PROFILE--Dr. John Scott runs for his health ... but mainly for others' health


Dr. John Scott, Myanmar
(Feb. 2020) Some of the runners we profile on this site have long and impressive running resumes. Others have been running for a long time without many road-race bragging rights. They stand out in other ways. Dr. John Scott of Quincy, IL, is in this corner. While he's been running for 40 years, his local health promotion and international medical-missionary work set him apart. "I believe health is physical, mental, and spiritual," says Scott, who turns 69 next week. And he lives his own words.

Career-profession? I am a board certified internal medicine physician. I am a fellow of American College of Physicians. I
have been in practice for 37 years, all in Quincy, IL.

When did you start running and why? I started in 1980 when we moved from the University of Missouri-Columbia to
Madison, WI for my residency program. I started because I ran to a code in the hospital, and the nurse asked if she should code me before the patient? Apparently, I was badly out of breath. That made me think I should begin actual running. 

How much did you run in your peak years, miles/week? In my peak years, I ran about 50-60 miles per week.

What were your top race performances or running achievements you are most proud of? My first marathon was in 1988. The weather was so bad the airport was closed for a time: cold and snowy. With terrible wind. But I finished. I have done two 24 hour ultra marathon equalizer races in Des Moines, Iowa. In October 2005 I placed 5th with 76.2 miles.

I like to run different races. My wife and I do international medical missions and in January, 2016, we participated in a running race in downtown Yangon, Myanmar. I ran a couple of the River to River relay races in southern Illinois – the Mississippi River to the Ohio River, a total of 80 miles total with 8 runners. 

I also had the great fortune of helping to start two local races. One was the area's only night race, but it no longer exists. The second is a fundraiser for Med Assist. It's called the "Bridge the Gap to Health" race. It crosses over the Mississippi two times. This coming May 16, 2020, is the 20th anniversary. In 19 years, we've raised $842,771.49 actual dollars, which has been leveraged into $19,863,459.79 worth of prescription medications for those benefiting from this program.

An estimate of your total lifetime running miles? Over 58,000

How much are you running and cross-training now? I am doing 15 miles per week now. Strength work? No. Stretching? Only when my muscles hurt.

Any recent race results? Bridge the Gap, May 2019, 5K in 36:39


Scott finishes the race he founded,
the "Bridge the Gap to Health."
Does it bother you that you are slower now? I have always felt that health is Physical, Mental and Spiritual, and running is health. I use this in my practice. I run for health, and races are my carrots/rewards. Don’t die. Just finish.

How have your diet and weight changed through the years, if at all? I am probably 20 pounds heavier. My diet is a local Mexican restaurant with pizza and beef nachos on the weekends. During the week, I eat Lean Cuisine or chili. I love to run outside in all four seasons here in Illinois. I do take a multivitamin and calcium.

What injuries or other health issues have you faced through the years? I suffered I had a T 7 compression fracture on 11-30-15. I had osteoporosis so I now take vitamin D, and multi vitamins with
trace elements. After being under the care of a Bone Health specialist at Barnes Hospital West in St. Louis, my dexa scans are phenomenal. I have endured bone-on-bone in my right knee for years. And all the common over-use injuries.

A favorite inspirational quote? "Health: It's physical, mental, and spiritual."

Three tips for hopeful lifetime runners? 
1--Speed kills. 
2--Do not compete.
3--Enjoy the outside world that the Lord created in all the glorious seasons.
Amby Burfoot, Candy Scott, John Scott,
Quincy Bayview Bridge across Mississippi.


How does running and fitness improve your life on a daily/weekly basis? I am not obese. It makes me take care of my health. I can still run the grandchildren and adult
daughters into the ground. My daughters and I can exchange running tips and stories. I am not a hypocrite to my patients. I practice what I preach. I encourage every patient to walk, to do their personal best. If they only walk to the refrigerator to grab a beer, and then to the bathroom to pee, I encourage them to walk around the block. 

For runners, I encourage them to do one more race above
what they have done. Running is a good time to remember to pray and be grateful.

PROFILE--South African Brian Chamberlain hit 5DS3 in 2000, and ran a 3:45 marathon last year at 70


Brian Chamberlain on right. Tim Noakes, left;
Johnny Halberstadt, center.
(Jan. 2020) Brian Chamberlain is a member of the 5DS3 group (5 Decades Sub 3 Marathon), but he got there earlier than most. Chamberlain ran his first sub 3 marathon (just barely) in 1967 when he clocked a 2:59:49 in a Johannesburg marathon. A decade later, he hit his personal best, 2:15:25. And in 2000, Chamberlain achieved his fifth decade with a 2:46:46. Now 70, he ran 3:45 last year to place second in his age-group in the South African marathon championships. These days, the two-time winner of the famous Two Oceans Marathon (32 miles; Chamberlain ran 3:15:22 in his first win, and 3:15:23 in his second the next year; consistent?), mixes canoe and

PROFILE--Paul Fetscher has run 48 consecutive NYC Marathons

(1-2020) Paul Fetscher passed 100,000 running miles so long ago he doesn't remember when it happened. Never an elite runner, Fetscher has nonetheless done about all you can do in running--from the Great Wall of China to the last 48 straight NYC Marathons. Now 75, the New York City running icon is suffering through only the third running injury of his life--the other two weren't even caused by running--and will bounce back soon. Known for his quips, Fetscher sometimes likes to quote himself. "I'm running the same times I always did, I'm just not covering the same distances."

Career/Profession? President of Great American Brokerage, a commercial real estate broker specializing in restaurants and retail.

When and why did you start running? When I entered Carey High School in Franklin Square, NY. I noticed the pretty girls were walking home with the guys with the Varsity Letter jackets. Track was the only individual sport. I started as a long jumper, but my gym teacher said I had to run cross-country if I wanted to do track the next year. Little did I know I would fall in love with distance running. By the end of my first season, I was the #2 runner in my district, and I was hooked.

How much did you run in your peak years, miles/week? In the 1970’s, a 100 mile week was about par. Before the top races, more like 105 – 115 per week. I didn’t count

Profile--Mark Courtney has run 14,609 days in a row.

(Jan. 2019) On December 19, 2019, Mark Courtney completed his daily run for the 14,609th day in a row. That's 40 years with nary a day off. Courtney's impressive in many other ways. He has run 40 straight Boston Marathons, and has a marathon PR of 2:28:48 at Chicago. Now 63 and living in Grove City, PA, he continues to operate a road-race timing company--Runner's High. His running allows him to eat somewhat indiscriminately. "My diet includes beer and ice cream," he says. "Though rarely at the same time."

Career/Profession? I was a Physician Assistant for 34 years (Family Practice) - retired. Owner of Runner’s High, a road-race timing company since 1979,

PROFILE--Dave Walters has been running for 50 years

(Dec. 2019) Captain Dave Walters, 65,  has been running for 50 years and piloting United long-haul flights for 33 years. He flies internationally for two, six-day periods a month. It’s not unusual for him to pilot a 16-hour flight into Hong Kong,  then rise at 2:00 am and go for a run (time zones can be nasty). 

After winning his age group at the 2015 Chicago Marathon, Walters captained a flight to Brussels the next day. When he discovered that marathon champ Dickson Chumba was on board, he gave Chumba a cockpit tour and upgraded him to first class.

Walters ran his first marathon as a

Alan Ruben has run the last 32 NYC Marathons in a row

(Dec. 2019) Alan Ruben grew up in London, but has a long tenure in NYC running. He has finished 32 NYC Marathons in a row, and is a former president of the Central Park Track Club. As a youth, he played soccer for an hour every noon. He recalls that he wasn't very skilled, "but attempted to make up for that by running around more than anyone else." 

Ruben ran his first NYC Marathon in 1987, and met his future wife, Gordon Bakoulis (5 time qualifier for the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials), in 1994. They were married two years later. When the two aren't racking up wins in Central Park, they're watching their childrens' soccer games. (So the kids, if they follow their dad's evolution, will be all right.)

Career? I work in computer programming for a money transfer software company.

When and why did you start running? I started running in the fall of 1982 inspired by the London Marathon. I knew one person who had run the London Marathon and

Chris Finill has run all 39 London Marathons


(Nov. 2019) England's Chris Finill has finished all 39 runnings of the London Marathon. He's also among a smattering of runners who have run a sub-3-hour marathon in five chronological decades--that is, the 1970s through the 2010s. Since next year launches a new decade, Finill will be aiming for his sixth, and has a reasonably good chance of achieving it. Still, he's only the second-best runner from his London street. Roger Bannister ranks first. In 2011, Finill ran across the U.S. with a buddy. (Feature-length documentary film here.) He turns 61 on New Year's Eve.

Career-profession? I qualified as a Charttered Accountant with Deloitte in 1986. For the last 20 years, I have worked as a Bursar at the Duke of Kent School in rural Surrey, England.

When did you start running and why? I was born on the street in North London where Roger Bannister