If you have ever run a =PR= race then you are sure to have seen the one-of-a-kind, extraordinaire, Paula Golladay. For this month’s Runner Rundown, we share with you Paula’s story and what makes her extra special. Paula Golladay is a D.B.K.A. (Double Below the Knee Amputee) that is truly an inspiration to many of our runners. Paula is one of our “regulars” and we are certainly lucky to have her as part of the =PR= family.
Paula Golladay started running in 2017 and “caught the bug” at the =PR= Great American Labor Day 5K in 2018. In mid-fall, Paula started to get wind of the =PR= Trophy Series and knew that she wanted to be a part of it. In 2018, Paula completed 28 races with a grand total of 93.5 racing miles. A year later, in 2019, Paula planned to meet a goal of running 50 races. Paula not only accomplished her goal but smashed it! At the end of 2019, Paula ran 74 races with a grand total of 256 racing miles.
How does Paula train for all these races you ask?!? Paula is part of the Vienna =PR= Training Program and says she loves working with Coach Kelly. In fact, she said, “I won’t train with anyone else other than Coach Kelly.”
Paula’s most recent race with =PR= was the 2020 New Year’s Day 5K in Reston. Paula started her pre-race day like any other by warming-up and getting race ready. She ended the race with her signature cap toss finish. But one thing was new for the NYD 5K, Paula had a new set of legs.
In December, Paula had asked Potomac River Running co-owner, Ray Pugsley, to meet her at the Vienna store for a surprise. When Ray walked in, there was Paula in her new legs, imprinted with our Potomac River Running name! We asked Ray about the experience and here is what he had to say:
“When we opened =PR=, we had a goal of becoming an intimate part of the local running/fitness/wellness community. We knew we could have an impact on the day-to-day lives of our customers, but we of course didn’t know to what extent. When I saw Paula’s “new legs” and felt the pride she had to show them off, I was overwhelmed. Since 2003, I have had the privilege of seeing many of our customers achieve amazing goals that might have been out of reach before joining the =PR= community, but Paula’s gesture took gratitude to a whole new level. Every time Paula arrives at a race… with her beautiful new legs… she will be an inspiration to all who see her!”
We featured Paula with her new legs on our social media accounts and the response was HUGE. Local runners, customers, and followers of @potomacriverrunning couldn’t stop sharing stories of Paula and their meetings at races, the inspiration and motivation she provides, and about her bright spirit and personality.
Paula likes to give credit where credit is due. Charlie, from Hanger Prosthetics & Orthotics, is the man behind the legs. She said “without his skill, I would not have such amazing legs!” And to Dan – the man who makes them super pretty with the =PR= Graphic Tee shirt design.
Q U I C K Q U E S T I O N S
What is your favorite place to run?
Any portion of the W&OD.
What is your favorite =PR= Race course?
A tie between Fairfax Corner and Reston (besides the last uphill).
What is your favorite race moment?
Last April, I was running a race in Fairfax. While running, another runner kept tapping me. I took it as a sign that the runner was asking me to move over. Finally, after a few more taps, I noticed the other runner was pointing down to her dog. Nelly, a black lab, was also an amputee. I finished before Nelly and their owner but waited at the finish line to then run in with Nelly and cross the finish line one more time!
Where did your famous “cap toss at the finish” come from?
In Fall of 2018, I tossed my cap at one of the races. From there, that became my signature finish! Since then, no matter what, I always finish a race with a cap toss.
What is you race plan for 2020?
In 2020, I plan to run my first half marathon. I have not yet selected which one, but I want to complete one! My next race?… Run Your Heart Out 10K followed by For the Love of It 5K.
T H I S O R T H A T
POST RACE SNACK . . . BAGEL or banana
Bagel! I’m allergic to bananas.
RUNNING COMPANY . . . ALONE or with a team/squad
I am not on the =PR= race team but my heart is with Potomac River Running. I train with the Vienna =PR= Training Program with Coach Kelly.
TIME OF DAY . . . RISE AND GRIND (MORNING) or night owl (evening)
LOCATION . . . ROAD RUNNER or trail
The road or a paved surface is a much safer place to run using my running blades. Running on a trail is not as safe when using running blades.
F I L L I N T H E B L A N K
3 words to describe you are: _____
(Paula gave us 2 words and 4 letters) Super Power and D.B.K.A (Double Below the Knee Amputee)
Running is: _____
My drug of choice.
If you weren’t running you’d be: _____
Doing a cardio class, crunches, pushups, and planks. And yes, I can plank!