DC Lucchesi is the type of guy that makes you think there may be more than 24 hours in his day. The energetic 47-year old father of three is a small business owner, a serial volunteer and a committed runner.
Lucchesi’s company, Well-Run Media + Marketing, caters to small, local businesses and gets him up before 5 am many days of the week. In addition to managing this company, he works with the Charlotte Bicycle Advisory Board, serves as the conditioning coach for his son’s lacrosse team, mentors friends looking to run their first marathon and has been a coach with Girls on the Run for the last 6 years.
“I have a ‘no’ problem,” he jokes about his volunteer efforts. “Or maybe it’s a ‘yes’ problem, I don't know." Somehow, in the middle of it all, Lucchesi is a very accomplished long distance runner. “I’ve completed close to 50 events of marathon distance or more. I have all sorts of hardware stored in drawers from over the years.”
Lucchesi’s first personal running hero was his high school cross country coach. “Coach Horton. Looked like Lou Holtz. He was a little guy and wore this Porky Pie looking hat, dress pants, and short sleeve dress shirt every day.” Lucchesi says. “He was great. He saw the potential in everyone. Not just the superstar or the new kid. Everyone.”
After graduating from Ole Miss University, Lucchesi landed in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he's remained over the last 18 years and where he has watched the progress of the running scene along the way.
“I’ve seen the community grow,” Lucchesi says. “There used to be one event a month and you’d see the same people there. Now there are 3 or 4 events here in one weekend. The pub runs and other things are getting more people out. Now it’s all about 'running for funning.'”
Twelve years ago Lucchesi made the switch from road to trail. “We all were coming from these road marathons where you look at the person next to you and size them up, their shoes, their gear, etc. At the start of that first trail 50 miler there was a woman behind us wearing khaki shorts and this peach colored shirt. She was a good 10 years older than many of us. But, you know what? She stayed with us the whole night! We learned in ultras that it’s not how much you got on, it's how much you got.”
A competitor at heart, Lucchesi has some very powerful motivation to train for his events. “There’s nothing wrong with gutting out a race without training. Maybe you got sick and couldn’t train. But if you can, train. If it’s something you know that could take you 6 and a half hours but takes you over 9? How many beers could you drink in those three hours,” he asks.
Many of his training days will take him to Crowders mountain, a favorite among Charlotte athletes. But Luchessi suggests a less known resource just outside the Queen City. “The best kept secret is Anne Springs (Greenway). The trails are great. Some are for bikes, some for horses, but all of them allow runners. Get out there early and you have them to yourself. And it’s only a 20 minute drive away,” he says.
He’s still working in his runs around his kid’s events, running with his son’s Lacrosse team, and so on. But his kids aren't the only influences on Lucchesi’s running career. He’s one of the few male coaches for the Girls on the Run program, a non-profit that provides life lessons and instills confidence through running.
"I was scouting the other team." Lucchesi says of his involvement with GOTR. “I had all brothers growing up. I went to an all-boys school until college. When I found out we were going to have a girl. I had no idea how girls operate.” Being a coach for the program for 6 years, he’s had a chance to see another side of kids growing up.
“I love it when I see these kids running in high school now and listening to them tell me they ran their first varsity race,” he says. “What’s the best, though, is when one of the parents tells me they’re walk-running their first 5k because they saw their daughter do it. It’s like dropping that nickel in the water and seeing the ripple effect.”
With more 50 and 100 milers on the horizon, Lucchesi might like to run an ultra out west some day. But the top item on his bucket list is a little closer to home. “If my kids adopt some type of lifetime activity. Whether it’s running or not. That’s my goal.”
Between the GOTR teams, the lacrosse team, his marathon mentees, and his 3 kids, Lucchesi is helping a new generation of Charlotte runners find ways to enjoy the sport. “It doesn’t matter how far you go. It doesn’t matter how fast you go. Just go,” he says.