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
New Orleans in 1980. I was also the first member of the Armed Forces to win the Marine Corps Marathon in 1979. I qualified for the Olympic Marathon Trails in '72, '76 and '80. In 1982, in the Manila International Marathon, I placed second to Waldemar Cherpinski, the two-time Olympic Marathon champ. I had a best masters marathon of 2:28, 8th overall, in the '89 Marine Corps Marathon. I ran 16:47 to win the 50-54 division at the Carlsbad 5K in 2000.

Yes, that's Camp, Frank Shorter,
and Jeff Galloway in the 1973
Florida Relays 10,000.
Estimate of your total lifetime miles? Actually never kept track of my miles over the years, except just prior to a major race, I would estimate somewhere between 110,000 and 120,000. My theory here is you only are entitled to so many miles, either burn them up in 40 years, or perhaps 60 years, maybe more! 

Current running, cross-training, etc? Since I was diagnosed with a fallen arch at 60, I have limited my running to 3 times a week, roughly a total of 15-20 miles. I augment this with usually 100-120 road mile on my bicycle, including a 52 mile Saturday ride with the Dead Runners Cycling Club.

Any recent race results? I dropped out of the Azalea Trail Run 10k last year about 1/2 mile from the finish with the early onset of heat exhaustion. Before that I finished a 4 mile hilly XC in Balboa Park, I think 2nd in the 70-74 division.

Does it bother you to be slowing down? It doesn't really bother me to run slower, but my pacemaker doesn't allow me to feel as comfortable even early in a run. It establishes a preset heart rate schedule that cause me to feel tired before I finish the first mile. My cardiologist is going to make some further adjustments after I get back to running after a current calf strain. (  I'm inspired by some other local over 70 runners. I know I can beat most of them if I could just sort out the heart issue. Running may be the ultimate key to my longevity in fighting Coronary Artery Disease and Bradycardia.

Here's that 4:39 on the U.S.S. Coral Sea
in the West Pacific, 1974.
Diet and weight changes? At 6' 1," I'm 180 lbs compared to 155 forty years ago. My new wife feeds me oatmeal every morning, otherwise I still eat regular servings of meat and carbs. I take vitamin E, C, B Complex and D3.

Injuries and health issues? Stress fractures in each lower leg (lousy shoes in the old days!). Arthroscopic knee surgeries, one each. I have Coronary Artery Disease, two stents at age 58 and a pacemaker for Bradycardia at age 68. I was diagnosed with a fallen arch at age 60, but my podiatrist built me new orthotics and told me to throttle back a bit. Still truckin'!

Tips for prospective lifetime runners? For the young runners, the best races lie ahead, so try not to burn out in High School. Just because you didn't blossom and become a State Champion in High School doesn't mean you can't be a World Class Marathoner in your 30's. Focus on shorter faster races when you are young; speed doesn't last forever. Stay with negative splits in the marathon until you start running under 2:20! 

Last fall with wife, Judy, a competitve
tennis player.
How does running & fitness improve your life on a daily/weekly basis? It helps me stay abreast of my heart issues and stay in touch with our local running community. My wife of two years says I owe her 20 years, so I need to survive to 89 or beyond!!

What are the biggest lessons you have learned from running? Hard work always pays off. The wimpy kid in High School has the potential to be a champion some day. I never want to look back and say I should have done better, but I almost always do! If you are a competitive person in your youth, you will always be a competitive person even in old age. In old age, be comfortable with who you are and treat that old man/lady with kindness and compassion! 
Can't resist a photo like this!