Staff Photo: Jason Braverman Peter Mahncke, of Snellville, started running when he was 31. He has participated in races in 22 different states, including multiple Run the Reagan events.
If you run
• What: Run the Reagan road race
• When: Saturday
• Where: Snellville
• Race times:
Half marathon, 9 a.m.
10K, 9:15 a.m.
Fun Run, 10:30 a.m.
5K, 11 a.m.
• For more information: Visit runthereagan.net
SNELLVILLE -- Peter Mahncke is on the go, literally, all the time. A Snellville resident who moved to the United States from Hamburg, Germany in 1982 and to Snellville in 1986, he has a goal in mind. Well, actually, he has several, but goals seem to be his thing. His goal this week: to run the Run the Reagan race on Saturday.
But there's more to it than just running a race. For Mahncke, participating in Run the Reagan is part of his cause -- to help fight breast cancer.To that end, Mahncke developed and produced a running song called "I am a Runner."
"My wife survived (breast cancer) a few years ago, and that gave me the inspiration to support this by donating funds from the song," he said. "Every penny helps."
Mahncke said that in all the races he's run over the years, he would hear music playing at the start, on the course or at the finish line, but there were never songs specifically about running. So he wrote one himself.
"I'm not a good singer, so I needed someone to produce the song professionally. During my overseas travels to South Africa, my business partner in Johannesburg got me in touch with a local musician named William Wolfgang Loots," he said.
It took the team a few tries in the studio to get it right, but the result is a cool, motivating running tune.
A far as breast cancer research is concerned, Peter believes more needs to be done to help women. The song "I am a Runner" is available online for just 99 cents, and proceeds go to breast cancer research. Athletes or anyone who wants to purchase the song can go to gothedistancesports.com (Peter's website dedicated to assisting and supporting local runners). Click on one of the music icons in the bottom left -- iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody or Napster, or go directly to one of those sites to download the song.
Visitors to the running site can also hear a 28-second clip of "I am a Runner" before buying it. "It will be the best 99 cents you can spend for a great tune and a great cause," Mahncke said.
Mahncke said his wife got him into running when he was 31. And the sport has become a family pursuit. The couple's three sons run the Peachtree Road Race with their dad every year, and Mom works a water station along the route. It's been a family tradition for 10 years. In fact, one of the Mahncke's sons ran on the Shiloh High School cross country and track teams, then went on to run cross country at Kennesaw State University.
The annual Peachtree tradition alone would be enough for most families, but Mahncke runs the Peachtree as just one of many races to keep him in shape for his ultimate running goals.
"I have raced in 22 states so far; the other 28 are on my list to be accomplished," he said, "I've run 221 races to date, in 10 countries and on all five continents."
It seems that everything Mahncke does involves moving. Professionally, he works in global logistics, also known as the shipping industry.
"I am responsible for trade lane development, meaning I identify global trade lanes with countries North America has business ties with, and promote transportation products within our company to get the goods from point A to point B," he said.
"In plain English: I help get the running shoe from the foreign manufacturer to the shelf of the store where you can buy it ... That involves a lot of travelling."
On Saturday he won't have to travel far to get to the race in Snellville. But it will be just another step in his running journey.