My name is: Eddie Wooten, but I’m also known as the Running Shorts guy.
Myself in a nutshell: Married and father of two adult sons—Will, with daughter-in-law Briana, and Joe. Sports editor for the Winston-Salem Journal and the News & Record in Greensboro. Filed my first story for the Farmville Enterprise in August 1976 at age 13; 43rd year in journalism. Lifelong North Carolina resident. Mini-season ticket holder for the Carolina Hurricanes, longtime fan of the once-great Baltimore Orioles and equally once-great Washington Football Team.
I’m originally from: Farmville, NC, in Pitt County.
I’ve been in Greensboro: Since summer 1998.
A proud member of Twin City Track Club: Since 2017, but an admirer well before that while participating in multiple Winston-Salem races.
Been a “runner”: Since 2003.
The longest distance I’ve ever run: 34 miles at the Doggettville 12 in Summerville in 2018, run in the remnants of Hurricane Florence.
Memorable running experiences:
- Rave Run: Rim to Rim at the Grand Canyon in October 2014 with Greensboro’s Bobby Christiansen. Been to the Canyon three times, and breathtaking is a cliché, but accurate.
- Race: The Mistletoe Run, of course—17-time participant. My running calendar begins with the first Saturday in December.
- I’d rather forget: Really, none of them, but I started a Myrtle Beach Marathon on what was later diagnosed as a tibial stress fracture, DNF’d at the farthest point from the hotel and endured a long walk of shame back to the room.
These are a few of my favorite running things:
- Vice: Nautical and civil twilight before sunrise, 45 degrees. Talking to and writing about runners in the Triad (shameless plug; building a new Running Shorts site, running-shorts.ghost.io to house that content).
- Device: My Samsung phone. Tracks my runs, tucks into a FlipBelt.
- Advice: “Don’t outrun the fun.” Wise runners, including the Triad’s late Bob Hodges, have said that. I did it this winter but am finding the fun again.
- Running footwear: Mizuno for life. Wave Inspire.
- Pre-run/post run fuel: Pop Tarts and coffee before a run. A soft drink can hit the spot afterward.
My motivation to run: To enjoy a form of competition vs. myself and the watch. To stay in shape. To eat what I want.
But when I’m not running, I enjoy: Watching NHL, MLB or NFL in high definition. Attending sports events. Drinking North Carolina craft beer and visiting Triad breweries.
One thing running has taught me: That it’s mentally and emotionally rejuvenating to be a part of a community in which everyone is moving in the same direction. Everyone’s motivations, goals and paces are different, and most certainly we are all different. But we’re all moving toward a finish line, cheering one another along the way.
I wish I could: Be less lazy about fitness and strength, eat better and sleep better so that I would be a faster runner.
Most people don’t know I: Won the Pitt County Spelling Bee for junior high school students in 1976.