Full Name: Peter Mellen
Hometown: Naples, FL
Current Residence: Memphis, TN
Occupation: Service Advisor, Race Director for Motivated Running
1. How did you discover trail running?
When I began running roads and increased my mileage to the point I felt I was able to go up to a full marathon, I wanted more! That’s where my desire to try my first 50k in 2019 happened. It was just the drive to do more mileage after that. Now I’ve completed a 50 miler and looking at 100k and 100 miler by 2022.
2. What does it mean to you to be a St. Jude Hero?
It means the world to me to be a hero, because with fundraising for this cause I can make a difference in other families that are going through a similar scenario as my family did.
3. Your daughter Olivia, aka Livi, was diagnosed with leukemia over three years ago. How has running positively impacted you and your family during her treatment?
Running was my outlet when things were mentally taxing and I needed to get away for just a brief time. Then it all turned into really improving my health. Now I know I will be here for my kids longer than if I did nothing at all.
4. What advice would you give to someone with a loved one who is currently batting a serious medical condition?
Well, I was a fortunate one because my daughter’s diagnosis has a good chance of recovery. We focused on the numbers of those kids who had made a full recovery and trusted the doctors with Livi’s care.
Stay strong but be human. Crying and showing an emotional response is okay. Things like this are never easy to process, so don’t try doing it alone.
5. As the father of two children, are there any connections you see between running and parenting?
Patience. Children and running require patience. You won’t run fast right out the gate, you have to use a lot of trial and error and learn what works best just like raising kids. Kids and running don’t come with a manual, you just find what works and adapt.
6. LIvi’s chemo will be completed on April 26th of this year. How will Livi and the rest of the family celebrate?
We have a big party planned in May, but the day of her last chemo we are having a parade of cars lined up for her and will be decorating our windows to honk for NO MORE CHEMO!
7. You recently created a company called Motivated Running which brings races and coaching services to athletes in Tennessee. What events can we expect in the coming months and years?
Well it’s in progress: races were my first focus and those are going off well so far. I’m putting on the Stanky Creek Trail Race in Bartlett, TN which is a benefit race for St. Jude. We’re also hosting Cupid’s Dash, which due to COVID, was postponed until now. Also, I just put on a virtual event called the Motivated 50 Miler, which had a great response right out the gate.
*For more info about the Stanky Creek Trail Race taking place on 9/18/21:
Read about Olivia's journey here: