Ragnar Spotlight Athlete: Andrew Buikema

Andrew is a captain, pacer, Ragnarian, and big New Holland Brewing Co fan. We caught up with him and asked him just a few questions about his training, and where he gets his 6-pack… 

"Running itself is a mind game... You can go harder, you can run faster, you can run that extra mile."

What are your favorite sports to participate in? 

“My focus has been mainly running the past 9 years. I’ve only recently just taken up mountain biking! I started running back in middle school but never knew how much I valued it until my 30’s! I’m faster now in my 40’s than when I was 15… that’s pretty great!”

What keeps you motivated when things get tough, or when your mind is telling you to give up?  

“The biggest thing that keeps me motivated is creating realistic short-term and long-term goals and then pushing it harder next time. I know I am capable of more, so I push it as much as possible. It makes me grow and become a better athlete. Running itself is a mind game…when you think your body is spent realistically, you’re not even close. You can go harder, you can run faster, you can run that extra mile.”

How have you stayed inspired to stay active during the pandemic?  

“I had a great training partner through the pandemic. We met several times during the week – kept our distance – but were able to put in an amazing amount of miles during that time. [Thank you Stellafly teammate Mark Magyar!] We both talked about how even though canceled races we still need to stay competitive and ready to go. Having that level of accountability in my life has been amazing.”

What’s your most proud moment as an athlete?

“I’m not done yet… so I don’t know! The proudest past moment was the 2019 Chicago Marathon and finishing with a PR. I will also throw out how fun and awesome my Michigan Ragnar team was in 2018, placing 3rd in our group. Amazing group of people!”

Now, we have to ask… who would be on your dream team for your next Ragnar race?

“I would love to run with Steve Prefontaine… because who wouldn’t? I would love to hear the stories! The second person would be Ryan Hall. That dude is seriously an inspiration to so many. His journey – his workouts – his running. The man is a beast!  The third and most important person would be MY PERSON Andie. She makes my life absolutely incredible! We love our adventures!”

What’s next on the list for you? Are you currently training or gearing up for an event?

“I was training for the Carmel (Indiana) Marathon…but that’s already passed. I’m probably going to get into my friend’s race at Millennium Meadows (Grand Rapids, MI) for the half marathon at the end of August. Would love to break the 1:26 mark!”

It’s been a long hot day and you just finished a run. What’s your go-to beverage of choice?

“I have to honestly say that I love Lightpoint Functional White Ale from New Holland Brewing Company! The low ABV and great flavor keep me coming back!”

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