“An avid marathon runner with a big heart” is the perfect way to describe Merrillville resident Deanna Grimes. After moving to Northwest Indiana years ago, Grimes has enjoyed immersing herself into the vibrant community while honing her running skills.
“Northwest Indiana is such a close-knit community in many ways,” Grimes said. “It’s really interesting how many people you meet here that have mutual friends. I think that it’s a really special place to live.”
Grimes recently began a position at Chester Inc. in Valparaiso, working with purchasing for the IT department.
“Chester is very involved in helping small businesses, so I am excited to take on a new challenge,” Grimes said. “I look forward to seeing where this new position takes me.”
Grimes described her daily mentality as being open-minded and positive. She is motivated by challenging herself in a variety of ways.
“Every day is a new day,” Grimes said. “It’s best to approach every day and its challenges with an open mind and take it step-by-step.”
Grimes also works part-time for Weight Watchers and as a cross country coach for the Calumet Region Striders. She is a huge believer in fitness, and years in the Weight Watchers program is what eventually lead to her become a frequent marathon runner. One of her goals is to run a marathon in all 50 states.
“After joining Weight Watchers, I started getting myself into shape through working out and running,” Grimes said. “After participating in the Portage Township YMCA Thanksgiving Trot and joining the Calumet Region Striders as a coach, I became more involved with the runners around Northwest Indiana, all of whom are amazing and encouraging people.”
Grimes recalled that her most memorable marathon experiences were the Air Force Marathon in Dayton, Ohio; the Flying Pig Marathon in her hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio; and a small marathon in Maryland, which actually contributed to her wanting to visit every state for her goal.
“Most people don’t even visit all 50 states in their lifetime, so doing marathons is an excellent way to exercise while also seeing more of the country,” Grimes said.
Grimes also had some words of advice for those trying to get into running marathons.
“The first step is simply taking the leap to just sign up for one,” Grimes said. “When you get to race day, just enjoy yourself and run at your own pace. In fact, a good place to begin your marathon career would be Chicago, since you get to see the city through a new perspective.”
Grimes stated that her next step is preparing herself for the Garmin “In the Land of OZ” marathon, which will take place in Olathe, Kansas in April 2021.
“If you had told me in 2009 about where I am at today, I never would have believed you,” Grimes said. “I am incredibly blessed to be who I am, and I am happy to be able to enjoy life.”