By day, we’re marketing geeks. Computer nerds. Quirky writers and artists. And damn proud of it!

But after hours, our team members shed their marketing capes – and pursue all kinds of cool Hobbies, Interests and Talents (we call them HITs for short).

Here’s what Heather Perrotta, a Haley Marketing Project Manager, is passionate about:

HIT: Distance Runner

Back Story

I started running when I was 13. As a child, I realized that I could run faster than most of the girls – and the boys – in my elementary school. So in junior high, I joined the track team. At the time, I had no idea that I’d found what would become a lifelong passion for me.

I ran varsity track in high school, ran D3 in college, and over the years I’ve run countless 5Ks for charity.

Why do I love distance running?

Most people would consider what I do to be torture, but for me it’s sheer bliss. It’s my stress relief. And it’s a great way to stay healthy.

My favorite running story:

My biggest accomplishment by far has been running a marathon. It had been a goal of mine for years, so once I made the mental decision to do it, I found a training program online and never looked back. My husband prepared with me, and it was an amazing experience to share with him.

Yes, there were long runs in the rain, and sure, I endured my share of sore muscles, blisters, strains and sprains. But abandoning my training never even crossed my mind (yes, I finish what I start – always!).

On the morning of the race, I was a little nervous. We had family there to cheer us on, though, and once I was running I settled down and dialed into my goal: finishing.

I’m proud to say that, even though I didn’t get the time I wanted, I finished the 26.2 miles – and I’ve never felt anything so amazing. I cried a little (everything hurt!), I laughed with joy, and I was incredibly glad to cross a big To Do off my bucket list.

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