PROFILE: Jenny Hitchings is getting faster, setting records at 59

(Aug 2022) Most age-group runners record their best times and maybe win a few races at the x0 end of their 5-year age-group: at 40, 50, 60 etc. Not Jenny Hitchings. She'll turn 60 next July, and watch out for her then. But she has also been on a record tear recently at 59. Last October, for example, the Sacramento CA resident ran 2:45:36 to win her age-group in the Boston Marathon. In fact, Hitchings is still getting faster. She credits that fact that she's motivated, very consistent, has a flexible schedule, trains 55 to 75 miles a week, and "probably the most important factor is good genes."


Career profession? I am a Running Coach.  I coach remotely up to 14 adults (intermediate to advanced runners) for the 5k-30k as well as a youth running club at our local elementary school and middle school XC.


When did you start running and why? I started running for fitness as a college student at UC Santa Barbara, but I didn’t realize I was a decent runner until my late 30’s to early 40’s.  In time, with proper training, running peers, a team and a coach, I was able to excel after I was 40.  I was a late bloomer with an untapped talent!


How much did you run in your peak years? I think I’m still in my peak years. I run 55-75+ miles per week (depending if I’m in marathon training). I have never gone beyond 80 miles per week even when training for a marathon.


Top performances?  Breaking 3 hours (2:58) on my 4th marathon, coming within 10 sec of making the Olympic Marathon Trials in 2011 (2:46:10 - you can imagine that this was very bittersweet), Winning Rocket City (Dec.2011) and Mountains to Beach Marathons (May, 2018), and placing 2 and 1st (2x) in the Boston Marathon in my age group. I’ve run my fastest times in

PROFILE: Kevin Boyle has been running for 53 years

(Jul. 2022) Kevin Boyle has hung out a fair amount with Gerry Lindgren and Matt Centrowitz, sr. That's not a bad resume for any runner. Boyle, now 58, says he has been running since first grade. He achieved a marathon best of 2:37 in 1990, and has finished a marathon in six straight decades. For some reason, he has done much running beside rivers. This makes him think: "Life is always flowing like a river; not always straight and not always calm. But always flowing, and you must flow with life, coping with and adjusting to the changes, the rough waters, and the twists and turns thrown at you."
 
Career-profession?  My career has been very interesting and varied. I attended law school at night at St Johns University in New York City. During the day I was a

PROFILE--76-yr-old Gary Patton holds a lot of American Records

(Jul. 2022) If you're not in Tampere, Finland, right now, you haven't seen Gary Patton this week. He's in Finland competing in the 2022 World Masters Track & Field Championships. (We're not keeping up on the daily results, but can note that Patton has already finished second in the age 75-79 800 meters event--running 2:39.71--and tied-for-second in the 6K cross-country race. That's second in the WORLD.) Patton's list of American Record and World Record performances in the middle distances is about as long and impressive as you'd ever want to see. And the 76-yr-old from Rock Rapids, Iowa, does it on far less running mileage (and perhaps more cross-training) than most elite runners. His success stems in part

PROFILE--Bill Shreffler started running, lost 70 lbs, and is going strong 100,000 miles later

(May, 2022) Bill Shreffler started running for a typical reason: He didn't like the way he looked in the bathroom mirror after stepping out of the shower. Seventy pounds later, he was off and entering marathons. His personal record isn't sensational--3:34--but his consistency is. Now 68 and living in Coumbia, MO, Shreffler is still running every day of the week and logging more than 50 miles per week. His attitude is world class: "I know that every day I have over an hour of quiet time early in the morning," he says. "I can reflect on yesterday, think about the day ahead, forgive myself for the many mistakes I have made in my life and get excited about the future." 

Career-profession? Managing Member of BridgeWorx – medical device distributor.

When did you start running and why? I was 70 pounds overweight and bet a co-worker that I would lose more weight than he did. I won the bet. 

How much did you run in your peak years?  Peak years I ran 100 miles/week as I trained for marathons. 

Best performances? After living in Colorado Springs and training at an altitude of 6,500 feet I ran my 7th Chicago marathon and had a PR of 3:34:00. Before I had my PR at Chicago I ran the Los Angeles Marathon in March 1992 after training through a harsh Chicago winter and finished in 3:50:26. 

Total lifetime miles? I passed 100,000 miles last October (all well documented with some commentary about the run) 

How much are you running and cross-training now? I run 54 miles/week – 8 miles Monday through Saturday and 6 miles on Sunday. I also lift weights

PROFILE--Richard Houston has completed 27 Boston Marathons in a row

(Apr. 2022) Richard Houston just completed the Boston Marathon in 4:39:18. It sounds a modest achievement until you consider that it was his 27th Boston in a row, 34th overall, and he's now 65 years old. A melanoma survivor, he credits his long-term success to learning when he can "run through" an injury, and when that's a bad idea. He likes the 1979 Boston Marathon poster of Bill Rodgers hitting the finish with just a single word on the poster: "Relentless."

Career-profession? I recently retired after 43 years of teaching high school history. I worked at St. John's High School in

Steve and Paula Boone have run nearly 1200 marathons (collectively)


(Mar. 2022) Steve (72) and Paula Boone (a mere 55) are fixtures in the running community. Based in Humble TX, they run on average 20-35 marathons a year. Paula was originally from Utah but after meeting a longhaired hippy at the 1997 Boston Marathon she lost her heart to him and embraced Texas.  Steve just completed his 800th marathon at the Houston Marathon in January. He did his first marathon there and runs it every time he hits a 100 anniversary. His most prolific year of marathons was in 2014 when he ran 46.  Paula reached her milestone of 365 marathons in January of 2021. “This way I have a tee shirt for every day of the year without doing laundry,” she comments.  She runs an average of 14 marathons a year and as many as 35 but says Steve is much more dedicated than she is. “
I don’t love running.  I love to eat, travel and hang out with my friends and doing marathons in all 50 states multiple times allows me to do all of those things.  Running is just the painful part of getting there,” says Paula.  Between them, they have 6 kids, 9 grandkids and 1 great-grandkid.  

 

Career-profession? Steve: I am mostly retired from my career as a computer programmer and feel a bit like a blacksmith after cars became widely available. Paula is a retired schoolteacher. In 1992 I created the Marathon Challenge program. The original intent was twofold. I wanted

PROFILE: Yuko Gordon, 71 next month, is one of the world's greatest marathon runners


(Jan. 2022) Yuko Gordon, who will turn 71 next month, is undeniably one of the world's greatest marathon runners. She competed in the first major global marathons for women--the 1983 World Championships and 1984 L.A. Olympic Games--and last fall won the 70+ division in the WANDA age-group world championships in the London Marathon. Two years earlier, she ran 3:19:37 to set the age-68 world best time in the Berlin Marathon. Gordon--born in Japan, raised in Hong Kong, and living for decades in Great Britain--set her lifetime PR, 2:38:32, in 1987. "I'm a fighter, and I don't give up easily," she says. "
Progress occurs only outside of comfort zone." How long will she keep running? "I have no plan, I don’t have to--because my body will tell me one day."

Career-profession? My main career was Flight Hostess (Airline Stewardess) at Cathay Pacific Airways for 10 years from 1974 to1984. I left Japan for Hong Kong to take up the job when I was 23. I loved flying and travelling around the world, which was so liberating and exciting seeing the different places, the cultures and the people. In recent years, I only do volunteer work one morning a week as a gym assistant for the day patients at a local Hospice.   In 1984 before the Olympics, the only crucial mistake I made,