threadTALK Blog Series 28: Thoughts of a Girl Dad and Runner with Bryan Wagner

June 07, 2021 4 min read 3 Comments

"To Believe is to Live" This month, we had the pleasure of interviewing girl dad of three and runner Bryan Wagner. From running for 10 minutes a day to running a sub 3 hour marathon, Bryan is a super dad that doesn't let anything slow him down. Read more to find out about Bryan's journey with running and his favorite moments with his three daughters. 

Please tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do!

My name is Bryan Wagner, I'm 37, from Hidden Valley, IN. I’m married and we have three beautiful daughters (8,5 & 2) I am a Physical Education teacher for a K-8 school and I’m also the cross country coach. I grew up racing motocross around the Midwest and continued to ride through college and all the way up until my first daughter was born. I began running just for motocross training once I was older. I started out running for maybe 10 minutes and just kept with it and started to progress. My wife signed us up for a 5K and I almost won the first race I entered. That is when my competitiveness kicked in and I started to want to get faster and I began racing almost every weekend at first. I now run almost daily and have raced everything from a Mile all the way up to full marathons and everything in between. I also enjoy competing in triathlon races and have finished a half Ironman race. Running has been great to me and I’ve really enjoyed sharing it with others. My daughters love coming to watch my races and have taken interest in running their own now. I love being a runner but also really enjoy swimming, cycling and general fitness. I follow the Paleo diet and enjoy eating healthy and am the chef of the house.

Bryan Wagner and family

We love your page @girl.dad.running, they must be your two passions! Can you share with us your story about being a girl dad and your love for running?

I have to give credit to my wife for the Instagram handle. It is very fitting, it is me. My 3 girls are everything to me and I enjoy watching them grow up and participate in running just like their daddy. My number one drive when I race is seeing them when I come towards the finish line. They are my biggest supporters and fans. They make signs and cheer and that’s what keeps me going. It’s funny they know daddy runs a lot, but I never miss anything of theirs. I do all my training early morning before they even wake up so they never really know I’m gone.

Q What are some of your proudest accomplishments so far? And what are some goals you hope to accomplish in the next 5 years?

Wow, this is tough,  but going back to my first marathon my goal was to qualify for the Boston Marathon. It’s a tough cut off for my age division, and I came up short of making it in. So that has been my goal for the last year. This April I ran a qualifier and I ran a sub 3 hour marathon which was one of my proudest moments. 

Our local marathon in Cincinnati Ohio, the Flying Pig, has a special event where you run in all the races they offer throughout the weekend and score it separately. It starts with a mile race on Friday, a 10k and 5K Saturday followed by the full marathon Sunday. You have to be fast, consistent and have endurance. I’ve placed 2nd in that event in 2018 and 2019. 

In the next 5 years I want to run the Boston Marathon, Chicago Marathon and do another 70.3 Triathlon. I also want to continue to see my girls compete and watch them make their own mark in running.

What keeps you motivated to keep training and running, especially when you didn't make the qualification?

I’m a pretty driven person, I’d say my health and always finding a new challenge is what keeps me going. I want to be as healthy as possible for my kids. I also like them to see how much it takes to achieve your goals. Sometimes they don’t even know I’m training because I do most of my workouts before they are even awake each morning.

QWhat advice do you have to those who want to pursue running?

This is a great question, I’ve had so many friends and followers reach out to me about how I’ve motivated them to get out and walk or run and pursue a goal. My advice is always the same: you don’t have to be the fastest, you don’t have to run the furthest, you just have to put on your shoes and get out the door and put one foot in front of the other. Doing that is half the battle, but once you start and you see results or feel better you’ll continue to want to push yourself and see what you can accomplish.

Q What are some of your favorite daddy moments?

A  These girls certainly keep me on my toes. Seeing them accomplish so much already in their short lives has been really cool. From my oldest daughter's first swim meet, to taking off training wheels for the first time, getting out on the wakeboard trainer behind our boat, cartwheels at gymnastics, and most of all wanting to run like daddy. They want to impress me with everything they do!

Lastly, if you were to describe your life story in one word or phrase, what would it be and why?

A  Blessed, because God gave me my ability and I try to show Him everyday that I am thankful for that.

Dedicated. I hear this a lot from people. I wake up everyday with a purpose. I’m fully dedicated to my training, to my kids and family, to my work and to my life. 

I have a tattoo across my chest that says “To Believe is to Live”

Follow Bryan on Instagram for more!


3 Responses

Jane Noel
Jane Noel

June 07, 2021

I taught with Bryan and am so impressed by him as a child of God, as a husband, Father, teacher, and runner! He is inspiring!

Gloria Ahr
Gloria Ahr

June 07, 2021

I’m so happy to see this great article about my Grandson Bryan. His dedication to his training year round is mind boggling . I think it says he runs 10 minutes a day but it’s actually 10 miles a day plus cycling and swimming if there’s a triathlon. His wife Sonny brings all three of the girls to every race and they love cheering fir him. Many races he is known for pushing one of his little ones in a stroller all the way and still doing awesome. I think his students can see what with hard work and dedication you can achieve all your goals. Thanks for recognizing a great man.

Sharon MacDonald
Sharon MacDonald

June 07, 2021

I am Bryan’s Aunt Sharon, we are Sooo PROUD of ALL of Bryan’s Accomplishments, but, mostly of the Husband, Father and Man he has become! We LOVE YOU Bryan and All of your “Ladies”, Sonny, his wife, And their 3 BEAUTIFUL GIRLS!

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