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Sometimes you have to stumble before you can run. At least that’s what Stumbler Corey Fick found out after using StumbleUpon sparked a new interest in competitive running.

“I find it somewhat strange and kind of interesting to think that I did find something on StumbleUpon that’s got me exercising and changed my lifestyle,” he says. “I definitely think it’s a good resource to find valuable information online that I wouldn’t otherwise find.”

Stumbler Corey Fick (#212) poses with his wife Jessica (#213) and their friend Christine (#649) before running together in Corey's first 5K race in New York City in August.

After seeing his father undergo open heart surgery in June, Corey Fick became concerned that he could follow in his footsteps, especially since both his grandfathers had also suffered from heart issues. So Corey, who’s a full-time graduate student, began looking for an exercise routine he could stick to regularly.

Corey had always enjoyed biking, but had trouble getting himself committed to a regimen. He always thought running competitively was out of his league, even though his in-laws always talked to him enthusiastically about triathlons. His father-in-law even offered to pay for him to try two races a year.

“In college I would run once a semester around campus and call it good,” Corey says. “I wasn’t really the race type of guy.”

Looking for more fitness inspiration, Corey turned to StumbleUpon, stumbling in health and fitness topics. One day he stumbled upon “Run a 5K in 8 Weeks,” a training program at the fitness social networking site Fit-2gether.com. The page laid out all the practical steps needed to train for a 5K race (that’s 5,000 meters, or about 3.1 miles) over 8 weeks, beginning with a 25-minute walk.

“After stumbling upon this site I thought, hey, that’s manageable,” he remembers. Corey adds that he didn’t use a search engine to find running techniques before stumbling, since he didn’t even know he was into running yet.

After following the site’s exercise program, Corey completed a 5K run in New York City in August. He placed 301st out of about 740 runners, running at a 9 minute pace.

“Before seeing this training program, I don’t think I could have even run 3.1 miles,” he says.

These days, Corey runs three days a week with his wife, each time running around 3 miles, and still stumbles to discover unexpected running techniques. He’s even considering doing a duathalon, a race that combines running and biking, in the spring.

Want to hit the pavement yourself? Check out the some of the top running sites discovered on StumbleUpon at http://www.stumbleupon.com/discover/running. For you Mozilla extension Stumblers out there, click on the Topics dropdown menu and select “Search.” Then enter “5K” or “running” in this text box to stumble by tag.

/Katie Gray profile picture