Richboro’s Wade beats the clock in running and life

Lori Wade competes in last year's Honest Abe race at the BCRR Winter Series in Tyler State Park. (Photo by Pat McCloskey)
      In the morning, she’s off on a run. By afternoon, she’s solving flood problems as a civil engineer over in the Princeton area. And at night, if there is any time left, she’s practicing her black belt moves at a karate studio in Richboro.
      Where does Lori Wade find enough hours in the day?
      Did we mention she also raises two sports-minded young sons and operates a summer cross-country camp, too?
      Well, she’s one of the fastest masters runners in Bucks County so she knows all about doing things in a hurry.
      The Penn State graduate, who originally hails from upstate Hazelton, has been a Bucks resident for a number of years but only in the past five or so has she been active in the local running scene.
      She read about the Bucks County Road Runners Winter Series, tried one of the races and found it to her liking. Having already starred on the Hazelton High School team in cross-country and then also training as a member of the PSU Triathlon Club years ago, this was just the sort of motivation she needed to get back into serious racing.
      Wade, 42, appears to have found new life in her running. Last year, a 3:27 personal-best qualifying time in the Atlantic City Marathon sent her to Boston, where she completed the tough 26.2-mile test in 3:28.
      And she’s headed back to Beantown next month.
      There aren’t too many serious runners out there who double in karate. Some of those moves might come in handy just off the starting line in Boston when the pushing and shoving can start.
      “My kids started taking it and they had adult classes,” said Wade, who belongs to East-West Karate. “I started a little over eight or nine years ago. I do it for fun and it definitely helps with running because it’s good for core training and stretching.”
      The karate members started a little running club of their own, which gets together on Sunday mornings.
      Back in her days at Hazelton, Wade basically started from scratch as a runner in seventh grade and by high school made it to the PIAA state championships twice.
      After college, she was involved with raising her two sons (Carson, now 13; Brooks, now 10) with her husband, Marty, also a civil engineer.
      “It was like I would run when I could,” she said. “I had heard about the BCRR and I saw on the website. I went to Virginia Forest one Sunday. Joe Boyce and some of the other club folks were there. I started running Sundays and a couple other days.”
      During the recently completed Winter Series, Wade and Christine Lloyd staged some memorable duels for series supremacy.
      It’s all in fun. Wade has turned in some remarkable times on the hilly Tyler State Park terrain.
      “Lori is an amazing person, mom and family woman in addition to being a great runner,” Boyce said. “How she balances everything is remarkable. In addition to karate and the summer cross-country camp, she attends her son’s wrestling matches and much more.
      “Training with her makes us all better runners. It’s challenging keeping up with one of the fastest athletes in Bucks County.”
      Adds BCRR’s Jim Larson: “I have run with Lori the past few years and see her steadily improve. She’s become one of the top adult female runners in the area. She has done this while having a family with young children and a demanding job.”
      Wade has now completed 10 marathons, including the aforementioned Atlantic City, Boston, Pocono and Steamtown.
      Certainly, running the Winter Series helps with those demanding tests.
      “You will generally be around a lot of the same people,” she noted. “A lot of those people are training for the same thing, whether it’s Boston or Broad Street.
      “The cool part is, you might be a little ahead, you might be a little behind. You might be trying to catch them or they might be trying to catch you. When you’re passing, you’re not ignoring them, you’re like ‘come with me, go get it.’ I know Christine and I did that a lot in different races where she was ahead or I was ahead. Regardless of who it is, someone is telling you how to run down a hill or busting on you for walking on the uphills.
      “So I think that’s the fun part, who you’re going to see. You’re leaving everybody smiling. I really do enjoy it. It’s motivating. Those races are hard. But the people make it worth it.”
      Now that her children are a little older, there’s a bit more time to train.
      “I feel like the last year or two, with my kids growing up, I’ve had more time to focus on training and strength training,” she said. “That’s motivating. Running on your own is hard so I feel like I’ve gotten better the last couple years. I think maybe I can run a little bit faster. You don’t know when it’s going to stop. Someone asked me after Broad Street why I do it. I said at some point it’s going to stop.
      “So I might as well just do it while I can. I would like to do better at Boston this year.”
      There are only so many hours in a day but Wade is certainly making the most of them.
      >Race calendar
      Saturday, March 25
      Blaze of Glory 5K, 9 a.m., Plumsteadville. Bucks 5K Series. Contact www.blazeofglory5K.com.
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About Wayne Fish 2472 Articles
Wayne Fish has been covering the Flyers since 1976, a stint which includes 18 Stanley Cup Finals, four Winter Olympics and numerous other international events.