Elementary school teacher turned Ironman Meghan Fillnow

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Today’s Runner Spotlight feature is Meghan Fillnow, the twin sister of last week’s Runner Spotlight, Meghan Fillnow. These two sisters are seriously gifted athletically and Meghan’s resume is just as impressive as Kelly’s.

A lifelong athlete, Meghan also played Division I tennis at Davidson College. She ran her first marathon while she was in graduate school for elementary education and has gone on to qualify for Boston seven times with a personal record of 2:58:25 for the marathon.

In the search for a new challenge, Meghan discovered triathlons and placed first overall in her second triathlon and has gone on to qualify for and compete in the Hawaii Ironman World Championships.

Meghan spent 6 years as an elementary school teacher before transitioning to a full-time coaching role with Kelly’s business, Fillnow Coaching, in 2013. Let’s get to know Meghan!

Name: Meghan Fillnow

What is your day job: I was an elementary school teacher for 8 years. I transitioned to full time coaching in my twin sister’s business in 2013.

Meghan Fillnow charlotte running

How long have you been running: I’ve been a “runner” ever since I can remember because I grew up playing soccer, basketball, tennis, softball, and gymnastics. I trained at Van der Meer tennis academy in high school, and we had to do an all out mile run every Wednesday. The coaches made my sister and me run with the guys. I started running for fun in college with my tennis teammate. I did my first marathon in graduate school and was hooked ever since!

How did you get into running: My passion for running started when I was at Davidson College. I ran for 20 minutes a few days a week before tennis practice with one of my teammates.

Meghan Fillnow charlotte running

What’s your favorite race distance: My favorite race distance is definitely the marathon. I love having to dig deep mentally and physically.

What’s your favorite local running route: I like to mix it up whether it is on the Davidson trails, Booty Loop, or McAlpine.

What style of running shoes do you wear: Brooks Launch and Brooks Glycerin

What’s your must-have running gear: comfortable shorts and tank

What’s your favorite music to run to: I go in phases where I listen to music on all of my runs, or I never bring my music. Usually in the off season I listen to music on my runs. I like an eclectic mix from my phone.

Are you a morning, lunch break or evening runner: When I was a school teacher, I always ran in the early evening because I didn’t want to get up before 5am to run. Now that I have a flexible schedule, 10:00am is my favorite time of the day to run.

What’s one food you couldn’t live without: Peanut butter!

What’s your favorite place to hang out/refuel after a run: I love to refuel with pancakes so homemade pancakes or Tupelo Honey rocks.

What’s your favorite way to cross train: Right now I am training for an Ironman, so I am doing a ton of swimming, biking, and running. I also really enjoy strength training especially TRX or getting my butt whooped at the United States Performance Center.

What’s your most embarrassing running moment: My most embarrassing running moment was at Regionals my senior year in college. I completely bonked during the 6k! I’ve never felt so awful at a race. My legs just wouldn’t go! Thankfully, I haven’t felt that awful in a race ever since.

What’s your proudest running achievement: My proudest running achievement was when I set 7 straight PRs in the marathon and went sub 3 hours at the New York City Marathon.

What’s your best running advice: My best running advice is to embrace the journey because it is a gift to be able to run.

Photo: Todd Sumlin / Charlotte Observer


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