James Majors was not a “runner” as he grew up in South Alabama. Sure he ran here and there to stay in shape but never more than that and never competitively. It wasn’t until 1998 that things changed for him and an unfound love of running surfaced.
At 38 years old, James Majors had a challenge before him. He was accepted to the FBI National Academy in Quantico, VA, and knew his training would be difficult. As he struggled through the obstacle courses and difficult training regiment (imagine Jodie Foster in the movie “Silence of the Lambs” during her training days at Quantico), he took note of the other cadets and officers talking of marathons, 10 milers, and 5K races.
When he returned from the FBI Academy, a fellow officer was discussing an upcoming 5K. James quickly signed up. “The rest is history.” he says. He joined the A.O.R.T.A. running club out of Auburn, Al. and discovered that it was not only the run that he enjoyed but the camaraderie of running with others.
“I love the fellowship with other runners as well as all the benefits that come with running. You can always find advice from someone in the crowd. Great people to hang out with. You can have a great time upfront, in the middle of the pack, or with those bringing up the rear. Any place in the run is a great place to be.”
At 50 years of age, James completed his first marathon. He has competed in numerous races since then in Georgia, Florida, and Tennessee. Competitive by nature, James enjoys the “racing” attitude of a run.
“I don’t find myself upfront of a race very often unless it is a very small local race. Sometimes I win my age group, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes you can have a super-fast time and not place, or have a slow run and win your age group. But if they ever call your name out to come up and get that little piece of metal on the end of that ribbon, you will never be the same.”
The competitive element of running spurs James on, but last year he experienced something new…
“Last year I ran the Montgomery 1/2 with my youngest daughter, her 1st. I stayed back with her at her pace not worrying about mine or where I would place. It was one of the most rewarding and memorable runs. Just saying, it doesn’t always have to be about Me.”
If you are considering beginning a running journey James shares these words of wisdom:
“You get out of it what you put into it. If you don’t work hard you will not get the results. You can’t blame anyone but yourself if you don’t perform like you want to. This is truly an individual sport and your body will be completely honest with you. One of the best things someone shared with me was the book by John Bingham, “An Accidental Athlete.” I could relate to almost everything in the book as I progressed through my running experience…Start off small, and be yourself. Patience is the key. Find some support. Ask questions of other runners. Get the feel of the experience by doing some 5k’s first. Find a good run like the Montgomery 1/2 to be your first big run. A race with good support and great swag makes a world of difference.”
When asked to finish the statement “I run because…” James simply says “…it’s my happy place.” After reading your story, we know that to be true! James, thank you for your service as a law enforcement officer and for sharing your running journey. We are looking forward to seeing you cross the finish line this year! If you have not registered yet for the Half or the 5K, you can do that here. We hope you will join us on March 14th, it’s going to be great!
James Majors’ story was first published here. Sadly due to Covid-19 the race was canceled for 2020. If you have an inspirational story you would like to see shared on the Dogwood Journal, visit our submissions page.