RunningLane Athlete Highlight: Wonda Abbott


Wonda Abbott has been with us since 2016. It has been a joy to have Wonda and her family as part of our RunningLane community. She is an amazing example of someone who has brought her entire family together on the running journey. 2019 has been a BIG year for Wonda. She has touched on everything from a 10k PR on the road, a half marathon PR on the trails and a 50K under 6 hours! She also finished the challenging Oak Mountain 50K after a wrong turn and a 2 mile detour within 6 miles of the finish. Wonda’s tenaciousness makes her incredibly special to us! Get to know a little more about Wonda.

How long have you been running? 

I have been running since November 2011. Just out of the blue my sister, Sil and I decided we would run our first half marathon, Covenant Health Knoxville Half Marathon. I started out using a beginner online training plan. I had never ran a race in my entire life!

When and where was your first race? 

2012 Covenant Health Knoxville Half Marathon

What are you currently training for?

I am currently training for Ultra Race of Champions 50K in Virginia.

What are some goals you have for 2019?

Finish a 50K (Complete – Oak Mountain 50K!)

Attempt a 50 miler (Georgia Jewel in September)

What is your favorite race?

I have so many favorites but my favorite involved the whole family: 2013 Disneyworld running weekend! We are a family of 6 and all of us were in 2 races for 4 days of events. Events consisted of a 1 miler, 5K, half marathon and full marathon. The kids age that the time were 7, 11, 18 and 21. We spent each day running a race and that night riding the rides at Disney. It was a family run-cation!  I did my first marathon there. The older kids did their first half marathon and 5K. The younger kids did the 5K and 1 miler.

Where is your favorite place to run?  

Monte Sano and Land Trust trails

What is your favorite running memory?

At the time it wasn’t my favorite memory but I do remember my dad making me run almost every day when I was in middle school and some in high school.  It was a ritual to do a mile or 2 a day. He would run with my sisters and I. Now, I get a chance to enjoy running with my daughters and husband!

How long have you been with Runninglane and why did you get a coach?

I have been with RunningLane since January 2016. I wanted to get a coach to help me progress and learn the correct way to train. Coach Justyna was coaching my daughter and wanted her to coach me too. All I ever used was an online training plan. Coach Justyna has taught me so much. It is so nice to have someone to check on me, give me accountability in my training and create training plans just for me. She has always been there with me. Sometimes she is my #1 fan! I have enjoyed being part of RunningLane!

Why do you run?

I run for my physical fitness. It keeps me in shape and sane. I love being outside and enjoying our beautiful world we live in. I have met so many people and created long lasting friendships.


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If this time last year someone would have said to me, "By April 2016 you'll have run 3 5Ks and will be running 15 miles every week (and enjoying it!)," I'd have laughed and made a joke about being chased by a scary clown. But, here I am, just finished my 3rd 5K with a time a little bit better than the last.  I'm really glad RunningLane encourages beginners. As someone who has never run or even been very athletic, it's nice to have guidance and a place to get my questions answered. Big thanks to my coach, Michael for setting me up with a program that I can stick with and challenges me.  My program is just that…mine.  It is tailored to my fitness level and ability and having someone to check in with each week keeps me accountable. It’s working!  In 14 weeks with my coach and RunningLane my BMI has dropped 5 points, my cholesterol went from over 200 to 165, and my resting heart rate has lowered because my heart is healthier and happier!  Thank you, RunningLane!