PROFILE: Shawn Chillag has been running for 43 years

Chillag in costume in hot dog race.
 (Mar, 2021) Shawn Chillag doesn't say much below about his life's work, but he's an MD who has been teaching at medical schools for many years. He spent a good part of his career at the University of South Carolina, with its well-known exercise super heroes like Russ Pate and Steve Blair. Currently, Chillag, 72, is a dept head at the West Virginia University School of Medicine. He's been running for 43 years, figures he's logged around 110,000 lifetime miles, and appears to have a talent for dressing in costumes. Another fun fact: His son and excellent runner, Ian, works with runner Pete Sagal on NPR's well-known "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me" show, and also hosts a podcast with the catchy title "Everything Is Alive" in which he interviews inanimate objects. Chillag sr. reports a great benefit of aging: "
I can’t move quickly enough now to injure anything."

Career-profession: Mostly a learner and teacher. 

When did you start running and why? I read at age 29 that if you don’t get fit by age 30, then it never happens. My brother had challenged me to do a race; we did it and I was hooked. 

How much did you run in your peak years, miles/week, etc? I averaged about 50 miles weekly. This got me

PROFILE--Sam Cox has been running for 49 years

Finishing a marathon last November.
 (Feb. 2020) Sam Cox started running in 1972 to get in shape for football, but soon realized that a running-focus made more sense for him. Six years later, he completed his first marathon, and almost qualified for  Boston. The next year, he did qualify, running a 2:48. He would eventually reduce that time all the way down to 2:30:58. Now 62 and living in Greensboro, NC, he still logs 40 to 45 miles a week, and races marathons despite foot problems (Haglund's) and a history of atrial fibrillation. "I am grateful to be out there running, slow or not," he says. "Nothing clears my mind, reduces my tension, fosters my creative side, allows me to think, to ponder, to pray, or to imagine quite like a good run."

Career-profession? I graduated Wake Forest University in 1981 with my BS degree, where I walked on to the cross country and track teams and ran my sophomore and senior years, and was on an Army ROTC scholarship. Following graduate work at the University of South Carolina (MS) in 1983, I served five years in the army in San Antonio and Germany. I then began a career in education (while working part-time in the Army Reserves, retiring in 2002), picking up additional graduate degrees at Oregon State University (1991) and The College of William & Mary (1993) while teaching history, coaching cross country and track, and then moving into educational administration. I spent the past 25 years

PROFILE--George Hancock has been running for 47 years


(Feb. 2021) George Hancock is the honorary founder of the U.S. Streak Running Association, and has a couple of impressive streaks to his name. One lasted 24+ years, another 15+ years. And when he required disc surgery in 2018, did that stop him? Nope. His latest streak is 2+ years and counting. He's learned how to stride smooth and back-pain-free, and figures he'll continue doing the same well into his 70s. Now 67 and living near Johnstown, PA, Hancock notes: "I can look back and say, 'Yes, you can. One simply has to try.'"

Career-profession: 1975 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown (UPJ). Worked in retail from 1976 through 1993 for a local retail firm, no longer exists, company was purchased and closed in 1993. Since then,

PROFILE--Ronald Johnson has been running for 57 years

(Feb. 2021) Ronald Johnson began running at age 14 in 1963, graduated from St. Olaf college, and achieved a lifetime marathon best of 2:31:07. Now retired and 71, he lives in Searcy, Arkansas, where he continues his devotion to running and high-level fitness despite hamstring and foot issues. "I always end my run feeling excellent," he says.


Career-profession? I have had several occupations, but I retired in June of 2019. I was an actuary and a financial analyst. However, my primary occupation was as a mathematical statistician for the Bureau of Labor Statistics in Washington D.C. I worked on the Consumer Price Index. 


When did you start running? I began running seriously as a high school freshman at age 14 in 1963 when I joined the cross-country team. I did this because I had been one of the best runners in junior high school at long distances. I didn’t especially enjoy running at the time, but I certainly wanted to be good at some sport.


Peak running? At my peak in my senior year in college and during the following summer, I was probably running

PROFILE--Tom Perri has run more than 70 marathons since his stage 4 cancer diagnosis two years ago

(Jan. 2021) LifetimeRunning first profiled Tom Perri in 2018--a few months before he received a cancer diagnosis. (See this page.) At that time he was averaging 40 marathons a year and was a four-time finisher of the Fifty-States Club. He’s now working on his sixth go-round as a Fifty State finisher and just finished his 536th marathon on New Year’s Day 2021. Perri still paces marathons when he can find one, and is still thrilled to bring first-time marathoners across their finish line. Now 59, Perri is looking forward to a new age division in April of 2021.

How did you find out you had cancer? I had a complete physical on 12/21/18, and was told that my PSA was well outside the normal range, which was a strong indication that I probably had an aggressive form of prostate cancer. This was confirmed by the prostate biopsy. At that time it appeared

PROFILE: Harry Nolan has been running for more than 50 years

(Jan. 2021) New Jersey's Harry Nolan has been a top U.S. runner in one event or another since the mid-1970s. He started on the track, moved up to the marathon (PR of 2:22), and then moved back to the track in his 40s and beyond. At 41, he ran a 1:59 800 and 4:15 mile. At 73, he's still running 50 to 60 miles a week despite triple-bypass surgery two  years ago. "Every day above ground is a good day," he says. He also believes that "Life is not a dress rehearsal" and we should live every day as if it might be our last. 

Career/Profession? I have had a somewhat split career, within two different professions. I spent 45 years in higher education as a professor, department chair, and associate dean at five different universities, but most at Georgian Court University, where I was a tenured full professor and department chair for thirty years. My other profession was as an administrator within the recreation, park and tourism industry, where I worked as director with different governmental agencies (overlapping with my university positions) and directing my own tourism based research consulting company. 

When did you start running and why? I started running track in my freshmen year of high school, originally as

PROFILE--John Fixx has been running for 51 years

Fixx and daughter before a run.

(Jan. 2021) Yes, the name is familiar. John Fixx is the son of Jim Fixx, famous in the late 1970s for his international best seller, The Complete Book of Running. And then, a few years later, for dying from a heart attack on a run. John began running with his dad at an early age, and tagged along to enjoy many trips and famous-runner meetups. Eventually he outpaced his dad, and achieved a marathon best of 2:42. He had another famous author connection in college, competing on the Wesleyan University team where Sebastian Junger (The Perfect Storm) was a standout. Now 59, John serves as headmaster and cross country coach at a private day school in Connecticut, The Country School, where he still logs 3 to 5 miles a day. He has only been arrested once while running.

Career profession: I've worked in admissions or administration at a number of private schools, mostly in Connecticut, where I grew up. For the last seven years, I've been headmaster at The Country School in Madison CT. We're a K-8 school with a little over 200 students.

When did you start running and why? I actually know exactly when I started running, because my father was a runner. From his log, I can see that I ran a 3 mile race in Westport CT when I was eight years old. The next year I remember