Northwest Winter Challenge Profile: Kriss McManus Schatza

Runner profile

Most people view the failure of their running technology as an obstacle to achieving their fitness goals. For Northwest Winter Challenge participant Kriss McManus Schatza, a glitch in technology proved to be the motivation she needed for reaching her goals.

Kriss started running in 2008 when she realized she was 50 pounds over her ideal weight. She was not comfortable with the idea of herself running and she tried to hide her activities.  “It was awful at first,” says Kriss, “my face was beet red for 3 hours after just walking for 5 miles. I would run at night so people weren’t too likely to see me.”

Next, she tried running on a track, where a quirk of technology fueled her next evolution. “It was back in the day of the first Nike+ tracking devices,” Kriss explains, “I had to run a quarter mile for the tracker to work. The first lap the tracker didn’t sync. I was in tears…I forced myself to do the second lap. It worked, and I was unstoppable. I replay those moments in my mind when telling the story and it still brings tears to my eyes.” In 2018, Kriss ran 29 races and looks to now motivate others to get moving.

Running the Tolt Pipeline Trail in Woodinville, WA
Running the Tolt Pipeline Trail in Woodinville, WA

Kriss’ current set of motivations come from a variety of sources. Inspiration comes from home, like showing her daughter the possibilities of what can be accomplished, as well as public sources such as Facebook, where she is a regular contributor who posts about her running life. “I look forward to seeing running posts, it gives me ideas of races to train for or new routes to try. I have also found lots of interesting training ideas and amazing products for running.”

Social media plays a role in her Northwest Winter Challenge team, Chug Life (named after a water bottle that she found at a store). Her team has members who know each other personally, but also members who only know each other from Facebook. They use social media to create positive peer pressure for each other and to cheer each other on as motivation to get out and run.  “If I can get one person to get themselves active, I call it a win.”

Kriss is a brand ambassador for Nuun.
Kriss is a brand ambassador for Nuun.

For 2019, Kriss has a simple goal of running injury-free while maintaining an average of about 25 miles per week. She plans to spend time focusing on yoga, working on running speed, and eating a healthy diet. She will also represent, as a brand ambassador, an assortment of athletic and healthy living brands including Skirt Sports, Boco Gear, Honey Stinger, Nuun, Zensah, and The Tea Spot. Follow Kriss on Facebook @kriss.mcmanusschatza and Instagram @pinkbetsy.

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