Michael Drabenstott


Michael Drabenstott
Resides in: Allentown – West End
Years running: 11
Bio: I’m living a wonderful life with my wife of 18 years, Andraea, and our two teenage children in the West End of Allentown. I moved to Lehigh Valley 20 years ago from Northeastern Ohio and have grown to love this region. I’m one of the founding partners of Spark, an advertising/marketing firm in Bethlehem. In addition to running, I enjoy cooking, reading, hiking, the Sunday crossword puzzle, strumming my guitar, traveling, hoppy microbrews, red wine and bold coffee.

Websites: beyondscrapple.com, my sporadically updated ethnic restaurant blog. And westendstpats5k.com, the website of the 5k I organize every year in conjunction with the Allentown St. Patrick’s Day parade. (Next race: March 20, 2011.)

What do you enjoy most about running?
I like being in better shape now than I was in high school and college. I cherish my time running alone as well as the time I spend running with others. I love the feeling of my body in motion, air filling my lungs, my heart pumping, my feet hitting the ground. (You’re not going to get me to pick just one thing.)

What are your favorite training foods?
My all-time favorite post-run breakfast: an energy bagel from Three Men and a Bagel in Trexlertown slathered with natural peanut butter, sprinkled with Kosher salt and drizzled with honey. It’s carbs, protein, healthy fat and utter lusciousness in one.

What is the strangest/funniest thing that has happened to you on a run?

About seven years ago I was running in the Englischer Garten, huge park in Munich, Germany. As I was cruising along a trail, I passed an odd-looking man who started yelling “Ihr Schlüssel! Ihr Schlüssel!” Not knowing much German, I slowed and turned around warily, then looked to an area on the dusty path where the man pointed emphatically. When I neared the spot, I saw what he was pointing to and realized I had just learned two new words in German: “Your Key!” It somehow fell out of my key pouch. Fortunately, I knew enough to say “Danke! Danke!”

Favorite race distance?
I like 10k to 10 miles. Like a vintage car (or some days an old jalopy), my body seems to need 2-3 miles just to warm up.

Best piece of running advice you’ve ever received?

Get a foam roller and use it regularly.

Running Heroes?
Anyone who has overcome adversity in his or her life to enjoy our sport. I love hearing stories of dramatic weight loss, beating a life-threatening illness, running through unspeakable sadness. They are my heroes – and they’re all around us.

Current running goals?
Staying healthy while trying to hold on to some semblance of speed.

What are some things you’ve learned about yourself from running?
You need to court, confront and embrace discomfort to achieve anything extraordinary.

Best race experience?

I joined the St Luke’s Half Marathon committee about six years ago. I manage publicity and communications for the race. I’m also fortunate to make the pre-race announcements on the starters’ podium. It is a wholly beautiful and inspiring site to see thousands of smiling, determined runners pass the start line and head west on Linden Street. My eyes get teary just thinking about the mass of humanity – all ages, shapes, sizes and speeds — bouncing together down the street, looking like a single, giant multi-colored organism. The best part is I get to experience it every year.

8 thoughts on “Michael Drabenstott

  1. You definitely go on my list of people I truly enjoy knowing. Your comments just gave me more reason to like ya! And loved the advise on the foam roller….should be part of every runners’ self preservation tool kit.

  2. Thanks for the heartwarming comments. It’s an honor to be surrounded by such a supportive running community.

  3. Awesome runner spotlight with Michael Drabenstott. One of the nicest people in the sport! The St. Lukes Half-Marathon is a great event thanks to Michael’s work! Best wishes for 2011 Michael!

  4. Being around Mike is one of the most inspiring feelings in the world. Anyone who has the chance to run with, chat with, or just know him will benefit from his unending enthusiasm and support. Going from hilarious to serious, he always has something great to give. I’m psyched to read this feature! You go Mikey D!

  5. So cool to finally see one of my Saturday running friends on here!!! To all that dont know Mike this is one cool guy!!!
    Wishing you a Happy New Year.

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