to 15 miles and then telling one of the "serious" runners, "I'm running 15 miles a week." He said: "Wow, Tim, that's great! Everybody has to start somewhere..." I had to laugh. It made me appreciate that I have to run for what I get out of it, not to impress anyone, including myself. Now I jog 20 miles a week, which to non-runners seems amazing, and a little strange - yet to the serious runner it's not much. But the point isn't what other people think… it's what I get out of it.
What do you hope to see happen/change with FrontRunners in the coming months?
Tim - Thanks to the work of a lot of people--especially Darlene, who till recently was our Women's Contact--more women are participating in SFFR's. I really like having women as a part of our FR community, and I look forward to more women joining in the coming months.
Any advice to newcomers to the club?
Tim - When people are standing around before and after runs it's a good opportunity to greet people you already know, but it doesn't seem to be a great time to meet new people. If you want to get to know people, the best opportunities are during runs or walks, SFFR parties, and volunteer activities. Getting involved in FrontRunners is rewarding in a lot of ways. For me, social relationships—whether a comfortable nodding acquaintanceship that goes no further, or a friendship that endures for years, all the way to a permanent life partnership—have been the most rewarding part.
Thanks, Tim, for a wonderful interview!
Stay tuned for a new Runner Bio each week and feel free to check out the existing Runner Bios on our official site.