PROFILE--Marc Bloom has been running (and writing) for 55 years

(3-19) Marc Bloom has enjoyed incredibly long, productive careers in running and running journalism, beginning in 1964 and extending to the present. His next book, Amazing Racers, is due to be published in early August. It's about the amazing success of the Fayetteville-Manlius high-school cross-country program in upstate New York, and how coach Bill Aris has inspired so many runners. Bloom's personal running is just as impressive. An undistinguished performer three decades ago, he now ranks among the nation's best for his age.

When did you start running and why? It was spring 1972. I hadn’t run since HS grad in ’64 and had gained weight. I didn’t feel “right.” I’d been married three years at that point. My wife (Andrea) and I lived in Brooklyn and would go to a nearby HS track to play paddleball. I started jogging a few laps, one thing led to another, and I started doing some mileage on the roads, and by fall ’72 was running 40 to 50 miles a week and had lost my extra weight, about 20 lbs. My first race was a 3M on a frigid Thanksgiving morning, on Staten Island.

Peak running? When I was doing the NYC Marathon almost

PROFILE--Ben Tucker has been running for 62 years

Ben Tucker was the first African American to run the equivalent of a sub-4-minute mile. He clocked a 3:40.8 for 1500 meters during the AAU National Championships on June 28, 1964 in New Brunswick, NJ, finishing seventh. (That time is equivalent to a 3:58.4 in the mile.) The first four that day were some of America's best: Tom O’Hara, Dyrol Burleson, Jim Grelle, and Jim Ryun. All broke the American 1500 meter record that day. In college, Tucker competed for San Jose State and was a member of the 1962 and 1963 NCAA Cross-Country Championship teams. He set school records in the 800 and 1500 meters. His 800 record stood for 15 years, while the 1500 meter school record was tops for 11 years. Now 75, he lives in Berkeley, CA.

Career/Profession? I retired in 2003 from the University of
California, Berkeley, as Manager of Early and Immediate
Outreach Programs. But I wasn’t ready to just sit still, so I
signed up for acting classes at a performing arts company for
seniors in Oakland, focusing on storytelling as an art form. I’ve performed

PROFILE--Phil Camp has been running for 56 years

Classic photo from the 1969 Culver City
Marathon, where Camp (398) finished
8th in 2:31
(3-19) Phil Camp goes back a few years and sticks out of the crowd. He's taller than most lifelong runners we know. Also faster, with a marathon best of 2:13. Truth is, he's even more impressive on a big Navy ship deck, where he has run a 4:39 mile on a sharp-turning eight-lap "track."

Your career profession? 22 year career as a Naval Officer and Aviator ('70-'92); Air Ambulance Pilot (7 yrs) Business/private jet pilot for Netjets (16 yrs).

When did you start running and why? Started running in my junior year of High School, Sept '63 because I could outrun the rest of the PE class in the weekly endurance run!

Peak running? Usually 70-80 miles/week and then 100 mile/week during a month leading up to a marathon.

Top performances or achievements? My best marathon was a 2:13:46 in

PROFILE--Ed Rousseau has been running for 62 years

Finishing his 24th straight
Twin Cities Marathon in 2006
(2-19) Ed Rousseau of Minneapolis has run 106 marathons, 117 ultramarathons, and loves races with “hours” in the title as in a 24-hour race or 72-hour race. He also looks forward to the “day” races, as in the six-day race he ran totaling 384 miles. “A guy’s got to run or head for a recliner,” says Roussseau, 79. “I’ll take running.” What he is most proud of though, more than his numerous age-group records, is his 35 years of sobriety.

When did you start running and why? September 1957.  After high school, I enlisted in the air force. During basic training, we had to run three miles on a track. My high school basketball years prepared me for endurance and running and also with a desire to win. I was not going to be last. I was going to win. I finished my first three-mile run out front and realized I was a good runner.  So I owe my running to the Air Force but that’s where I also started drinking.

After the Air Force I worked for a technology firm in Minnesota. My work progressed and so did my after-work drinking which cost me my marriage. A promotion 10 years later had me transferred to a project in Iran and located him in Tehran in 1974, just before the coup. I loved the country, and strangely started to jog because

PROFILE--Kirk Larson has been running for 44 years

(2-19) Kirk Larson always placed high in the 600-yard walk/run Presidential Fitness Challenge. He was a fast kid, but growing up in Chicago in the 50s, running was just part of the games he played in the streets and sandlots with his buddies. It wasn’t until he turned 60 that he got interested in competing in the USATF masters championships. He has to thank his friend and teammate, Jerry Learned, who was trying to put together an M60+ team for the Atlanta Track Club (ATC) for getting him involved in national competitions. Larson, now 67, and his wife, Susan Gantt, a runner turned swimmer and psychologist, reside in Atlanta, where he manages personal investments when not running with his ATC buddies or competing at USATF championships. 

When did you start running and why? January 1975. I was getting my graduate degree at Marquette University and for fun I’d go to the gym and shoot baskets. Afterwards I’d run a few laps around the basketball facility. To be honest, I don’t know what prompted me to start running. I guess I was tapping into the first running boom. I ran two marathons in my late 20s, including a sub-three, but didn’t like it. Too long and too hard on the body.

I started competing for the ATC in my mid-40s. At that time, I would have called myself a good local runner, but ATC had so many great runners I had to work hard to even be on the podium. Although my 5K PR is 16:54, most of my master’s races were in the upper 17 to low 18 range. But I had a blast and loved the camaraderie. Many of the ATC members were running marathons in their 40s and 50s, but I stuck with the shorter distances which I think really saved my legs.  By age 52 or 53, I consistently started to win my age group. Turning 60, I started attending the USATF championship events and loved it. I don’t run many local races anymore, as I prefer the competition of the masters events.

How much did you run per week in your peak years? Now? At my peak I ran 35 to 45 miles per week. For a long time now, it has been 25 to 35 miles, and part of that includes focused speed workouts, hills, and form drills.

What were some of your better/memorable races?
Hood to Coast 2002. Mike Anderson and I captained an ATC team.  We won masters with a team averaging over 48 years of age, were 10th overall, and averaged 5:56 per mile for the 196 miles.

Since turning 60, I have been part of 15 national championship teams at USATF Masters GP races, running for the ATC. We won the M60+ team GP in 2018. 

Individually, I have won a national championship, 5 silver and 7 bronze medals.The national championship was in August 2018 in my hometown, Atlanta, and my teammates and competitors at the award ceremony treated me to a standing ovation.That was a moment I will long remember!

I am proud of the fact that I have medalled at every distance at these championships other than road 8K. On the road: at the mile, 5K, 10K, 12K, and 15K.  XC at 5K, 8K, and 10K.

I placed third in the USATF Individual Grand Prix in 2014, 2016, and 2017, and won it 2018 (65-69).

How did you train differently from your younger years? Mileage was not that much different, but I do more focused workouts now, partially thanks to some great advice from Pete Magill. I’ve stayed consistent with five days a week for much of my running career. I do more tapering going into a race and get more recovery after. Rest is critical for us senior runners.

Has your diet changed through the years? I haven’t eaten red meat since 1974 and have been a vegetarian since 1990, although recently I have added wild caught salmon back into my diet. In general, my diet is pretty healthy and has been consistent much of my adult life. My weight hasn’t varied more than a pound or two since college. 

Cross Training: I don’t cross train in terms of cardio-vascular exercise. However, I spend huge amounts of time with flexibility and strength work (including Redcord). Meeting Aaron Mattes when I was in my late 30s and becoming very proficient in Active-Isolated Stretching and Strengthening has been a huge part of what has kept me running so well into my late 60s. I had a gym membership but gave it up a few years ago. Now I do all my stretching and strength work at home. I’ll do 45 minutes to an hour most every day.

How important is social running to you? If you were/are a competitive runner, can you adapt to the slower times? I love the great friends from around the country I have made at USATF championship races and being part of ATC. Running with the best keeps me motivated and on my toes. I’d rather have my butt get kicked by the best in the country than dominate in a local race.

I have adapted to slower times and am very proud of the fact that I have slowed “gracefully.” I went from many years of being a good local runner, to someone age-grading consistently in the mid 80th-percentile range because I slowed down less than the tables would predict.

Obstacles along the way: Knock on wood, I have stayed relatively injury free. Stretching, strength work, massage, preventative PT, good diet, relatively low mileage all being contributing factors.

A favorite quote: “In every race there is a crucial moment when the body wants to quit. Then it takes imagination and mental tenacity to survive the crisis. Otherwise, the penalty is defeat.”--Derek Ibbotson

Has running helped you with the aging process?  Absolutely. I think it has helped me feel, act, move and look younger than my years would indicate. I rarely get sick and I think my good fitness is the reason for that.

What three tips would you give a younger runner who wants to be a lifetime runner? 
1--Don’t over-train, and only do the type of racing that you want to do. You can still train hard at 50 and up, but be smart about it. 
2--Pay attention to diet, flexibility and strength work early on. It will pay big dividends as you get older. 
3--As you age, set a goal to slow down less than your competitors, and less than the age-graded tables predict.

What are the biggest lessons you have learned from running? Running has helped me stay physically and mentally fit; has been the source of developing many good friends; and, has given me a huge sense of accomplishment.  I also met my lovely wife through running.

PROFILE--Jim Austin ran 3:07 in the 1968 Boston Marathon ... and then some

(2-19) Jim Austin is too humble to say much about his career, as you'll see below, so we're going to fill in a few details here. Since 1972, he's been a professor at the Harvard Business School, from which he graduated. He was co-founder and chair of the HBS Social Enterprise Initiative, which has worked with nonprofits and socially oriented businesses around the globe. He has been the author or editor of 16 books in his area of expertise, and one--Gone Running--about his passion. In 2008, Austin received the Aspen Institute's Ashoka Award for professors who integrate social and environmental issues into their work. Gone Running describes runs he has taken in far-flung places, including Oaxaca, MEX, where he and his wife, Cathy, now live half the year. In 1968, Austin, now 76, finished 84th (3:07:21) in the Boston Marathon.

What was your career/profession? University Professor, Harvard Business School

When did you start running and why? In elementary school. I thought I was fast in my school, but finished last in our first track meet against other schools. Decided I wasn’t really much of a sprinter. Didn’t really start competitive running until high school cross-country and track (on the swimming team in between).

How much did you run in your peak years? When training for marathons, about 70. Otherwise about 40.

Top races or achievements?
*Boston Marathon – 1968: It was my first marathon, I had little idea

PROFILE--Mike Beeman has been running for 47 years

After 2017 Jacksonville Marathon,
with daughter, Melanie.
Mike Beeman doesn't have to estimate his total lifetime miles: He knows the total, as he has kept close track in his paper running logs. All told, he has covered more than 128,000 miles. Beeman, a 62, now lives and teaches in Georgia after 47 years in Londonderry NH. He has completed 41 consecutive Boston Marathons.

Career/profession? I am a marketing teacher and XC, track and basketball coach at Tift County High School in Tifton GA. I was also a retailer from 1981 -1996 in Londonderry NH (Total Sports). I also worked for Converse for 5 years with Ken Swenson in running promotions.

When did you start running and why? I started running in 1971 in order to get in shape for my sophomore year in basketball. I made the XC team and continued playing basketball through high school and at Merrimack (MA) College where I ran XC with Dave McGillivray and