heels and fins: the shoe rack of the female triathlete

Hi there! Christine Johansen here. Girl of many nicknames I go by Chris, Christine, or CJ, depending upon whom you ask. (I’ve also gone by CHRISTINEMARIE! but that was only when teenage-me truly infuriated Dad.) I am “pretty much” a lifelong resident of Marlborough, Mass., half-way between Worcester and Boston, population round-about 38,000.  I say “pretty much” since I was literally born here (back when Marlborough Hospital actually delivered babies) and aside from college and the post-college decade (BU ’92 then NJ, CT, VT and CA), I’ve always hung up my running shoes here.

There’s a street in this city named after one grandfather, Arnold Warren Johansen (Johansen Drive, off Hosmer).  The other, Lt. Ralph Neill, was one of Marlborough’s finest, devoting his whole career to the Marlborough Police Department.

When I was young, Marlborough was known not for high tech but for shoe-making (remember Frye boots?).  Marcia Cross was not Bree on Desperate Housewives—she was my babysitter.

While an MHS (class of ’88) varsity letter jacket decorates the wall in my home gym, I am pretty sure I got it for perfect attendance not stellar performance; I used to joke that I ran cross country “because someone has to come in last”.  It is only in the past few years that I’ve really thought I could be speedy.  If I’m not training at Wayside Swim and Fitness, where I am a longtime member, you might see me running around town with my main training partner, Sam the Dalmatian…although he tends to wimp out on long runs, cold days and whenever there’s a remote chance of rain.  What can I say? He is truly a boy raised by girls.

Me and the goofy beast (he’s the one with spots)

Speaking of girls, I’ve got two—Emma just graduated high school (!) and Lida will enter it in the fall of 2014.  They are fantastically supportive of my insanity.

Professionally speaking, I spent many years as a journalist (Middlesex News, TAB Newspapers, New York Times Boston Bureau, Forbes Newspapers and Weekly Reader) before I sold my soul and entered PR. I am now blessed to work for one of the very best companies in the world—Cisco.  Not Sysco, the food people with the really big tractor-trailer trucks on the highway, but Cisco, the computer networking people who are changing the way the world lives, works and plays.  (Chances are you have one of our routers or switches to thank–or blame–for enabling you to read this blog.)

A newly minted “40-something” (I crossed over on 12/12/2010), I’ve been keeping my mind off the midlife crisis by taking on athletic challenges that teeter on the brink of impossible: sprint tris, “olys”, half-marathons, full marathons, half Ironmans…personally I am terrified to find out what’s next. Care to join me? Crazy loves company!

Take care and thanks for stopping by,


2 Responses to About

  1. Pingback: All Garmin-ed Up… | CJ's Marathon Countdown: 33 days!

  2. Pingback: Cameras Turn on the PR Chick | CJ's Marathon Countdown: 6 days!

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