Tia Pettygrue used to run 5K’s in 1995, back when black women were relatively obsolete from the running scene. After running the Gasparilla Distance Classic 15K in February 1996, she didn’t run again until almost 13 years later. While on a cruise in December 2008, she ran into an old friend that she hadn’t seen in a few years, who expressed that she was almost unrecognizable because Tia had gained quite a bit of weight. As soon as she returned home from her cruise she began running, heading back to the Gasparilla Distance Classic to complete her second 15K. She went on to run her first half marathon and full marathon, just a year later and was back to her ideal size.
Since then she’s completed a total of nine marathons, over 100 half-marathons, and has paced for more than 50 races. She has also completed a triathlon, and a figure competition.
She reflects, “When I started, I didn’t know anyone to ask about running, so I fumbled my way through learning the ropes and didn’t like it one bit! So I wanted to provide help to others starting out.”
In April 2011, she coached my first group to complete their first half-marathon at the Iron Girl Clearwater.
“I enjoyed it so much, I started doing more and I love it! I decided to become certified thru the Road Runners Club of America and USA Track & Field.” she said.
Since then, she’s coached several groups from ranging in distance from 5K to Ultramarathon, both in person and virtually.
She was also a BGR! Ambassador from 2013 - 2015.