PROFILE--Ian Barnes has been running for 65 years. And he's still winning.

Photo here and below by Karen Harland.
(Oct 2020) Last week Ian Barnes gained at least 15 minutes of fame when a BBC video circulated widely around the Internet. In the video, Barnes, 85, finishes a one-mile track race in England in 8:10--apparently a British record for his age. That's also faster than the American record for an 85-year old. Members of Barnes's club, Darlington Harriers, helped Lifetime Running contact Barnes, and he graciously responded to our questions (in a very understated, British sort of way.) Barnes has become the first lifetime runner to recommend golf for cross-training. He's no softie, though. He's still running 40 to 50 miles a week, and believe in the no pain-no gain philosophy. "The harder you train, the luckier you get," he says.

Career-profession? I was employed  as a  Legal Executive  in the legal profession.

 

When did you begin running and why? I started running in 1955. The local harriers club was advertising  for new members in the local press. As I had  enjoyed running at school and in the army, I felt I should give it try. That was the beginning of my journey.

 

How much are you currently training? About 40 to 50 miles a week.

 

Best races and/or greatest achievements? As a senior athlete, I won medals in the 880 yards and one-mile events in the county championships. I also represented the county in the inter-county cross-country championships. 

 

As a veteran/master athlete, I have won several gold medals in

PROFILE--Phil Krajewski won the Virtual 2020 Boston Marathon in the 75-79 age group


(Oct 2020) Phil Krajewski was born on June 5, 1944--the eve before D-Day in Europe. The Allied forces prevailed the next day, and Krejewski has a strong racing record as well. 
As he notes below, "I have won just about every marathon I have entered." Indeed there he is atop the 2020 Boston Marathon leaderboard at 3:38:37, more than 30 minutes ahead of the second-place 75-79 runner. Krajewski, 76, from Eastport ME has achieved his success with several interesting approaches, not the least of which is his striving for "Lightness" in his life.

Career-profession? I am a tree farmer and have grown hardwoods, conifers, and shrubs, both native and ornamental species and varieties. I specialized in digging trees for market and have dug over 55,000 trees – by hand – in my lifetime. While this amount may seem staggering, it is very accurate.

When did you start running and why? I always loved running and ran to elementary, junior, and high school on many an occasion but running in high school was not en vogue. In my ‘meat and potatoes’ town a person played football, basketball, and baseball. My wife, Ellen, got me running with her in the early 2000’s when my daughters, Vinca and Evangeline, were 8 and 12 and had joined some local soccer and running programs.

How much did you run in your peak years? I am a minimalist and never have run more than 50 miles in one week.

What were some of your top race performances? I have won just about every marathon I have entered. I have won NYC 3 times and Chicago once. My Waterloo with running is the Boston Marathon as I have never done well there. However, I did finish third in 2016. I have had incremental wins at Boston with some firsts for my age while also beating all older, or runners a year or two younger than me, or being first or high in the US standings. 

I believe I will try to continue running until I have the good fortune to win Boston. I am presently ranked #1 in the world by Abbott World Marathon Major rankings for the 75/79 age group.

An estimate of your total lifetime miles? Somewhere in the neighborhood of 20,000 miles

How much are you running and cross-training now? I run about 35 – 40 miles per week. I do not and have never cross trained. My strength training is

Mary Haskins Has Been Running For 25 Years


(Sep 2020) Her friends believe Mary Haskins is part mountain goat for her love of running the TransRockiesRun (6 days 120 miles) and just about any rugged terrain on earth. Speed is not her goal. Beautiful scenery and distance suit her just fine. Haskins lives in Brooklyn Heights were she can be found at 5:00 a.m. walking her two dogs (who do wag their tails) before she heads out for her run. There is no one who doesn’t appreciate Mary Haskins. And that’s good for her job as Senior Manager, Volunteer Operations at NYRR. With her megawatt smile and personality to match, loyal volunteers come back every year.

  

Career-profession? I have had a lucky second career with NYRR after 28 years in the Commodity Trading business. At NYRR I’ve been a marathon coach for their charity team, Team for Kids, and now I am Senior Manager of Volunteer Operations. I love to run and I love runners and feel blessed that

Rick Lovett has been running for 40 years


(Sep. 2020) Rick Lovett is one of those all-around talents. He exercises, he writes articles and books, he keeps himself up to date on various scientific fronts ... and, importantly, he coaches. The coaching is really crucial, because severe familial arthritis has put an end to his running days. Instead, he walks. A lot. And up steep hills. Through his many endurance experiences, Lovett, now 67 and living in Portland OR, has learned he's not the "wimp" a certain high school P.E. teacher called him. He has also picked up a deep appreciation for the process. "
Enjoy the doing," he tells his runners. "The results are something that simply happen when you do the doing."

Career-profession? I’ve done a number of things, ranging from being a law professor to working with a consulting engineering firm specializing in hazardous waste management, but since 1990, I’ve been a full-time freelance writer. Mostly, I do journalism, these days largely with a science-writing orientation, but I also write science fiction, at which I’ve won a number of awards. I’ve also written books about running, bicycling, and cross-country skiing, and well more than 100 articles about running, coaching, and exercise physiology. Sometime around 2003, I started converting all of this into coaching, starting with running partners, and gradually moving on to become the coach for Portland’s Team Red Lizard club, which I still coach. 

When did you start running and why? I took up running for a very simple reason. When I was

PROFILE--Mike Fanelli has been racing for 50 years


(Sep 2020) Mike Fanelli is almost without peer as a collector of track and running photos, programs, and other odds 'n' ends. His Facebook page is famous across the Internet for the great photo content he shares from his home in Asti, CA, where he houses his collection in an HVAC-controlled mini-museum. Fanelli, now 64, has been racing as long as he has been collecting, having just passed 50 consecutive years of track competitions. He's a little concerned about 2020, with all the Covid-canceled events and an upcoming foot surgery, but he knows one thing for absolute certain: He'll be back and racing again soon. He's already looking forward to competing in the 70+ division. Fanelli and friends are also great fans of the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials, which he considers a track super-event that he wouldn't consider missing. Look for him next year in Eugene. He'll be the one with the extra luggage packed full of vitamins and supplements. His wife says he has the most expensive "pee" in California, and she might be right.

Career-profession? I spent nearly 20 years in a variety of positions largely related to the sport. This included working in / managing / owning a series of running shoe stores. I spent a few years working for Reebok, first in the Southern California marketplace as a tech rep, and then in house at HQ in Boston working in running promotions (athlete sponsorships, event sponsorships and the like). I later became

PROFILE--Jeffery Barros has been running for 47 years

(Aug. 2020) Friends of Jeffery Barros aren’t surprised by his 41-year running streak. A friend from his college days recalls a cold, icy night in Greeley CO when they were sophomores. Barros was sick and throwing up. He had started his streak, maybe 1000 days in, and didn’t want to break it. He had to cover at least 3 miles and somehow made it. 
Barros, now 63, lives in El Paso Texas, and has had to fight his whole life against discrimination and injustice. An American Indian, Apache, he states, “I was bullied in middle school by Hispanics, in high school by African Americans, and bused to a European American high school as a senior. I had to fight all my life even within my tribe. But I am grateful, as it has been a long and wonderful journey.”

Career-profession? I am the Head Boys and Girls Track and Cross Country Coach for Socorro High School, where 81% of students are economically disadvantaged. Sports are a big part of the school, and we have

Boston Marathon Runners Over-75 Form Internet Group

By Frank Bright

Had the Boston Marathon been run on Patriots’ Day in April of this

Tony Guttmann
year, Tony Guttmann would not have been able to run the race. He had contracted a severe case of COVID-19 in March. A visiting lecturer from London, England, apparently brought the disease to a mathematics conference in Tony’s hometown of Melbourne, Australia, and infected several people who attended his lecture or met with him, including Dr. Guttmann.

Tony, retired from the University of Melbourne after what a local newspaper described as “a long and fruitful career as one of Australia’s top mathematicians,” is part of what, over the past few months, has become a network, or community, made up of men, ages 75-79, who had qualified for and were entered in the 2020 Boston Marathon.

Another member of the network with a COVID-19 connection is Bob Johnstone, a practicing anesthesiologist at the medical school and hospital associated with West Virginia University. He is on the front lines treating COVID-19 patients.

Bob Johnstone 
The term “running community” did not exist in my part of the world in 1961 when I began running. I experienced the loneliness of the long distance runner. Much has changed in that regard. I am now part of a large running community in Shreveport, La., and using the Internet, I easily can contact

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.