PROFILE--Mike Fanelli has been racing for 50 years


(Sep 2020) Mike Fanelli is almost without peer as a collector of track and running photos, programs, and other odds 'n' ends. His Facebook page is famous across the Internet for the great photo content he shares from his home in Asti, CA, where he houses his collection in an HVAC-controlled mini-museum. Fanelli, now 64, has been racing as long as he has been collecting, having just passed 50 consecutive years of track competitions. He's a little concerned about 2020, with all the Covid-canceled events and an upcoming foot surgery, but he knows one thing for absolute certain: He'll be back and racing again soon. He's already looking forward to competing in the 70+ division. Fanelli and friends are also great fans of the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials, which he considers a track super-event that he wouldn't consider missing. Look for him next year in Eugene. He'll be the one with the extra luggage packed full of vitamins and supplements. His wife says he has the most expensive "pee" in California, and she might be right.

Career-profession? I spent nearly 20 years in a variety of positions largely related to the sport. This included working in / managing / owning a series of running shoe stores. I spent a few years working for Reebok, first in the Southern California marketplace as a tech rep, and then in house at HQ in Boston working in running promotions (athlete sponsorships, event sponsorships and the like). I later became

PROFILE--Jeffery Barros has been running for 47 years

(Aug. 2020) Friends of Jeffery Barros aren’t surprised by his 41-year running streak. A friend from his college days recalls a cold, icy night in Greeley CO when they were sophomores. Barros was sick and throwing up. He had started his streak, maybe 1000 days in, and didn’t want to break it. He had to cover at least 3 miles and somehow made it. 
Barros, now 63, lives in El Paso Texas, and has had to fight his whole life against discrimination and injustice. An American Indian, Apache, he states, “I was bullied in middle school by Hispanics, in high school by African Americans, and bused to a European American high school as a senior. I had to fight all my life even within my tribe. But I am grateful, as it has been a long and wonderful journey.”

Career-profession? I am the Head Boys and Girls Track and Cross Country Coach for Socorro High School, where 81% of students are economically disadvantaged. Sports are a big part of the school, and we have

Boston Marathon Runners Over-75 Form Internet Group

By Frank Bright

Had the Boston Marathon been run on Patriots’ Day in April of this

Tony Guttmann
year, Tony Guttmann would not have been able to run the race. He had contracted a severe case of COVID-19 in March. A visiting lecturer from London, England, apparently brought the disease to a mathematics conference in Tony’s hometown of Melbourne, Australia, and infected several people who attended his lecture or met with him, including Dr. Guttmann.

Tony, retired from the University of Melbourne after what a local newspaper described as “a long and fruitful career as one of Australia’s top mathematicians,” is part of what, over the past few months, has become a network, or community, made up of men, ages 75-79, who had qualified for and were entered in the 2020 Boston Marathon.

Another member of the network with a COVID-19 connection is Bob Johnstone, a practicing anesthesiologist at the medical school and hospital associated with West Virginia University. He is on the front lines treating COVID-19 patients.

Bob Johnstone 
The term “running community” did not exist in my part of the world in 1961 when I began running. I experienced the loneliness of the long distance runner. Much has changed in that regard. I am now part of a large running community in Shreveport, La., and using the Internet, I easily can contact

PROFILE--Douglas Finley has been running for 59 years

2:57 marathon, Saginaw Bay, 1979
 (Aug. 2020) These days, Flint, MI, is sadly known for its pollution, unemployment and urban blight. But back in 1961, when young Douglas Finley was looking for an athletic outlet, Flint Northern H.S. was known as a track powerhouse. So Finley joined the team. Five years later, in 1966, he finished his first marathon in Detroit. Nearly 60 years later, at age 75, he retains the work ethic he learned in school and community. At his gym, others often shake their heads in wonderment at the "sweat dripping off my nose." Finley has a marathon best of 2:57, has won a few weight-lifting titles, and now spends much of this free time as a coach of young runners and editor of the online youth running publication, Children's Running.

Career-profession: I was Lansing MI parks and recreation director; chief, Michigan dnr office of communications and marketing; adjunct faculty at Michigan State University. Race organizer. Coached school and club-based childrens running. Editor of the Journal of Youth Running with subscribers in nine countries, and recently, the ChildrensRunning.org website. 

When did you start running and why? 1961. Track was the sport at Flint Northern High School; we were either state champion or runner- up in big school state finals 10 years running. Track is what kids did if too

PROFILE--Carl Hatfield has been running almost as long as his clan has been feudin' with the McCoys

(July, 2020) Carl Hatfield is the one and only of the feudin' Hatfields (and McCoys) to have attained elite U.S. running status, and he had the characteristic thick mustache to prove it. A direct descendant of the Hatfield clan, he says he's proud of his heritage, but we should all understand that "there really wasn't any official law-and-order system in West Virginia back then." (mid-1800s). He adds, "We're much more peaceful these days. Some of the McCoys are among my best friends." Now 73 and still living in his home state, Hatfield qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials four quadrennia in a row (68-72-76-80), recorded a marathon PR of 2:17:21, won two Cherry Blossom 10 milers, and has completed the Pittsburgh Great Race 10K 43 years in succession. "There's a reason I look the way I do," he likes to joke. "I've traveled a long way, and a lot of the roads were not paved."

Career profession? After graduating from West Virginia U. in 1969 with a masters in guidance and counseling, I worked from 1972 to 1982 for 3 different schools--Alderson Broaddus College, West Virginia University and Salem College in Student Affairs. I also worked in health administration at a psychiatric hospital and nursing homes. I retired in 2012.

How did you get started running and why? In high school, I loved basketball but was a bench warmer, maybe because I stood 5' 8" and weighed 135 pounds. My senior year, the high school decided to start a track team, and I chose to try the two longest events--the half-mile and mile. I just wanted to be a successful athlete at some sport. I placed third in the state meet, and was hooked on running. At WVU, I was a walk-on runner who became their first All-American.

Peak running? I ran 90 --110 miles during my peak years in the 1970-1980 era. The most miles I ran in one day was 36 miles in 4 workouts. That was a Sunday so I also went to church and found time for three meals. My biggest week was 146 miles during a March spring break in 1972. My best month was July, 1978, when I totaled 473 miles.

Best races? I won the 1978 National AAU Marathon Championship in Buffalo, N.Y. in 2:17:20 on a very windy October day. I was a two- time Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Champion ---1975 and 1975=49:09 (course record). I was an NCAA Cross Country All-American in 1967 and 1968.

My PR track times: 1 mile--4:07 (twice); 2 miles--8:46 (indoor); 3 miles--13:49.4 (1972); 6 miles--28:54(1972); 10K--29:34(1973). I was a four-time Olympic Trials Qualifier---1968 (5K & 10K), 1972 (5K, 10K, and Marathon), 1976 (Marathon) and 1980 (Marathon).

Current running and cross training? I am only running about 40 miles per month and with the recent pandemic, the total is even less, I was riding my mountain bike about 30 miles a week but a wreck and a bone bruise on my left shin has slowed that. I was going to Planet Fitness three times per week during the winter but COVID-19 closed my Silver Sneakers membership. I can bench press 150 pounds for my 154 pound body.

Any recent races? My most recent race was 32:34 for a 5K in Melbourne, Florida, last winter. I only run 5K or 10K races these days. I have run the Great Race 10K in Pittsburgh 43 years in a row, and I get to wear No.1 out of 11,000 runners as I won the first Great Race in 1977. I also have run the Grafton 5 Miler (WV) for all 44 years (only man or woman). 

At 40th Pittsburgh Great Race 10K
How do you deal with getting older and slower? Slowing up for me has been a 12-year gradual decline as osteoarthritis has affected the joints in my knees, hips and now my feet, especially my big toes. My motivation has been affected, but I still exercise to maintain my health. Our daughter, Stephanie McCollam and her 40 year old husband, David, provide some motivation. David recently won the Space Coast Marathon in Melbourne, Florida by 11 minutes in 2:34:52. David is a teacher of blind and visually impaired children.

 

Diet, weight, supplements? My diet has stayed nearly the same over the years although I eat more fruit and vegetables now that I have been diagnosed as a Type-2 Diabetic. I believed I inherited this condition from my mother.

 

Injuries and other setbacks? I was fortunate to mostly avoid injuries in the first 14 years of my career. I had a bad setback at the 1979 Boston Marathon when I was in the best shape of my life. I went through 10 miles in 48:30 in the top ten. I hit 15 miles in 1:13:30 in sixth place. Then suddenly at around 16 miles, a dog ran out of the crowd at me. I tried to jump over it, as I was in such a rhythm that I couldn't get around the animal. I crashed on the cold wet pavement, hurt my right hip, and suffered a bloody concussion on my head. I was picked up by two drunk spectators and sent back in the race. I went from 6th place to 400th and 2:34:++. It took me 3 months to recover.

 

In a 2013 5K, I thought I was having indigestion from eating barbecue ribs the night before. This was at 1.5 miles, and I did finish. It turned out that I was actually having a heart attack in the middle of the race. I was taken to the local small hospital, where I got a stent in my right coronary artery. Six weeks later I finished the Great Race 10K in Pittsburgh.

 

Favorite quotes?  "All Runners at one time or another are beginners"--The New York Road Runners Club Complete Book of Running.

 

"There's a reason I look like this. I've traveled a long way and a lot of the roads were not paved." --Carl Hatfield

 

Advice for other lifetime runners?

1--Set short term goals you can reach.

2--Set a long-term goal that you can work toward.

3--Make exercising a lifetime endeavor.

 

Life and running philosophy? Running makes you a healthier person. Plato said: "You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."
Getting autograph from Wilma Rudolph



PROFILE--Married couple Don and Tammy Slusser have logged over 300,000 miles combined

(Jul. 2020) In all likelihood, Don and Tammy Slusser are world-record holders. It's just that their record is nearly impossible to research and prove. What is it? It's the record for most miles run by a married couple. And where do they stand? At more than 300,000 miles and counting. Kick your spouse in the butt if you want to go after this one. A former 2:17 marathoner, Don, now 68, has been slowed by injuries and surgies; he does a lot of race walking these days. At 55, Tammy is still motorin' along strongly, logging close to 3000 miles a year. The couple, from Monroeville PA, likes to race. A LOT. They raced on their wedding day, and twice on their honeymoon. "It's as much a part of our lives as getting up in the morning," says Don. [Below he answered the questions for both of them; it was just simpler that way.]
 

When did you start running? I started as a high school sophomore in January, 1967. Tammy’s parents did some running, so she finished

PROFILE--Helen Sabourin ran a 4:28 marathon at age 77

Sabourin finished second at Boston, 75-79, in 2017
(Jul. 2020) By one count, Helen Sabourin has been running for 40 years. By another count, just 16 years. But who’s counting? By any tally, she’s remarkable, with a recent 4:28 marathon at age 77. Born in Alberta, Canada, in 1941, Sabourin’s first sport and passion was skiing. In fact, she married a ski instructor. She caught the running bug late in life (39), and despite her reluctance to be profiled here (“I am not worthy”), no one reading about her will agree.
Sabourin currently lives in Gibsons, a small town on the Sunshine Coast (misnomer, it’s a rainforest) accessible only by a 40- minute ferry ride out of North Vancouver, or by plane or boat. She sometimes tells her senior running friends that no one else cares about them. They nod, laugh, and, she says, “agree that we will keep running until we can’t.”

 

Career-profession? I retired in 2008 after working most recently as a medical transcriptionist at our local small town medical clinic. My current favorite job