Dr. Mark Cucuzella, MD, FAAFP
Dr. Mark Cucuzella is a Family Physician at Harpers Ferry Family Medicine and Associate Professor at West Virginia University School of Medicine. As a Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force Reserves, he is coach and captain of their marathon team and designing programs to reduce running injuries in military personnel. He is the chief medical consultant for the Air Force Marathon (www.usafmarathon.com). His passion for health extends beyond the walls of the clinic into the medical home’s “backyard”- the trails and open space that create the arena for optimum wellness.
Mark has been a competitive runner for nearly 30 years, completing over 60 marathons and ultras, and continues to compete as a National level Masters (age 40 plus) runner. His marathon best is 2:24 and has run under 2:35 for a marathon 22 of the last 24 years including a 2:34 in the 2010 Boston Marathon at age 43. His only misses were his medical intern year and 2009 when he ran 2:37.
As a Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force Reserves, he is coach and captain of their marathon team and designs programs to reduce the number of running injuries in military personnel. He is the chief medical consultant for the Air Force Marathon, and incorporating Chi Running is part of the training plan. His passion for health extends beyond the walls of the clinic into the medical home’s “backyard” – the trails and open space that create the arena for optimum wellness.
He is the race director of Freedom’s Run- a Race for Health and Heritage, a run through 4 National Parks (www.freedomsrun.org). The 5 race event fulfills Mark’s vision of integrating natural and community assets to promote health and preserve the land for future generations. Mark is the lead in for a community initiative called “Wild and Wonderful Trails for Every Child” which aims to halt the epidemic of childhood obesity (see page 46 for more on this) He is the father of two young children who love to explore and play in the outdoors. For his efforts in these areas, he has been awarded the US Air Force Athlete of the Year in 1997, the Family Physician Teacher of the Year for the State of Colorado in 2000, the Harpers Ferry National Park Volunteer of the Month, the West Virginia University Deans Award for Community Service, and was a finalist for the prestigious Hertzog Award for National Park Volunteerism.
He has applied his passion for helping people run healthy for life to studies involving the Chi Running technique. In his daily practice, Mark encourages walkers and runners at all levels of ability to discover the trails and country roads he explores his daily local runs. He teaches classes both in the clinic and the community on “Exercise is Medicine” and healthier and pain free running.
Mark is thrilled to join the Chi Running team and share his passion for running, healthy living, and injury prevention as a medical advisor. He sees Chi Running assisting runners to set a goal, improve their health, and have fun…..safely and without pain.
Dr. Mark Cucuzzella conducted the 2008 Chi Running Survey. Click here to see the highlights and entire results of the survey.