Endorphin Dude is a persona created by our FaceBook friend, Tony Nguyen. He tells the story that in 2009 on April Fool’s Day, he believed that he was having what he thought was a heart attack, and quickly decided then to make some serious life changes, one of which included walking, which eventually led to running. He dubbed himself Endorphin Dude because he says that when he runs, he “feels like a superhero!”
Tony is a Half-Fanatic, and a Marathon Maniac. I cannot count the number of 5Ks, 10Ks, half-marathons, or full marathons Tony has participated and run in. Just know that it is an outrageous amount. It is an amount that Mac and I are envious of because we always long to run in so many more races than we do.
We became friends with Tony via FaceBook in early summer when he befriended Mac as he saw that she was also a Half-Fanatic. We followed him, exchanged banter, motivated each other, and are slowly getting to know him as time passes. We have been trying to find a race that we can meet Tony in real life (IRL), however we have not yet had the opportunity or pleasure to do so.
In mid-November, Mac and I were contacted by Tony via FaceBook email, in which he wrote the following:
“I created the Endorphin Dude persona because I want to show people that running a marathon or a half marathon is fun! I am very proud that I have inspired many people to get out there and make healthy changes in their lives, and now I want to conquer the world! I am expanding the Endorphin Dude Empire. I am introducing Endorphin Dudettes. Every month, I will feature a powerful endorphin-filled dudette to spread the word fitness, fun, positivity. The Endorphin Dudette will respresent the Endorphin Empire at a race in which Endorphin Dude will not be running. For the month of December, I would really like you two to be my E-Dudettes. You two will be the first! If you’re up for it, let me know. I have pink head bands for you. I would love to see you sport them at CIM while I’m in Vegas!”
Needless to say, Mac and I were bothe very thrilled and honored to have been chosen FIRST by Tony, out of all of the other runner friends that he has IRL and on FaceBook, many of which he has known for quite some time. Longer than the two of us. We were both “IN,” of course. Inaugural Endorphin Dudettes? Oh, hell yeah! We have admired Endorphin Dude from the get go – his love and passion for our sport of running, his infectious smile, his boundless energy, and his cape and headband! Endorphin Dude emboides the sport and encourages others to “join the revolution.”
We were to make our inaugural appearance as Endorphin Dudettes at the California International Marathon (CIM), where Mac and I would run the relay as a team of 2. We dubbed ourselves Team MiniRow and The MACHine. Tony sent out our headbands with instructions to keep quiet until his official announcement after our race. On race day, Mac and I dressed and wore our Endorphin Dudette headbands with pride. Everyone at CIM could see our pink headbands as we ran through the streets of Sacramento!
At times we wondered why we were chosen ad the very first Endorphin Dudettes. The answer came shortly as we read the caption to our picture which was posted on the Endorphin Dude FaceBook Fan Page:
“So many beautiful dudettes applied for December that I ended up choosing more than one incredible super woman to represent the Endorphin Empire! Please meet Row.Wallen and Machelle Crist Donahoo. These two definitely exemplify the true essence of the Endorphin Dudette. I love that they run together and finish together. Their enthusiam and love for the sport makes me want to put on my Mizunos and run a marathon! Congratulations Row and Machelle on your CIM finishes. You two ROCK!”
What an honor to have been chosen first!!! You can imagine how proud Mac and I were for Tony to have done this for us. Mac and I also run for the love of the sport. True, it keeps us in great shape, but to be honest we run because we love it. We encourage our friends to run. We do our best to motivate others in our sport. Most importantly, we run because it’s fun. It keeps us happy and sane, and looking HOT!
Thank you, Tony – Endorphin Dude, for gracing us with this honor! We will forever embody the spirit of Endorphin Dudette and keep it alive within us!
You can read more about Tony Nguyen and Endorphin Dude by clicking the above link. Endorphin Dude also has a blog, which you can read here.