Frisco, Texas – Matt Kafka began his passion for running with a mission to shed unwanted pounds. As senior director of operations for juice beverage company Jamba Juice, maintaining a healthy lifestyle remains a top priority. We learned of the ingredients for his decision to #RunBigStar and are honored to feature him.
Who do you run for?
I run for those who want to better themselves and live a healthier life. I started running in 2012 as part of a New Year’s resolution to get in shape. After five months, I lost 45 pounds and completed my first half marathon. Completing a half marathon is an accomplishment in itself, but when they gave me an age group award, a lightbulb went off in my head. I can do more than I think I can. I could be good at this. Since 2012 I have completed over 40 races ranging from 5Ks to 100 milers. I’ve even won a few along the way. Now I keep running as a platform to tell my weight loss story and that it is never too late to set goals and get in shape (I was 37 years old)—who knows, you may even find you have a hidden talent like I did. So my call to action is this—put on a pair of shoes, go outside, and start moving!
What does running do for you?
Running makes me a better husband, son, brother, friend and employee. It gives me energy, relieves stress, offers a spiritual retreat, and when done with others it’s a great social outlet. Pushing yourself to your limits gives you a new perspective on your life —from the edge you can look into the center of you. I’ve made big decisions and figured a lot of things out while out on a long run. Running is great for the soul.
Why will you run the Texas Big Star in Frisco April 2017?
I’m running the Texas Big Star to be with my Jamba peeps. Jamba moved their headquarters to Frisco last year, and this event is a great way for Jamba Juice to represent and support its new home. Jamba is all about simplifying and inspiring healthy living— what better way to do that than to run a half marathon. A bonus reason is my wife was looking to run a half marathon before she has her baby in July. The timing of this race worked out great for her (I’m so impressed with how she has maintained her health and fitness throughout her pregnancy)—so double win I’ll be running with my wife and with friends.
Why should others #RunBigStar?
The Texas Big Star is a great event that gives back to local charities. What better way to treat yourself to a great run while giving back to your community!
What has been your greatest running achievement?
Meeting my wife while volunteering at a race is top of the list. I have also made lifelong friends while slogging through the miles. I know getting the next medal or finishing a long distance seem like important achievements when you are in the moment, but as time passes my memories always go back to the miles I spent on the trails with friends.
If you could not run, what would you do instead?
The first thing that comes to mind is I’d get fat—though I’m sure my health would still be important so I would do things like hike, bike and swim to stay in shape. Anything else where I am moving outside I’d do it.
There’s still time for you to join Matt in the mix! The race begins Saturday, April 15, 2017 at 7:00 AM.
Race Partners and Supporters include: Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Frisco, Simon | Paschal PLLC, Greenlayer, Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, TriShop, Legacy Plumbing, Albin Roach, PLLC, Classic Chevrolet, Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Centennial, Cowboy Fit, Kroger, Dallas Stars Foundation, Two Men & A Truck, NBC5, I Messenger News Group
*Photos attached: Matt Kafka1, Matt Kafka2
The North Texas Community Giving Foundation (NTCGF) and the Tug McGraw Foundation will present the 2nd annual Texas Big Star Half Marathon & 5K at Collin College Preston Ridge Campus, 9700 Wade Blvd., Frisco, Texas 75035 on April 15, 2017 at 7:30 a.m. #WhoIRunFor is a series of stories about race participants and the passion behind their footwork.
Register today! All are welcome to #RunBigStar. Corporate teams are encouraged to register as well.