HOUSTON - On Sunday, Chris Poldoian will run the Houston marathon for the 5th time.
“It’s just always a blast to run down streets that normally you only get to drive through,” he said smiling.
However, it will be his 15th marathon. He’s competed all over the world including London and Berlin.
“I got into running when I was in college. I went to college in Boston and it’s just a running city,” he explained.
Then after college, Chris got into wine. Now, he works as a sommelier at Camerata at Paulie’s in Montrose. And, since getting into the hospitality industry, running became more important than ever.
“I think that if you look at the food and beverage industry,” Poldoian said. “You’ll see that it’s riddled with a lot of addiction. A lot of just unhealthy lifestyles. There’s the mentality of like work really hard, play really hard. And, that’s not always a very sustainable way to do things.”
A 2015 report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration looked into 19 industries. The report found that workers in the accommodations and food services industry had the highest rates of substance abuse disorder -- nearly 20 percent.
“There’s a lot of burnout in the hospitality industry and for me running is a way to regulate all of that,” he added.
About two years ago, Poldoian had an idea.
“I founded a running group here for people that work in the food and beverage industry. We meet on Sundays,” he stated.
He says some in the group of more than a dozen workers were first-time runners. Poldoian is happy to have created a sense of community around living healthy.
As for Sunday, his goal is to have fun.
“My goal is just to run happy. To finish with a time that I’m satisfied with. Right now my PR is 3:11. I’m pretty happy with that. I’d like to break the three-hour mark,” he concluded.
As for what’s next for him, he’ll be running the Tokyo marathon in March.