Note: to comply with restrictions on blogs, I have removed all references to my employer who published this article. Instead, [company] will fill in those blanks. Thanks!
February 7, 2008
What’s Your Passion? – On the Run for Fitness, Family and Country
"Running is a big question mark that's there each and every day. It asks you, ‘Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?’" – Peter Maher, Irish-Canadian Olympian and sub-2:12 marathoner
The quote above appears on the home page of Nick Billock’s personal blog, and it says everything about the passion he feels for distance running.
Nick is a financial services representative in northeast Ohio with [company], which is the segment of Individual Business serving teachers, hospital employees and government workers. He earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Regent University in Virginia and joined [company] in 2005.
Since 1997, Nick has run 19 marathons of 26.2 miles each and in 2007 alone completed seven marathons and one ultramarathon trail run of 50 kilometers (31.2 miles). Just last month, Nick ran his second ultramarathon, the Buckeye Trail 50K in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and placed fourth overall with a time of 4 hours and 47 minutes.
His personal best marathon time is 3 hours, 21 minutes, which he nearly matched in his most recent outing, finishing in 3 hours, 26 minutes in Richmond, VA last November.
Nick has even completed two half-Ironman triathlons, each one consisting of swimming 1.2 miles, biking 56 miles and running 13.1 miles.
How does one develop such endurance? You run a lot … and then you run more.
"I run 40 to 50 miles per week," Nick reveals, "mostly before dawn as I have a young family and my career with [company]. I’m also a marathon training coach on weekends, helping others as part of a training team. My next goal is to qualify for the Boston Marathon – to make Boston you have to run 3:15 on a certified course."
The aforementioned family, career and hours of running would fill up the schedule for most people, but the 34-year-old has also found the time and energy to become Ensign Billock in the U.S. Navy Reserve.
"I was enlisted in the Navy for 10 years as a nuclear mechanic and served mostly on aircraft carriers," Nick explains. "However, with my business education along with my MBA – concentration in finance – and my career choice with [company], the Navy recently accepted me into their very competitive program as a direct-commission officer in the Supply Corps.
"The Supply Corps is the financial and logistical arm of the Navy and they look for professionals with a finance background. I applied and was commissioned last September."
With so many activities, Nick appreciates the work-life freedom he has at [company].
"As a financial services representative, being in the Navy Reserve matches well," he observes. "I drill once a month on the weekend near my home and two weeks per year away. I do my running before my family’s even awake, and my wife supports me when I go out Saturday mornings to do 15 to 20 miles with the training group. You feel extremely good and healthy after running.
"I am very passionate about running and fitness but also to serving my country," Nick concludes. "I really believe my career with [company] compliments both of these by offering the flexibility to do all of these but still being able to serve my clients well and without compromise."
Note: 3 pictures also appeared in article which are shown in right margin of this blog (Navy Ball photo, Richmond Marathon finish, and Akron Marathon photo)