By Olivia Kappler | Photographs from Kevin Eisenbrown
Running for charity has become something of an annual event for 30-year-old Kevin Eisenbrown. Being conscientious of the history of heart issues in his family and looking for a way to lose some weight, Eisenbrown started running in the summer of 2015. His goal was to be able to complete the UPMC Health Plan Pittsburgh Half Marathon in 2016. As an extra incentive to complete the race, he joined the Run for a Reason Charity program, dedicating his miles and support to the American Heart Association. Since his father had a heart attack when he was younger, the charity’s impact is particularly important to Eisenbrown. Weighing 120 pounds less and focusing on supporting the charity of his choice, Eisenbrown completed the race and his goal. “Never in a million years did I think one race would help motivate me to get fit, and lead to a passion and a new lifestyle,” he says.
About a month after he ran the 13.1 miles, Eisenbrown developed severe stress, anxiety, and depression. During this time, he thought he was having a panic attack. After enduring several other panic attack symptoms, he finally went to the doctor and discovered that he had actually suffered a minor heart attack at 29 years old. It took several months of recovery and not being able to run, but he is finally able to get back into the game!
Eisenbrown’s new goal is to run a half marathon in all 50 states and to complete the Boston Marathon in three years. Look for Eisenbrown at the 2017 UPMC Health Plan Pittsburgh Half Marathon on May 7, again, running for the American Heart Association. To stay motivated and to motivate others who are wanting to get up and get healthy, Eisenbrown says, “It all starts with yourself!”
For more information on race weekend, visit pittsburghmarathon.com.