Jodi Strohl is a marathon runner when she is not cutting hair at her salon, All That Hair. Race bling decorates her workplace and the 44-year-old has won more than 100 ribbons and trophies in her 18-year running career.
Pratt hair stylist Jodi Strohl has a running start on probably 99 percent of the residents within the City of Pratt, and maybe even in the whole county. A wall of ribbon trophies at her 54-Plaza Mall salon “All That Hair” attest to her enthusiasm and successes as a seasoned marathon runner.
Strohl’s been running for 18 years. She got into the rigorous sport because she wanted to lose the “baby weight” and that was the solution offered in an article in Shape Magazine. The headline, “If You Want to Lose Baby Weight, Start Running,” set her on a path and opened her world to new horizons.
In 2001 she heard about an American Diabetes Association fundraiser to be held in Bermuda and was awarded an expense-paid trip to participate. It became her first venture into the marathon world and she ran a full marathon, completing 26.2 miles. It made a lasting memory.
“It was a gorgeous marathon,” Strohl said.
It was also challenging. Strohl and the other entrants ran the perimeter of the island--twice! Her ribbon trophy from that event is one of the more than 100 trophy ribbons currently hanging on her salon wall. She has ordered special plaques to celebrate the honors, which she called “my race bling.”
Other marathon race categories Strohl participates in are the half-marathon, 13.1 miles, and 10K and 5K runs.
“ The half-marathon, that’s my favorite distance,” Strohl said, but she’s quick to add, “If it’s running and there’s a medal at the end, I do it!”
Strohl acknowledged that she’s “OCD about numbers!” These are some of the number tallies in her racing history: She’s completed: four full marathons, with a best time of four hours and 12 minutes; 56 half-marathons, best time one hour, 51 minutes; ten 10K runs, best time 51 minutes and nine seconds; and 40 5K runs, best time 25 minutes and 40 seconds.
Here’s another number she tracked: she’s worn out over 50 pair of running shoes costing about $120 pair.
Recalling other marathons, Strohl highlighted the “Rock&Roll” event held annually in Las Vegas, NV, which is a night run.
“They shut down the strip and we start at the Pyramid, run down the strip to the old strip and back and end at the Mirage. It’s a half-marathon, just over 13 miles,” Strohl said. “It’s always in November.”
Support of her family members gives Strohl encouragement. Sometimes her husband Kevin, a heavy-equipment operator for Kansas Gas, not only accompanies her, but also participates. She recalled that they both ran in a half-marathon event in Hawaii.
“It was awesome!” Strohl said.
Another event the two look forward to annually as a couple is the “Hang-Over Series” held New Year’s Eve in Wichita.
“It starts with a Beer Run at 5 p.m., then there’s a midnight run and it ends with a morning run at 9 o’clock,” Strohl said.
The couple has a six-year tradition participating in the three 5K runs comprising the event.
To stay “race-ready” for competitive events, Strohl adheres to a practice schedule that includes both distance-running and weight-lifting.
“I run for one hour on Tuesdays and Thursdays and two hours on Saturdays and I work out for about an hour at Blythe Family Fitness Center on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays,” Strohl said. “You’ve got to have muscle to run.”
From her home near Lemon Park, Strohl’s morning runs cover six miles, three times a week. That comes out to near 1,000 running miles a year.
Early-bird park walkers might see Strohl streak by, but they probably won’t notice a tattoo on her left calf and ankle that is a testament to her love of running.
“Everything’s better when you run,” Strohl said.