Nancy Patel’s first athletic passion was Irish Step Dancing, and she spent most of her free time from ages 8-18 practicing and competing with her dance school near Chicago, IL. She began her running career in 1997 to lose the weight that had accumulated during high school and her freshman year at Notre Dame, and fell in love with the sport. She ran for 7 years on her own to de-stress and stay in shape before colleagues convinced her to run the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge 5 miler in 2004 on her company’s team. The race proved to be fun and team building, and Nancy was hooked. She continued to enter races. In 2013, after several moves around North America, Nancy moved to Murrieta, CA and a friend recommended a local running group. After 16 years of solo running, Nancy joined the group to make friends and continue her running journey. In late 2014, Nancy began recruiting beginners to join in on shorter group runs, making sure that they felt welcome. In an effort to give back more to the running community, Nancy started pacing races in January 2015, and continued pacing throughout all 3 trimesters of both her 4th and 5th pregnancies. She also spent some time coaching beginner and intermediate runners.
Two things that make Nancy’s running experience unique: A) She has been able to run throughout all 5 of her pregnancies until the final 24 hours, still capable of a 5K at an 8:15 min/mile pace within days of childbirth, and B) She has run on all 6 inhabited continents (North America, South America, Asia, Africa, Australia and Europe).