RIT professor’s blog about running takes her back to journalism roots

Quirky blog allows writer to share unique perspectives on the sport—while laughing at herself

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Kyle Hickerson

RIT journalism assistant professor Andrea Hickerson runs a 5K race in Rochester wearing a strapless bridesmaid’s dress. Her running blog runs on the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle website.

According to Andrea Hickerson: “I started running for one simple reason—my boyfriend ran. While that relationship ultimately ended quicker than a four-minute mile, 10 years, two marathons and two children later, I’m still at it.”

Hickerson, assistant professor of journalism in RIT’s Department of Communication, admits that growing up she was never a great athlete because of her insecurities. But for one reason or another, she discovered that running paralleled her professional life.

“For me, running is similar in many ways to academia,” says Hickerson. “Completing a dissertation is like completing a marathon. Conducting research is like training for the race, and I have faith that there is a finish line at the end.”

Hickerson approached Rochester’s Democrat and Chronicle and suggested that she write a weekly blog about her hobby—a blog that would appeal to the large running community in town, educate them, motivate them and entertain them.

And she has done just that.

Her first post ran July 27 and she has since penned four more articles, each offering a unique perspective on the sport. In one blog, Hickerson writes about her recent run at Cobb’s Hill Park for Fashion Week of Rochester—in a bridesmaid’s dress. Other posts talk about her experience with the new barefoot running trend and her latest challenge at the Sauerkraut Festival 20K run in Phelps, N.Y. Future posts will explore running as part of an occupation such as firefighting and off-season running using snowshoes.

“I’ve gotten great feedback from the local running community,” she says. “But, what I really love is being able to revisit my journalistic roots and just write. Journalism has changed and I like having the opportunity to use new ways of writing—like blogging—to tell a good story.”

Read Hickerson’s blogs at blogs.democratandchronicle.com/fair-weather-runner.