We bring you another Runner Bio this week! We sit down with Robby Scalise for a great intverview!
Robby Scalise - SF FrontRunners Member
How long have you been running with FrontRunners and what attracted you to the club?
Robby: I've been running with SFFR for about 4 years. I was brand new to running, and I thought that running with a group would be really motivating. And it is! I think the Saturday morning run is such a great way to start each weekend!
Where did you grow up and what brought you to the Bay Area?
Robby: I grew up in Boston, and arrived in SF in 1993 in my friend's Volvo.
You work with Old Navy. Can you tell us how you got into that and where it has taken you?
Robby: I produce photo shoots for Old Navy Online. I started out by assisting fashion stylists on set, and worked my way over to the organizational side of photo productions. We work with a wide range of models including adults, kids and babies, so there's a lot of variety in my day-to-day schedule. Overall it's a really fun, high-energy work environment.
What do you enjoy in your spare time?
Robby: I play the ukulele--ok to be honest, I know about 10 chords, but I really do have a lot of fun with it! I also brew and bottle my own kombucha, which is a fermented tea drink. My production is on hold right now, but I'll be experimenting with some exciting new flavors and tweaking with the alcohol content in the next few months. I'm also a pretty fierce Scrabble player and a big sports fan. I'm excited that the Giants and A's are having great seasons. I also think the 49ers will be fun to watch again this year.
Are you involved with any other clubs around the Bay Area or elsewhere?
Robby: I also belong to the SF Triathlon Club. That club organizes a weekly track workout at Kezar Stadium which has definitely helped me become a better runner.
In addition to running, you are an avid cyclist. What trips have you recently done that you enjoyed and would recommend to other cycling enthusiasts?
Robby: Oh yeah I love cycling, and we are lucky to have so many great cycling options all over the Bay Area. Some friends and I recently rode the 100-mile Tour de Napa, which was a gorgeous route that included a couple of big-time hill challenges. One of my favorite local rides is a beautiful climb from Fairfax up to Alpine Dam. It's really cool to ride amongst the redwoods, then moments later, emerge near the summit of Mt. Tam and see the fog rolling in on the coast below… Just spectacular.
Before coming to FrontRunners, did you do much running or any other active activity on a regular routine?
Robby: I've always been pretty sporty. I played for several years in the gay basketball and softball leagues, and I'm also a reasonably dedicated gym-goer.
What is one of your fondest memories of FrontRunners so far?
Robby: I brought my mom and my aunt to a run when they visited me a couple years ago. Rian, the president at the time, pointed at my mom to start off the name circle, and she really went for it: "Hi, I'm Claudia! And I'm Robby's mother!!!" They loved it all--the pink ribbons, the exercise, and the brunch, of course; but mainly they really appreciated the camaraderie and warm welcome they received from everyone in the club.
For runners who are training for longer distances or trying to better their times, can you offer some advice on how to work to those goals and avoid/heal from running injuries?
Robby: Well, the main thing for me is to stay healthy and injury-free. When I first started running I began to experience some excruciating knee pain after running about only a mile. In researching my injury I came across a book called "Chi Running" by Daniel Denton which for me, was completely transformative; it showed me how to develop a more efficient stride that eliminated the knee pain I was experiencing. I'm now able to run much further and faster than I had ever thought possible when I first started out.
What do you hope to see happen/change with FrontRunners in the coming months?
Robby: I'd love to see a lot of SFFR participation at some upcoming races--especially the East Bay Pride Run on October 13 and the Christmas Relays in December. Races are so much more fun when you see some familiar faces out there.
Any advice to newcomers to the club?
Robby: Newcomers and regulars alike: Find someone who walks or runs at your pace and start chatting!
Thanks, Robby, for a wonderful interview!
Stay tuned for more Runner Bios!