This Is Why I Run: Johnny Kvietkus
Johnny Kvietkus was our first place finisher in the Tunnel Vision Marathon this past August 2019. It was his first marathon and his amazing finishing time of 2:30:09 not only qualified him for Boston, but was also our fastest finish time for all three Tunnel Marathons this year!
“I was introduced to running early on in Elementary school when my classmates and I were being asked to run 1 mile for the National Presidential Fitness Test. I think this moment was what really sparked my competitive side and drew me towards running. I remember lining up before the run, my PE teacher had brought Matt Eston to the front of the class and advised that he had been working with the cross country team and that we shouldn’t try to keep up with him as he was well conditioned and trained. Needless to say, being told I couldn’t do something didn’t stick with me, I saw it as a challenge and decided to go after Matt. What I thought would be an easy victory turned into a complete mess - I lost and I was frustrated! I then made it my mission to beat Matt the following year and did just that! Everything else fell into place when I started to run Track and XC from 7th-12th grade in Hopkinsville, KY. I had some great success in High School but struggled to get to the ‘next level’. I remember having my best track season during my Senior year, running 4:42 for the mile and 2:03 for the 800M. Unfortunately, I didn’t get an opportunity to run in college, and that left me with the thought and feeling that I had so much left in my tank. Those feelings helped set the stage for where I’m at now; my current running goal is to notch an Olympic Trials Qualifier in the Marathon for 2024. I was born in Mexico and I would love to represent Mexico at the 2024 Olympics in Paris. Last thing I want to mention; I owe everything to my best friend, my Grandmother, who is a large influence and inspiration in my life. She was 94 when she passed away in 2014. The Tunnel Vision race was one week away from her birthday on August 26, and that was one of the reasons why I chose this race; in addition to the net downhill and cool photo ops! I ran that race was in honor of her. The belief and unconditional love she provided and instilled in me is what drives me to push the boundaries even further. I feel it is my duty to pay it forward and to share my gift with others around me, by encouraging and inspiring them to go after their dreams even in times of darkness. A line I heard from Jay Shetty, “passion is what makes you happy. Your passion becomes your purpose when you use it to help others.” That’s exactly what I want to do. Honestly, it was a pleasure to be at this event and I’m looking forward to joining this race next year!”