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

PROFILE--Dr. Jon Wang has been running for 36 years

Dr Jon Wang in the 2014 Athens Classic Marathon
(Jun. 2020) Born in China and a smoker for 25 years in his youth, Jon Wang didn't have the healthiest of life beginnings. But when he turned things around, he turned fully. He became a doctor to help others, and an endurance athlete to help himself. Now 79 and living in Tucson AZ, he follows the "I am an animal/child/artist/saint" words of Dr. George Sheehan, along with his own personal medical philosophy. He may be older and slower, but that hasn't dimmed his outlook. "
Now I focus on the gift of being able to get outdoors, break a sweat, and absorb the many treasures of the desert land in which I have the privilege of living," he says.

Career-profession? Orthopaedic surgeon and also Fellowship-trained in Orthopaedic Sports Medicine.  As a Resident Surgeon in NYC had opportunity to learn from NY Mets, Cornell Univ. and numerous high school athletes. In Military,  I learned from my teammates in Army

PROFILE--Doug Kurtis has been running for 52 years

Kurtis broke 3 hours in 5 consecutive decades.
(Jun. 2020) Doug Kurtis has long been recognized as one of the U.S.'s toughest, most consistent marathon runners. While working fulltime at Ford motors in Detroit, he accumulated 76 sub-2:20 marathons (PR--2:13:34), and won international marathons around the globe. He has also served as race director of several big Detroit-area races. Now retired at 68 and living just outside Asheville, NC, Kurtis continues running about 30mi/wk. He says he succeeded by investing in this talents. "The payoff can be tenfold," he notes.

Career-profession? I’ve worn many hats. Retired from Ford Motor Company as an IT systems analyst (31 years in 2007). Professional Marathon Runner (1981-1995). Running Columnist – Detroit Free Press (2001-2007). Race Director of four Major races in Detroit (1993 – . Currently still race director of the St. Patrick's day Corktown races).

When did you start running and why? 1968 – Junior year of H.S. X/C. My gym teacher encouraged me to join the team. I actually won

PROFILE--Rich Castro has been running for 59 years

(June 2020) As a longtime resident of Boulder, CO, Rich Castro has been close to that community's many famous runners and races. More than just a participant, he has als
o launched and nurtured some of the most important initiatives. Today, at 72, he continues to run and compete vigorously, while also supporting many running events. He notes: "What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal.” He also advises us to "invest in yourself. Take care of your body" and to connect with the global community.

Career-profession? I was fortunate enough to make a living as a recreational sports administrator at the University of Colorado for 34 years, while combining it with my passion for running. The university administration encouraged me, and that latitude was the cornerstone for the majority of my accomplishments.


How and why did you start running? I grew up in La Verne, CA a small town in southern California that had a great track history. The local hero was the Rev. Bob Richards, the first man on the Wheaties Box and

PROFILE--Neil Rosen has been running for 40 years

(June 2020) Neil J. Rosen seems to be a man of few words. That makes him like a lot of other runners. He began running 40 years ago, ran many strong races in the Philadelphia area (including a best marathon of 2:33:24), and now lives in Tucson AZ. At 67, he still races frequently, and wouldn't mind if he could turn back the clock a few years. "I detest getting older and slowing down," he admits. He keeps at it because he's inspired by the many stalwart age-group runners that he races against (or reads about in articles like this one.) Also, he's no quitter, believing that "The final chapter hasn't been written until you've given up."

Career/profession:
Retired draftsman, aerospace telemetry.


When did you first start running, and why? I started running in April, 1980--40 years ago. First for

PROFILE--Barbara Latta has been running (and streaking) for 36 years

(May 2020) Barbara Latta has the second longest women's running streak in the world, having passed 13,300 days in a row (almost 36.5 years). She has run on every continent and in 55 countries. In her missionary work, she has landed in some dangerous places, requiring creativity. She ran on rooftops in Haiti, porches in Cuba and recruited the Ambassador to Lebanon as her running partner in Liberia. Latta, 78, from Raleigh, North Carolina, is also a member of the Citizens Emergency Response Team, a group of volunteers who are trained to help first responders in a major emergency.


Career/Profession: I am a retired elementary school librarian as well as a college reference librarian. But I have never retired

PROFILE--David Cook has been running for 42 years


No better prize than fresh lobstah.
(May 2020) David Cook started running in 1978, and didn't win any prizes for almost 40 years. He didn't run for the glory, he ran for the feel-good. Maybe that's one reason he's still going strong. Cook never ran more than about 22 miles a week, but he mixed it up with modest doses of cycling, swimming, and good humor. The latter is crucially important; don't we all know it! Cook's advice for other runners: "Don't take yourself too seriously," and "Be humble, and treat others kindly." We'd like to second those emotions.

Your career-profession? I spent the first 19 years of my career in shallow water oceanography working for Raytheon Co. in Newport RI. I switched to the environmental field in 1989, set up my own company, and have been an environmental consultant since that time. I do inspections of commercial properties, testing of soil and ground water, and cleanups. Before work, I grew up in Morristown, NJ, graduated from Hamilton College, and got a doctorate in geology from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. I moved to Connecticut in 1969, and have lived in Lyme since 1971.

When did you start running and why? I got into exercise early, and did swimming and cross country in high school and college. In my early working career, my exercise came from swimming during the lunch hour at the Newport YMCA. My brother in law talked me into trying a 5K

PROFILE--John Volkman has been running (and marathoning) for 39 years

(May, 2020) John Volkman, of Fresno CA, was sailing along pretty smoothly last fall, with more than 150 marathons in the bag in his 69 years, when he started feeling chest pains. He got himself to a cardiologist--smart guy, this John!--and learned that he needed surgery and a stent. This is perhaps the news most feared by runners, but Volkman didn't let it keep him down for long. On March 1 of this year, he returned to the site of his first marathon in 1981 (Napa Valley), and covered the distance yet again. He's also one of those guys who proposed to his wife in a marathon. She was waiting for him at the top of Heartbreak Hill in Boston; he got there, and dropped to one knee. Video links below. 

Career-profession? 36 years as a high school librarian

When did you start running and why? Dared by teacher/friend to run a 6 mile race because he said I wasn’t in very good shape for our city-league basketball team. That was in March 1980. Exactly a year later I ran my first marathon and broke 3 hours.

How much did you run in your peak years? 50-60 miles per week for 10 years and then I decided to get more

PROFILE: Covid-19 OR nurse Robin Venick has been running for 50 years

(Apr. 2020) Robin Venick is a prolific runner, having completed 68 marathons, including Comrades in South African, and 5 Ironman Triathlons. She loves a challenge, and that's what she facing now as an OR nurse at Manhattan's NYU Langone Medical Center during the Covid-19 pandemic. "I always try to remain calm and positive in these crisis situations," she says. "I’m a glass half full kind of girl." Venick, 57, lives in Manhattan with her husband, Jeff, also a runner. Both are also art lovers, so after every marathon in a new city, they visit local art museums.

Career-profession? (See above.) In normal times I do all types of open-heart surgery and specialize in congenital heart defects on babies. Also, we do a lot of heart and lung transplants. I grew up in Maryland and attended Johns Hopkins Hospital for my nursing degree.

When did you start running and why? I started running as a little girl, probably around 7, with all the boys

PROFILE--James Dill has been running--and walking--for 50 years


(Apr. 2020) James Dill trained over 100 miles/week in the early 1980s, ran a marathon PR of 2:18:45, and qualified for the 1984 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in Buffalo. He continued running hard for another 25 years, then switched to mostly walking to give his knees a break. Now 62, he lives in Richmond, VA, and has picked up fiction writing as a new passion, recently publishing his first novel, Racing Shadows (more below). He says he writes as he ran, with particularly long efforts on weekends. 

Career-profession? I am a nonprofit executive director (8 years) for Virginia’s small colleges. Prior to that I was a trust and investment officer with Wells Fargo Bank for 17 years.

When and why did you start running? I started running in 7 th grade junior high school (1970), although I always loved to run as a kid. I was not a ball sports kid, so running cross country appealed to me. After cross country, I went out for track, inspired by Frank Shorter, Steve Prefontaine,

PROFILE--Dennis Marsella--aka The Coatman--has been running for 39 years


(Apr. 2020) Dennis Marsella calls himself "the original stunt runner," and he might be just that. Or the most-enduring. Now 69 and living in Fort Lauderdale, FL, he started as "Coatman" in 1981--no easy feat, wearing a hot winter coat in the Miami Marathon. Through the years, he has evolved to pizza delivery and sometimes champagne server, particularly in the New York City Marathon, which he has completed 33 times. You could never call Marsella boring or colorless--maybe eccentric. But he's covered 130,000 miles by his count, and is planning on a lot more. "I want to run until I'm 100," he says.

Career-profession? I worked 15 years as lifeguard, also a security guard, and yes I have been paid to advertise for companies while I do training runs and races all over Fort Lauderdale.

How did you start running and why? I first ran track in 1967 at Rutherford High School in Fort Lauderdale. We also ran as part of lifeguard training. I was motivated to run my first Miami Orange Bowl Marathon in 1981 as a survival stunt

PROFILE--Stefan Fekner has been running for 40 years

(Apr. 2020) Stefan Fekner has been running in and around Edmonton, Alberta, Canada for 40 years. A city planner who doesn't drive a car, he gets around on foot. (And occasionally on bike). Fekner, now 67, has a marathon PR of 2:28, but for many years specialized in ultra-running, particularly the 100K distance. He often used Thoreau and other similar thinkers to inspire him "to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”

Career-profession? City Planner 1978-2014, Edmonton, Alberta. Awards: Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP) 1995. Eric W. Thrift Award of Planning. Excellence Grand Prize; Alberta Association CIP Award of Merit – 2008 and 2009.

Part time employment/activities: University of Alberta Faculty of Extension online instructor in Applied Land Use Planning; elections (municipal, provincial, federal) as registration officer; volunteer at track and field meets. 

When did you start running and why? In high school, we did not have a track, but I managed to run around Victoria Park and one year, a 3-mile run on the streets. I hated it. In 1980, I saw

PROFILE--Tommy Hughes holds the age-59 world record in the marathon, 2:27:59


Frankfurt Marathon, 2019. Photo by Keith McClure
(Apr. 2012) Ireland's Tommy Hughes has been on a record-setting spree of late. Last October, at 59, he ran 2:27:52 in the Frankfurt Marathon to set a single-age record. After turning 60 in early January, he set an over-60 record for 8K, clocking a 25:57. That's basically 5:12 pace for 5 miles at age 60. And Hughes thinks he can go faster. In fact, he was planning for a big effort in the London Marathon in mid-April ... but you know what happened to that and all the other springtime races. Hughes was an elite marathoner in his youth, but then took 16 years away from the sport--years 32 to 48--while he focused on his electrician business and trying to figure out a health problem--parathyroidism. Now he's making up for lost time, and dragging his 34-year old son, Eoin, along with him. Eoin ran 2:31:30 at Frankfurt last, giving father and son the F/S combined marathon record of 4:59:22.

Career/profession: I am a self employed electrician.

When and why did you start running? I started running in 1981 to loose some weight to play for my local Gaelic football team and soon realized I was better at the running.


Best races? I won the Marrakech Marathon in 1988 in 2.15.48 and was dubbed "The Marrakech Express." I also won the Dublin Marathon in 1991 in 2.14.46. The next year, I returned to Marrakech, and ran my PB 2.13.59, one second inside the qualifying time for the Barcelona Olympics. That got me selected to run the Olympic Marathon for Ireland. I finished 72nd in 2:32:55.

How much did you train then? Now? I ran about 100 mile a week. I tried to get it up to 140, but kept getting frequent injuries. I also had long gaps away from the sport due to work.

Now I run about 120 miles a week in build up to a marathon with a few sit-ups and press-ups and very little stretching.

Recent races? I have run 16.13 for 5km, 32.53 for 10km, 54.46 for 10 mile, 71.57 for half marathon and 2.27.52 for marathon, all world records for a 59 year old. Recently I ran 25.57 for 5 mile which was an over 60 8km world record.

I am running faster now because of getting a medical problem sorted (parathyroidism) so I am grateful for this. I drive myself on to do my best.

Any diet and/or weight changes? My weight has been much the same when I am training and racing. I do put weight on when I am working away from home. I eat a very balanced diet and take beetroot juice. I don’t take any supplements.


Tommy and Eoin Hughes
Injuries or health issues? The major health issue was the parathyroidism as it affected my mood, made me tired very quickly and other issues. It was detected when I gave a blood sample, and it showed up in the results.

Philosophy of running and life? Strive to do your best and to always enjoy your running. It's great to get out to the races, and meet lots of people of similar interests.

Running keeps me grounded and gives me a sense of well-being. It has saved my life over the years, mostly from alcohol. Running teaches you that no matter how far down you become, there is always a way out.

PROFILE--Charles Kastner has been running for 50 years


Mary and Charles Kastner,
post Jan. 1, 2000 marathon in
New Zealand
(Mar. 2020) Charles Kastner has played lots of roles throughout his life: Peace Corps volunteer (he started the first running program for blind students in the Republic of the Seychelles, and put together the country’s first wheelchair basketball team), investment banker, husband, father, marathoner, writer. He married his high school sweetheart (junior high actually). They have three children (all have run marathons and/or ultras) and five grandchildren. He lives in the same town where he grew up, Seattle. He calls his wife, Mary, his favorite running partner, though they now spend more time walking than running, since she has several autoimmune diseases. Between writing and fundraising for his wife’s disease, Kastner, now 65, is keeping busy and enjoying life.

Career/Profession? I am a writer. My latest books are Race Across America, and The 1929 Bunion Derby. For more, visit:  https://charleskastner.com 

When did you start running and why? In September 1970 when I was a skinny 15-year-old sophomore at Inglemoor High School in Kenmore, Washington. My PE teacher took one look at me, and

PROFILE--Rich Fargo has won 8 Escarpment Trail races, and is aiming higher

(Mar. 2020) Rich Fargo has one of the most impressive running resumes imaginable, and still very few have ever heard his name. Most notably, he's an eight-time winner of the Escarpment Trail Run, often called the "Boston Marathon of the Eastern trail races." Here's what you can expect: "The trail is viewed by many as an exaggeration of the term. It is extremely rocky and a runner must expect to navigate over boulders, downed trees, gullies and hidden roots the entire distance. Contestants must be prepared to deal with any of the forest's natural barriers, such as bees, slippery rocks, porcupines, black bears (not probable, but possible)." 

Yeah, that's Fargo's kind of race. He got a good start in the sport from his high-school xc coach, John J. Kelley, the 1957 Boston Marathon winner.

Career-profession? I worked in engineering for 36 years. Recently retired from Otis Elevator where I had many roles in new product development

When did you start running and why? I started running in Junior High School, because I enjoyed it, liked being

PROFILE--Mary Button ran 20 sub-3 marathons, and now walks nearly as much



(Mar. 2020) In her prime, Mary Button qualified for two Olympic Marathon Trials and recorded
a personal best of
2:42:11. Along the way, she ran 20 sub-3 marathons despite modest training of about 60 miles a week. Now 61, she is no longer running but often completes long, multi-day walk-hikes (caminos) in Europe. She says, "My philosophy of life (and running and walking and aging) is to savor the moment and live in the present. Always be grateful for your health, and don't put things on the back burner."

Career-profession? My husband and I operated a running apparel company, RaceReady for 18 years.
I am retired now, but I am an environmental and political activist an environmental and political activist
who serves on the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of the non-profit Friends of Griffith
Park (Los Angeles).

When and why did you start running? I running in high school in the fall of 1972 in southern New
Jersey when I was a freshman in high school. Our swim coach suggested we take up another sport in
order to become better swimmers. We had swim practice three times a week. It wasn’t called “cross training” back then, but the idea was

PROFILE--Jay Birmingham has been running for 62 years

Jacksonville Beach Run, 2017
(Mar. 2020) Jay Birmingham, of Fleming Island FL, was a track and cross country coach and teacher (biology, human anatomy, physiology) for 27 years at both the college and high school level. He also ran a running store in Jacksonville, FL, early in the running boom. He retired in 2018 and, now 75, has resumed running every day, and taken up piano, guitar, cooking, gardening, writing and travel. Among his many running achievements, Birmingham still holds the record for a solo, unsupported USA Transcon run. In 1980, he covered 2,964 miles in 71 days, 22 hours, 59 minutes.

When did you start running and why? April 1958 as part of my seventh-grade homeroom team in Wilmington, Ohio. Never stopped running. I'm proudest of my longevity in the sport.  I've always seen myself as a "full-spectrum" runner, competing with enthusiasm in

PROFILE--Gwen Jacobson has run 71 marathons in the last 10 years

(Feb. 2020) Gwen Jacobson has made up for lost time. In just 10 years of running, the 61-year-old has completed 71 marathons (the most in one year is 14); won the 2019 Minnesota Runner of the Year for W60-64; and tied for second in the United States (behind Joan Benoit Samuelson) and fourth in the world in for best women's marathon times in the 60-64 age group.  In her spare time during 2019, she completed her 50 States marathon tour, and set a personal best in the marathon.  She resides in Rochester, MN, but through running she has traveled the world.

Career? I retired on 12/31/2017 after a career of over 40 years in the insurance industry. In May of 2018 I went back to work as a supplemental employee for Mayo Clinic as a Member Service Rep at the Dan Abraham Healthy Living Center, Mayo Clinic’s employee wellness center. I enjoy the benefits of a free gym membership as well as working with people and sharing my love of fitness.

When did you start running and why? I started running in January 2010 to train for a 5K race for a co-worker’s husband who was

PROFILE--Dr. John Scott runs for his health ... but mainly for others' health


Dr. John Scott, Myanmar
(Feb. 2020) Some of the runners we profile on this site have long and impressive running resumes. Others have been running for a long time without many road-race bragging rights. They stand out in other ways. Dr. John Scott of Quincy, IL, is in this corner. While he's been running for 40 years, his local health promotion and international medical-missionary work set him apart. "I believe health is physical, mental, and spiritual," says Scott, who turns 69 next week. And he lives his own words.

Career-profession? I am a board certified internal medicine physician. I am a fellow of American College of Physicians. I
have been in practice for 37 years, all in Quincy, IL.

When did you start running and why? I started in 1980 when we moved from the University of Missouri-Columbia to
Madison, WI for my residency program. I started because I ran to a code in the hospital, and the nurse asked if she should code me before the patient? Apparently, I was badly out of breath. That made me think I should begin actual running. 

How much did you run in your peak years, miles/week? In my peak years, I ran about 50-60 miles per week.

What were your top race performances or running achievements you are most proud of? My first marathon was in 1988. The weather was so bad the airport was closed for a time: cold and snowy. With terrible wind. But I finished. I have done two 24 hour ultra marathon equalizer races in Des Moines, Iowa. In October 2005 I placed 5th with 76.2 miles.

I like to run different races. My wife and I do international medical missions and in January, 2016, we participated in a running race in downtown Yangon, Myanmar. I ran a couple of the River to River relay races in southern Illinois – the Mississippi River to the Ohio River, a total of 80 miles total with 8 runners. 

I also had the great fortune of helping to start two local races. One was the area's only night race, but it no longer exists. The second is a fundraiser for Med Assist. It's called the "Bridge the Gap to Health" race. It crosses over the Mississippi two times. This coming May 16, 2020, is the 20th anniversary. In 19 years, we've raised $842,771.49 actual dollars, which has been leveraged into $19,863,459.79 worth of prescription medications for those benefiting from this program.

An estimate of your total lifetime running miles? Over 58,000

How much are you running and cross-training now? I am doing 15 miles per week now. Strength work? No. Stretching? Only when my muscles hurt.

Any recent race results? Bridge the Gap, May 2019, 5K in 36:39


Scott finishes the race he founded,
the "Bridge the Gap to Health."
Does it bother you that you are slower now? I have always felt that health is Physical, Mental and Spiritual, and running is health. I use this in my practice. I run for health, and races are my carrots/rewards. Don’t die. Just finish.

How have your diet and weight changed through the years, if at all? I am probably 20 pounds heavier. My diet is a local Mexican restaurant with pizza and beef nachos on the weekends. During the week, I eat Lean Cuisine or chili. I love to run outside in all four seasons here in Illinois. I do take a multivitamin and calcium.

What injuries or other health issues have you faced through the years? I suffered I had a T 7 compression fracture on 11-30-15. I had osteoporosis so I now take vitamin D, and multi vitamins with
trace elements. After being under the care of a Bone Health specialist at Barnes Hospital West in St. Louis, my dexa scans are phenomenal. I have endured bone-on-bone in my right knee for years. And all the common over-use injuries.

A favorite inspirational quote? "Health: It's physical, mental, and spiritual."

Three tips for hopeful lifetime runners? 
1--Speed kills. 
2--Do not compete.
3--Enjoy the outside world that the Lord created in all the glorious seasons.
Amby Burfoot, Candy Scott, John Scott,
Quincy Bayview Bridge across Mississippi.


How does running and fitness improve your life on a daily/weekly basis? I am not obese. It makes me take care of my health. I can still run the grandchildren and adult
daughters into the ground. My daughters and I can exchange running tips and stories. I am not a hypocrite to my patients. I practice what I preach. I encourage every patient to walk, to do their personal best. If they only walk to the refrigerator to grab a beer, and then to the bathroom to pee, I encourage them to walk around the block. 

For runners, I encourage them to do one more race above
what they have done. Running is a good time to remember to pray and be grateful.