Happy Father’s Day to Runner Dads Everywhere
Todd Breton, Marcus Lewis and Matt Frye strive to be excellent, supportive fathers and great runners. As ambassadors of the 2018 Chevron Houston Marathon, they take their training seriously. They also know that being a dad comes first.
“Being a father of my two children, Jennifer and Michael, has been a blessing,” Breton said. “My kids have always been supportive of my running and of me as a dad.” Todd Breton ran the Chevron Houston Marathon in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017, but he said that the 2017 Marathon was the most memorable for him as a dad. On June 23, 2016 Breton was diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma cancer. He was unable to run during the summer or the fall of that year. Despite massive challenges, Breton persevered and decided to run the Aramco Houston Half Marathon in 2017. His son and daughter ran the full marathon, so they were able to run the first seven miles with their dad.
“The start of this race was epic,” Breton said. “This was the first competitive race and long run since I was diagnosed, and my kids were with me to share in this moment.” Breton finished the half marathon in just under four hours, but he remembers the 2017 race fondly. “I was so proud to know that I have such strong family support,” he said. “I am so honored to be a dad.”
Matt Frye recently had a baby girl. As a Clear Lake High School teacher and basketball coach, Frye has a busy schedule. He missed many of the little changes in his daughter during the first four months of her life, and began to look for an activity they could share. He found this balance by pushing her stroller on runs. “Our runs started with her falling asleep,” Frye said. “But they have developed into pointing and teaching and just having a good time playing on the beach, looking at trucks and boats, or just walking after a workout. It’s our time.”
Frye enjoys giving his wife a well-deserved rest while he and his daughter enjoy their runs. Frye’s daughter loves being outside, and has come to love their runs as much as her father. “There’s nothing quite like having her look up at me while we are running,” Frye said. “We are a team and she pushes me as much as I push her.”
“Being a father and runner exist hand-in-hand,” Frye said. “I would venture to say that it has helped me grow in both areas.”
Marcus Lewis became a father a year after becoming a runner. His first son was born one month after Lewis ran his first half marathon. Now Lewis and his wife have four sons between the ages of two and ten. Having so many responsibilities while trying to be an active runner can be a challenge. “Wanting to be the best dad possible and max my training and racing efforts didn’t always blend well,” Lewis said. Despite the challenges, Lewis worked hard to develop a balance that lets him be a devoted father and a great runner. He sometimes takes his kids to the gym to play in childcare while he makes time for a workout or has them bike along with him during a run. It is vital to strike a healthy balance and prioritize family first.
“I feel like I have grown from all this,” Lewis said, “learning to not waste time, focusing on being efficient, knowing when to sacrifice and always remembering what matters the most.”
Like all loving fathers, Lewis is adamant that his family comes first. He also knows that passionate fathers can achieve their goals if they have the drive and determination to succeed. “If something is important to you,” Lewis said, “you will find a way. Whether it’s getting up early, squeezing in a lunch run, or going out for a run after I put my boys to bed; there is a way.”
To the runner dads, continue inspiring your children to live active, healthy lives and to never give up on their passions. Happy Father’s Day to the dads who are a huge part of the Chevron Houston Marathon.