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After competing in her third Shamrock Run, Funk has no plans of taking foot off the gas

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Carrie Funk, 51, competed in her third Shamrock Run on March 18. There are people who run to be fast, to win races and collect accolades, and to be the cream of the crop. There are also people that run simply because they enjoy it and want to lead a healthy lifestyle. Wilsonville's Carrie Funk falls into the latter category, but is not entirely removed from the former.

Funk, 51, ran in the Shamrock Run 8K on March 18 with her husband Greg. For Funk, it is just a continuation down a journey she embarked on five years ago.

"I never started running until I lost 80 pounds," Funk said. "I started walking fast, and faster, and then it was just easier to run. You could go quicker and do more things. After I started running, I started doing different events."

This year, the Shamrock Run celebrated its 40th year in existence. People from all over the country come to compete in Portland on race day, and Funk is no exception. This was her third time competing in the Run. It is still a good time to be a part of the masses who are there to participate, Funk says.

"It seems like everyone that does runs in the Portland vicinity or even in Oregon goes there for the run," Funk said. "It is part of the atmosphere, it's pretty cool. It's kind of just being part of the crowd. The environment is really fun."

Funk trains weekly to stay in running shape, but is not militaristic about her regimen. If it rains, she simply moves to the treadmill to get her work out. If her schedule does not allow, missing a day is not the end of the world.

"I'll run at least three to five days a week," Funk said. "Usually I try to do the equivalent to a 5K each time, which is 3.1 miles. This week I ran six miles. I'm very fair-weathered, so I will run on my treadmill. It is Oregon, and once I get out there, it's fun to run. This was one of the years it didn't rain which was pretty nice."

While the fair weather made for a pleasant run in the Rose City, Funk is not resting on her laurels. She has her eyes set on a pair of runs in the future: the Eugene half marathon and the Country Girl Run in Portland. The crazy thing about Funk's love of running is that it is not something her younger self could have seen coming.

"When I was in high school and junior high, I tried every sport there was and sucked at them all," Funk said. "From cheerleading to softball, gymnastics, everything. Then I was in high school and thought, 'Cross Country, who would ever want to run? That's dumb.' And now I'm a runner. I would have loved it."

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