When the alarm clock goes off at 4:45 a.m., most people rollover and hit snooze, but not Steven Davis, police officer for the Department of Public Safety at Akron Children’s Hospital. He knows if he doesn’t get up when the alarm goes off, his running buddy – and wife – will literally give him the nudge he needs to get out of bed.
“When the alarm goes off, someone wakes up and gets the other one up,” said Steven. “We’ve come to really enjoy our run around the neighborhood before most people are even having coffee. We pace with each other – during our training and in races – and talk. Well, I end up doing most of the talking and she does most of the listening. It works for us.”
This constant source of motivation wasn’t always what fueled Steven’s running routine. Twenty years ago, his motivation was getting a job. As a young police cadet trying to land his first job in law enforcement, Steven knew one of the requirements was passing the civil service test.
“I was an athlete in school and knew I could make the sit-ups and the push-ups portion of the test, but I had to train to make sure I could get my 1.5 miles in under 12 minutes,” said Steven. “Once I passed the test and got my first job, I kept up with the physical requirements of that test because I felt like I owed it to myself, my family and the community I served.”
While his job titles have changed since he passed the test 2 decades ago, his commitment to staying fit to better serve others remains steadfast. He’s also found taking in 3-5 mile runs, 4 days week is a lot more enjoyable when running with a friend, who happens to be his wife, Lisa.
“My wife wasn’t a runner, but decided she wanted to try running with me. We started off doing 1.5 miles together and just kept adding mileage and upping the pace over time,” said Steven. “Six years later, we are still running together…We also run with a couple running clubs and sign up for several races throughout the year to keep us motivated.”
A favorite event for the husband-wife running duo is taking in 3 races as part of the Akron Children’s Hospital Akron Marathon Race Series.
“We’ve been running all 3 races for the past few years because it really helps with our training. Having multiple races stacked up helps us stay on track with pacing for the half marathon,” said Steven. “There’s excitement at every race, but it all culminates on that last race in September. We look forward to running it because it’s so full of energy, and there’s always something new to see along the route. We also enjoy seeing the hospital patients along the way.”
Although Steven and Lisa run stride for stride during the Race Series races, Steven loves the challenge competition brings on race day.
“I think the Race Series is great because you can be an advanced runner or a beginner, and there’s room for you at these races,” said Steven. “Everyone can find their own way of measuring success – time, pace or just finishing. For me, when I have success I’ll stick with it, which is why I come back each year.”
Interested in running, volunteering or cheering on the participants in the 2019 Akron Children’s Hospital Akron Marathon Race Series? Visit www.akronmarathon.org.