PROFILE: Billy Shea has been running for 51 years

(Aug. 2019) Though he now lives in northern California, Billy Shea is one of the many longtime runners from southeastern Connecticut inspired by the legendary John J. Kelley. Shea says he began running, in socks only (no shoes), the afternoon in 1968 when he first saw Kelley run a local road race. Shea was 11 at the time. Now 63, he continues training and racing hard despite hip replacement. He counsels others to run by minutes and feel, not by miles, and enjoys quoting Yogi Berra: "It ain't over 'til it's over."

Career/profession: I was a mental health counselor for 12 years at the Reliance House in Norwich Ct. I then moved on after taking another position within Charter Oak. But it was eventually shut down due to the state budget cuts. I then became employed by Foxwood's casino and retired in 2015. Currently working at Fleet Feet in Menlo Park, CA.

When and why did you start running? My running career began on the third Sunday in 1968. I read the morning paper and saw that there was a