By Gary Fauber
Assistant Sports Editor
Dave Traube has found running surprisingly therapeutic. Now, he wants to help other people benefit as well.
The Beckley native and his friend, Seth Sharp, will be running in the Dick's Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon today. It will be Traube’s first attempt at a 26.2-mile race, but he’s doing for more than just trying to conquer a goal.
He and Sharp are running for Living Water International, a charitable organization that provides clean drinking water to communities overseas. So far, more than 10,000 projects have been completed in nearly 30 countries.
“We are on ‘Team Living Water’ with a few other people from around the country,” Traube said. “Our individual goal was $500 and we are going to surpass that by a few $100.”
Traube, a 2006 Woodrow Wilson graduate and former radio voice of the West Virginia Miners, began running less than two years ago, for myriad reasons.
“At first, it started as a way to get in and stay in shape, provide me some therapy as I encountered some hard obstacles growing up and a way for me and my buddy Seth to hang out,” he said.
When he started, Traube wasn’t naive to the perceived pitfalls of the sport.
“Running has really meant alot to me. It’s funny how something that can appear so unfun and grueling from the outside can in fact be therapeutic mentally and physically,” he said. ‘It’s great exercise, but that just seems like an added benefit, honestly.”
The challenge and attraction of running is not just physical, Traube said.
“I’m a very social person and love being around people, but running is something that is very much a solo act,” he said. “Even running with other people, your mental state is all on you. It’s a bit of a journey, and you can find yourself thinking of everything from ‘What do I want for dinner?’ to ‘I wonder how many people in the world are ambidextrous?’ It’s something you fall in love with, honestly. Not so much because I even meant to love it. More like it found me.”
Sunday will present Traube with his first marathon, but he is no stranger to competitive running. His experience is already extensive, although he was forced to miss the famed Charleston Distance Run in September because of injury.
“I’ve run multiple 5Ks, a 4-mile run, a 5-mile run, a 10K and two half-marathons in the last year,” Traube said. “This will be my first marathon and, in fact, I’ve never run over 20 miles yet.”
Sharp came up with the idea of running for a cause.
“Living Water seemed like such a socially responsible organization that we decided we wanted to run not only for our own personal goals but to benefit others,” Traube said. “That’s where the decision to raise money for a clean water project came from.”
There was actually one extra benefit not lost on Traube.
“They even sent us jerseys,” he said. “I may be in my mid-20s now, but I still love a good jersey.”