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

PROFILE--Carolyn Mather has run more than 217,000 liftime miles

At just past 70 years old, Carolyn Mather has run far more miles than any woman in the world ... or at least those tracked by www.100kLifetime Miles--more than 217,000 miles. In fact, there are only a handful of men with more miles than Mather. Her biggest years--well over 7000 miles--have been the last three, which came on the heels of her husband's death. He--Steve Mather--played a big role in distance running also, as he basically invented the science of fluid tables and distribution to elite athletes in the world's biggest, most important marathons. In addition to her high weekly mileage, in December Carolyn Mather (Morganton, GA) won her age group at the 2018 USATF Club XC Championships. She repeated this past weekend at the USATF National XC meet in Tallahassee FL.

Your career/profession? I am retired from medical education and health care management. I am a registered nurse and have a PhD in Educational Leadership and Research and Statistics. I have taken up a second career in retirement as a writer for Running Journal and Fortius Media/RunBlogRun.

When did you start running and why? I started running in the summer of 1978 when I was living in the coed dorm at the University of South Florida and finishing my masters degree. After having worked as a full time middle school teacher and coach, part time professor and graduate student,mother, wife and general housekeeper and cook, I was completely at a loss for something to occupy my time. So I started running.

How much did you run in your peak years? Way too much. 140-150 miles per

PROFILE--Jeff Benjamin has been running for 38 years

Racing in the rain in 2002.
Jeff Benjamin has been a Staten Island running mainstay since 1981. Recently he was awarded the 2019 Staten Island A.C. Lou Marli Community Service Award to the running community. Benjamin will receive the award at the annual SIAC gala on Feb. 16. Past honorees include New York running legends Joe Kleinerman, Kurt Steiner, Art Hall, and Fred Lebow. Benjamin, 53, is also an prolific running writer, who frequently reports on the sport for the Staten Island Advance, Runblogrun.com, and other running publications.

Career-profession? I have been an American History Teacher at New Dorp HS since 1997 & have taught in the New York City Dept of Education since 1987. In 1988 I became interested in doing some sort of Track & Field/ Running articles. Fred Lebow was kind enough to provide me with a press credential to the old NYRR NY Games T&F meet held at Columbia University.

I’ve done pieces for the local Staten Island Advance (SILIVE.COM), Freddi Carlip’s The Runners’ Gazette, and am now a Senior Writer For Larry Eder at The Running Network and Runblogrun.com which started out as American Athletics Magazine Back In 1989.

When did you start running and why? In the Spring of 1981 when I was a 16 year old Sophomore at Susan Wagner HS I watched from the stands as a teacher named Steve Lerner was running laps on the old black asphalt school track. I decided to join him even though I was wearing jeans, and I completed 5 miles (20 laps) that day. 

A month later my parents learned

PROFILE--Tom Perri has been running for 44 years


Perri runs many races as a
marathon pace leader.
Tom Perri is a four-time finisher of the Fifty-States Club. He also achieved a goal of a sub 4-hour marathon in all 50 states. Perri’s lifetime running statistics doesn’t have one number that isn’t a triple digit. His lifetime miles as of 2018 stand at 107,897 over a span of 44 years, and his 2,000th career race was completed at Missoula Marathon on 7/9/2017. Perri is most proud of his role as a marathon pacer. “I get more joy out of helping others achieve their goals than out of any of my personal accomplishments,” says Perri, who runs an average of 40 marathons a year.

When did you start running and why? May of 1975 when I ran track my first two years of high school. In my junior year I switched to band and honors program. I was a geek. I picked it up again in my 20s because it was a cheap form of exercise. I ran my first marathon in 1993 at age 32 to celebrate finishing graduate school. I drove to the start of the Twin Cities Marathon and slept in my car until it was time to take the 5:00 a.m. bus to the start. I had no idea what I was getting into. By mile 17 my feet were killing me and bleeding from blood blisters. I walked the last nine miles, finishing in a respectful 3:51. My first reaction was, “One and done. Never doing that again.” That was 25 years and 472 marathons ago.

How much did you run per week in your peak years? Now? I rarely ran over 40 miles a week, which did not include my races. The only reason I continue to average 48 plus miles weekly is due to the amount of races that I run – especially with about 40 marathons a year. 

Now my training varies depending upon my travel to do marathon/races, with sometimes doing two to three races in a weekend. In my early days of running when doing mostly 10K and shorter distances, it was not uncommon for me to do two to five races per day on a weekend. More recently though I have doing shorter races like 5K’s or 1 mile runs, etc, the day before and/or day after the marathon to get in a little speed work. I do not include speed workouts in my mix of runs as I try to stay injury free and run with fresh legs.

What were some of your better/memorable races?
My favorite marathon to date has been the Runners World Tulsa Road/Road Marathon where I took 1st place overall at 55 years old. Then the Billings Marathon where I finished my sub 4 hour marathon goal in all 50 States and obtained a 1st place 55-59 Age Group award. To date I have 494 overall wins and/or Age Group awards out of 2,081 career races.
Easy Does It 8K on shores of
Medicine Lake in Plymouth MN.

How important is social running to you? If you were/are a competitive runner, can you adapt to the slower times and enjoy a social run? I don’t run socially unless you count my pacing – almost every weekend -  as social. I talk to the runners in my group, always reassuring them and calming them down when they get anxious. I was never competitive unless you count my personal goals, which I always attain.

Obstacles along the way: In 2005 I underwent ACL surgery for a torn meniscus that was unrelated to running. Thirty-one days later I walked-ran a marathon. I know my body and how to take care of it. If I feel a tweak or a ping somewhere I addresses it immediately with a massage or stretching.

A favorite quote: "Limits exist only in the souls of those who do not dream." Not sure who said it.

Running-training philosophy: Running is my life and my career. I never married or had kids, so this is what I do. And like any career, I work hard, don’t miss work, and I’m goal oriented. No one gives me a raise if I do well but I get my bonuses from the emails that pour in from runners in my pace group that I helped set a PR or a BQ.

What are the some of the changes you have seen in running? Since I started running marathons in 1993, I have seen more females on the race circuit, which is a good thing for everyone. The second biggest change is technology, as in head phones, Garmin watches, GPS trackers, etc, which I am not a fan of as it takes the fun out of running. With headphones you don’t hear the crowds cheering which is the best part of the race. And then there’s the bling factor and the race fees. Why do I have to pay $180 to run a marathon when I don't care about the bling. 

Disney, of course.
Running in all 50 states, which I have done four times, has also changed since I started that goal in 2002. Back then there weren’t as many marathons as there are now, so the planning was a lot more difficult. For example, in 2005 there were basically 314 marathons in the United States, with a high percentage taking place in October and November. Today there are more than 1,300 marathons in the United States, according to the latest statistics from the Running USA Annual Marathon report. There are now only 27 days in the calendar where there isn’t a marathon.

How has running helped you with the aging process? What aging process? I’m too busy running a marathon every weekend to think about getting old. Running keeps me fit, healthy, active, and engaged which is the best way to stay youthful as we age. And I have a great social network of friends that I see at races, even if it is just once a year. I have friends everywhere. 

What are the biggest lessons (life lessons and running lessons) you learned from running?  To follow your dream down the road and don’t let the little bumps get in the way. And more importantly, share the gift of running with others.

What advice would you give a younger runner who wants to run for life? The most important goal is to make sure that you are having fun.  Don’t make running all about getting BQs and PRs.  Some days will go as planned and other days will be a total washout or mess. When the body tells you it is tired, then slow down and/or take a few days off. I am not a streaker so if I am feeling not 100%, I take a day or two off until I am ready to get back to running.


PROFILE--Michael Anderson has been running for 44 years


USATF 10K Masters Championships,
April 2018. Photo by Michael Scott.
Michael Anderson has been running for 44 years and 131,000 miles as of December, 2018, and has all his logs to prove it. The son of a career Army officer, Mike Anderson moved around a lot as a kid and learned not to get attached to anything. But he also learned to make friends fast and build relationships. He swore that as an adult he would live in one place, and that’s become Atlanta Georgia. 

He ran his first marathon in 1978 and continues to be excited by competition in the USATF Masters LDR Grand Prix. “It is motivating and humbling at the same time to compete against the best masters runners in the country,” says Anderson. “I feel fortunate I am still healthy enough to do it, and looking forward to competing as long as I can.”  He is currently Director of Human Resources for the global logistics provider company DHL.

When did you start running and why? I started in September 1975 as a high schooler trying to stay in shape for football. We had to complete a 12-minute run for conditioning and I was the only guy on the team who

PROFILE--Don Ardell has been running for 41 years, and practically invented the Wellness movement

The New York Times's immensely popular personal-health section is called "Well." That name and the entire wellness movement owes much of its existence to Don Ardell, profiled below. Though little known among today's runners, Ardell, 80, has been competing at a national-class level for four decades, even after moving primarily to the triathlon and duathlon worlds. Meanwhile, he has kept publishing books and wellness newsletters to keep everyone up to date on the latest on whole-body-and-spirit health.


Career or profession? My initial career was urban planning in 1965, followed by several years as a health planner. In 1973, I began developing and promoting the wellness concept. After 25 years, I modified the concept in 1998 to REAL wellness, which is an acronym for a science-based approach to