MEMBER: Faye Hellman
Name: Faye Hellman
College: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
By: Lauren Kelly (07/21/19)
Faye, thanks for taking time to speak with us. Could you tell us a bit about yourself? How did you end up in Philadelphia and running with PRTC?
Thank you for reaching out to me! I was living in Chicago when I decided to head to Philadelphia for law school. Having been raised in the Midwest (Akron, OH), I assumed I would venture back to the middle of the country post law school. Eleven years later, I think it’s time to call myself a Philadelphian, right? Go Birds!
A couple years ago, I was running and training with a great group of women. Several of them were members of PRTC, so I joined as well! I couldn’t resist that Diadora swag.
When did you first become a runner? Did a specific event compel you to take on the sport?
Around the age of 12, I realized that I lacked hand-eye coordination. Despite always being taller than my peers, sports such as basketball and volleyball just weren’t in the cards for me. The specific event of not making the 7th grade basketball team propelled me to look to running. The cross-country team took anyone who signed up – even the basketball team rejects such as myself. However, I didn’t truly love this sport until later in life.
Once you began running, how did your career develop? Take us through day one to today.
I was a middle of the pack runner on my middle school and high school cross country teams and had very little passion for this sport. For that reason, I gave up running during college to chase after other scholarly pursuits: balancing an engineering degree while indulging in frat parties, tailgating, cheering on my Illini, and studying abroad. I got back into running during law school as an outlet for stress and as a means to meet people in Philadelphia who were not lawyers or law students. Once I started training for some races here in Philadelphia and seeing results in my speed, I was hooked! I once again am a middle to end of the pack runner on my team, but now I actually love it.
What is a favorite running accomplishment or moment?
This is a fun question because I am fortunate to have had many moments to look back on and smile about. However, I don’t think anything will ever compare to running on Boylston Street during the 2014 Boston Marathon.
How about a not-so-great moment?
Just over one year ago, I was doing a tune up track workout for Broad Street with a bunch of women. The morning was perfect, I was feeling great, and excited for the race that week. In the middle of the workout, it became apparent that something was very wrong with my body. That event was very scary and was the start of a very long road of not running or participating in many things that I enjoy.
Regarding your running future, what are your near and long-term goals?
I am trying to forget any running goals I may have had last year because of the injury referenced above. It is very difficult to get my head and my heart on the same page with respect to competing and race goals, so I’m just trying to remind myself how lucky I am to be able to run again.
Having said all that, at some point I need to reclaim my title as the fastest female attorney in Philadelphia at the Bar Association 5k (2015-2017).
Describe your dream wedding.
I have no idea. Nothing too extravagant. As long as all my friends and family enjoy themselves, everyone dances, and the booze is flowing, I’ll be happy.
Where is your favorite place in the world to run?
I am too indecisive to pick one spot. My favorite places are generally anywhere near water: Lake Shore Drive in Chicago, along the beach in Tel Aviv, around the coastline of Hydra, Greece, and, of course, along the beautiful Schuylkill River here in Philadelphia.
Can you share with us what you are up to professionally?
I am involved in the start up phase of clinical trials for Merck, mostly in oncology. I negotiate contracts and other legal aspects associated with getting these trials running.
Any non-running related hobbies, hidden skills or talents we may enjoy hearing about?
I’ll use this question to make a shameless plug for the 9/11 Heroes Run 5k which takes place on Saturday, September 7th at the Navy Yard! This will be my third year being the Race Director for the Heroes Run. I would love to see a strong PRTC presence at this race (please see the google doc that Kevin sent out on July 16)! It is a flat and fast course, and the top three runners will win gift cards to Philly Runner! Also, Yards will be there, so we can all enjoy beer after the race! (You didn’t think the 2019 PRTC Women’s Beer Mile Champ would organize a race without beer, did you?!?!)