Stacey Malecky Bringing New Energy To Chattanooga Track Club

Newest Club Manager Thrilled To Be Working In Chattanooga

Thursday, February 27, 2014 - by John Hunt

Stacey Malecky is one more busy young lady these days.

She has been Mark's wife for almost 11 years and she's the mother to nine-year-old Stella and six-year-old Killian.  She stays busy with a variety of activities in addition to family matters, including being the most recently hired club manager for the Chattanooga Track Club.

Stacey is young and energetic and outgoing.  She's also petite and attractive and really easy to like.  She is one of the track club's biggest assets these days as she just oozes enthusiasm about the club and the benefits that can be experienced through physical activity, including running.

She'll celebrate her 36th birthday next Wednesday on March 5.  She moved to Chattanooga area some seven months ago with her family.  She had given her husband Mark the challenging task of finding her next job.

"I had told Mark that I wanted him to find the perfect job for me and he did.  It was posted on monster.com and that's how I applied," she explained one afternoon earlier this week between appointments and track club committee meetings.

She's originally from Massachusetts and has her undergraduate degree from the University of Pittsburgh where she majored in neuroscience.  She majored in what?

"I wanted to study neurology and was planning to attend medical school, but I never went as it was just too expensive," she explained.

She started her running career when she was in college, but she didn't follow the usual steps in that earliest experience.

"I started running when I was in college, but Mark was the runner and he's the one who got me started," she recalled.

"I finally decided to try it after hearing him talk about it so much, but I went out and bought the cheapest pair of running shoes I could find and they didn't fit.  I also bought oversized clothes, but Mark finally set me straight.  I didn't know anything about running stores at that time.

"It took me a while to adapt to running, but my first race was a Race For The Cure 5K.  There were about 30,000 runners and I no other choice but to run slow," she thought back on those early running experiences.

Since that time, she's completed eight marathons with a personal best of 3:46 at Columbus, Ohio in 2011.

"I had trained to run a 3:40 and was on pace to do that, but the wheels completely came off in the last four miles," she nodded.

What many folks don't know about this young lady is that she's a big fan of ultra-marathons, which includes any distance longer than 26.2 miles.  She's done a couple of 50Ks (31 miles), a couple of 50-milers and one 40-miler.  And just this past January, she finished her first 100 miler.

"It was the Pistol 100 in Maryville and it was basically a paved loop.  My time was 25 hours and 14 minutes, but the belt buckle I got is really awesome," she explained, getting more and more excited with each detail.l

She's already signed up for another 100-miler, which will start in Ducktown up in Polk County in the area that is known for some incredible trails and the home of the Ocoee River.  The Thunder Rock 100  is slated to begin on Friday, May 16.

"It's a point-to-point run out in the boondocks and I'm really excited about it.  I like marathons, but I just wanted to go a little further.  It's so tranquil out there all by yourself and there's such a small group of people who do those events.  You see the same ones at all of these events and they all have a unique story.

"I don't go much above 50 miles a week because I get hurt, but I try to do an eight-hour run every weekend.  I've had some great training runs, but unfortunately, they don't happen on race day.  I know I have a lot of work to do between now and then.  There's a 30-hour limit and I've been told that it's a technical course.  I don't know if I'll make the cutoff, but I'll give it my best shot," she continued.

She does these really long runs in Collegedale on the biology trails.  There will be others at the start, but she'll be alone soon after she starts.

"Those trails are well maintained.  There will be a nice group at the start, but I don't want to hold anyone back as I'm not fast enough to keep up.  But I like the peace and quiet and there's nothing like it.

"I sing while I run and I just hope that nobody is around to hear me.  My thoughts just sort of roam, but no one can find me and nobody can contact me.  I'm in my own little world out there," she added.

But back to the real world and her job as the club manager for the Chattanooga Track Club.

"I didn't think it could be real as it was a dream come true for me to get this job.  There are some challenges as I don't know my way around town very well just yet and I don't do well with learning curves," she explained.

So just what does her job as the club manager include?

"I make sure that all of the insurance forms are filed and market the events we put on.  We also offer timing for other races and I'm the contact person for that, but it includes just about anything you can think of.  I attend a lot of committee meetings, at least six per month at a minimum, and I'm on the road a lot, but I couldn't be happier.

"Mark was really unhappy with his previous job, but he's a chemical engineer who works for Wacker Corporation in Charleston.  We're both extremely pleased to be here now," Stacey said with a serious tone.

Another thing about Stacey that most people don't know is that she loves doing home renovation projects, but there are some drawbacks.

"I just love power tools, but I can't hang drywall by myself because it's so heavy.  And I can't find a drill that I can control.  I guess I'm just not big enough as I get all twisted around when it drives a screw into the wall," she admitted.

She and her family currently live in Ooltewah, but that too has its limitations.

"There's nothing to fix, so I've started painting rooms.  We're hoping to move closer to town as both of my kids go to OLPH and I do too much driving.  I cut the grass while Mark cooks and does all the ironing.  I hate cooking and ironing more than anything," she confessed.

So now you know just a little bit more about the newest club manager of the Chattanooga Track Club.  If you haven't had a chance to meet her, you need to make that a priority as soon as possible.  She's a real breath of fresh air and as you can tell, she's got energy to burn.

She loves her newest job and she's crazy about the benefits of running.  What a win-win situation for members of the Chattanooga Track Club.

(This is the second in a series of feature stories on runners in the Chattanooga area, including CTC members, officers, volunteers and other people who make running in this city such a positive and worthwhile activity.  Email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@Comcast.net with ideas, suggestions or comments)



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