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Social media contest winners make running look fun(ny)

Zachary VanHarn (aka ZachyChan), 27, of Tulsa, posted a photo from the 2010 Tulsa Run 5k race, which earned him the most likes during the contest.

The former high school runner recently returned to the sport to improve his health and physique. He has now completed one half marathon and will participate in the half marathon in November. He completed the Route 66 5k last year.

VanHarn has taken his new passion for running and combined it with his passion for Christ to form Runners in Christ with a friend and fellow runner.

“My main motivation is Christ who makes all this possible and the running team a friend and I started called Runners In Christ,” said VanHarn. “Other motivating factors are I like to eat and seeing runners who inspire me by their effort, achievements and dedication.”

VanHarn enjoys the race-day atmosphere and hopes the cheering crowd will help him beat his current half marathon time of 1:30:47 set at the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon last May.


Michelle Carbone, 33, resides in Colorado Springs, Colo., and with one half marathon and one marathon behind her, she’s no novice runner though this year’s Williams Route 66 Marathon will be her first time to participate.

The photo that won Carbone a free entry was taken after completing her first marathon, the Air Force Marathon, in September 2010.

Carbone began running in 2009 after having her son and leaving the corporate world for motherhood.

“I needed something to balance being a stay-at-home mom…running keeps me sane,” said Carbone. “I finished my first 5k in 2009 and was immediately hooked on racing and just kept adding distance.”

Carbone’s motivation is her family’s cheers from the sidelines and the ability to make training work around her schedule.

“I love that running is something that I can do without sacrificing family time – early mornings, late nights or the treadmill during naps – all allow me to still be there,” she said.

The timing, location, reviews and swag associated with the Williams Route 66 Marathon all prompted her to sign up for this year’s race.

“My husband is deploying in May and I can get this one in before he leaves without having to train in snow,” said Carbone. “(The marathon has received) great reviews on Marathon Guide about it being well-organized, which is important to me. And, I get two shirts!”