Baltimore’s favorite weathermanTom Tasselmyer is a runner. He’s not just your recreational, keep-the-extra-pounds-off, light jogger; Tom is fast! NBC News Chief meteorologist has been running in the Baltimore Running festival for the past ten years and this 10th anniversary year is no exception.
Tom has run the full Baltimore Marathon five times, the half-marathon three times, and was part of a team relay in 2005. “My best run was the 2003 Baltimore Marathon. I had mentioned on-air that I really wanted to break 3:30 in a marathon,” said Tom “It was amazing how many spectators along the sidelines had heard me say that and were holding me to it! When I got to mile 24 and knew my goal was within reach I got an extra boost of energy and had a great time just enjoying the last 2 miles. I finished in 3:28:50!” For the 10th anniversary, Tom plans to run the half-marathon. Due to the sell-out of the half marathon, Tom recently found out his application was accepted after his name was added to the waitlist.
In the months of May through July, Tom was unable to train due to Lyme’s disease and wasn’t sure if he could get ready in time for this year’s event, so he waited to sign up. “I will just barely have enough time to build my miles back up, but I’m not expecting much in the way of a good time,” says Tom, “I’ll just take it easy and enjoy the scenery. If I can finish with something close to 2 hours I’ll be more than happy.”
Starting his running career at age 33, Tom has completed 12 marathons. “I started running in order to strengthen my heart and raise my HDLs (good cholesterol). There is heart disease on my father’s side of the family tree so I have to pay attention to my diet and exercise.”
Tom’s wife, Laurie is also runner. Laurie has run a half marathon, the Cherry Blossom 10-miler and other shorter distances. “We usually don’t do training runs together because we both love the silence and solitude that running provides, but we are each other’s most vocal cheerleader when one of us is approaching the finish line!”
Tom has a 26-year old nephew with muscular dystrophy that he uses to draw inspiration from as he pushes through the miles. “He [Tom’s nephew] hasn’t been on his feet, let alone walking or running, for many years. When I run, I think of how much he would give just to take a single step. So, as I run I pray for him and run for him and when I get tired I think of how much he’d like to take my next stride. That keeps me going.”
In 2002, Tom was chosen to run with the Winter Olympics torch as it passed through Baltimore on its way to Salt Lake City. “I think I ran less than a block down Frederick Road in west Baltimore, but it was fun! It was amazing too that I was running with the Olympic torch within a few blocks of where I was born on Yale Avenue back in 1962.”
What type of weather does Tom like to run in? “I find temperatures in the low 50s with no wind and overcast skies to be perfect. I don’t like running in very cold weather or when there is ice/snow/slush to slosh through.”