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

PROFILE--At 60, Dave Whiteside is running fast ultra-marathons with a hip replacement

(July 2020) At 40, Dave Whiteside learned that he needed a hip-replacement. He waited 10 years, losing fitness and gaining weight, before he had the procedure. Then the former soccer player started running. The 60-yr-old from Indian Rocks Beach, FL, has been going strong ever since, with a marathon PR of 3:18. Recently--are you sitting down?--he ran 200 miles in a training week. A Keto diet disciple, Whiteside also hopes to encourage more hip-replacement folks to pursue an active and joy-filled life.


Career-profession: Computer professional for more than 40 years experience, covering everything from mainframe, client server and mobile apps. Started off as a computer programmer but now product management working for Watsco, an HVAC distribution company in Miami.


When and why did you start running? Oddly enough I didn’t “start running” until after my hip replacement

Larry Cole has been running for 69 years

(July, 2020) At 85, Larry Cole was the oldest finisher in the 2019 Boston Marathon. His name isn’t listed in the results as he finished after the six-hour cut off. Although he started running in high school, Cole didn’t run a marathon until he was 72. Now 86, Cole, from Harwich MA, has a lot of great running memories. In 2018, he served as co-grand marshal of the Boston Marathon that honored the 100
th anniversary of the WW1-era Boston Marathon of 1918. The grand marshals were selected for their past military service. Cole himself served in the Korean War. As an athlete, Cole’s first passion was hockey. He ran just to stay in shape for his favored sport. When he was 82, he finally quit hockey. “My team was better off playing short-handed," he jokes.
 
Career-profession? I retired in 1997 after a career as an administrator and economics professor at the University of New Hampshire and later an economist in the private sector. I was active in Harwich politics as a selectman and on several committees on Cape Cod. For many years I volunteered to drive disabled veterans to appointments at the Providence VA Medical Center.

When did you start running and why? I started running my senior year at Vermont Academy in the spring of 1951. It was a school requirement to play

PROFILE--Steve Kearney has been running for 57 years

(June 2020) Steve Kearney has been running cheerfully (check out his photos) since the fall of 1963. He's one of the early Midwestern runners, and someone who has stuck close to his roots through the decades, teaching and coaching at the Indiana high school he graduated from himself. Now 71, he has logged over 2000 miles for the last five years, and finished second in his age group (70-74, 1:56:04) in the Publix Atlanta Half Marathon held the day after the Olympic Marathon Trials last February. He lives by a simple but effective mantra: "When everything seems to be going wrong, there is always something you can do to improve the situation.


Career/profession? I spent 44 years teaching and coaching at Chesterton (Indiana) HS, my alma mater.


When did you start running and why? I started in the fall of 1963 as a sophomore after stunning