PROFILE--Hugh Biggin has been running for 40 years

(Jan 2021) Hugh Biggin appears to be one of those quiet, engineer types. He's not loud, not banging a gavel to get anyone's attention. He just goes about his business, day after day after .... He's methodical. He's got running logs dating back to 1980, and when a covid pandemic slowed down life a bit of late, he took the time to convert hundreds of pages of paper to a digital spreadsheet. The 65-year-old resident of Berwyn PA enjoys "streaking" too. His longest every-day run streak reached 9+ years, and he's currently working on 3 years, 11 months, and counting. For some reason, he runs 8 times a week. Hey, why not? "Just be consistent," he tells other runners. "Never get too high, and never too low."

Career-profession: I worked as an engineer for a large construction management firm

When did you start running and why? To get into shape.

How much did you run in your peak years? I have averaged 2480 miles per year. Always tried to maintain about 50 per week. Highest week was 61 due to a long run on Sunday, and then again on the following Saturday.

Top races or running achievements? I ran the Philadelphia Half in 1:14:27. Boston Marathon 4 times, including Boston's 100th.

Can you estimate your total lifetime miles? 100,050 miles recorded.

How much are you running and cross-training now? Used to never stretch but as I turned 60, I started stretching for the first time but never do that much. Lift once per week but only for the last 10 years. Other than a 5 year period of swimming once a week, I never did any other type of training.

Any recent races? Too slow to mention.

Does it bother you that you are slower now? I am only bothered that my top speed isn't that much different than my normal cruising speed. Would pay a large sum of money to just be able to run one race at the pace I did in my 20's. Is there a running genie out there that could make this happen?

Diet and weight changes? Up until the last 5 years, I never paid any attention to what I ate. Ate all the doughnuts, cake and ice cream I wanted and never had any problem in maintaing my weight about about 150 lbs.

Injuries or other health issues? Only a few that had kept me from running for short periods of time. Sciatic problem started in 2012 in my hamstring that took about 3 years to go away. While the pain subsided, it took a significant amount of speed away from me

Three tips for other hopeful lifetime runners?
1--Keep a daily log and try to maintain the same weekly amount. 
2--Run in the mornings. Trying this after work is too hard on your family life. Its nice arriving to work and knowing you already have put in miles for the day. 
3--Do it every day. Once you take one day off because you don't feel like running, it then becomes too easy to take other days off.

How does running and fitness improve your life? I made many friends along the way. Keeps the weight off. Other than a bout of pneumonia, I have never been sick so I feel running has kept me healthy. I find my stamina performing work duties is much greater than the non-runners.

What are the biggest lessons you have learned from running? I'm an engineer so by nature I am very philosophical about life lessons. Most important is just to be consistent. Never get too high, never get too low. When you are injured, give yourself time to heal. When you get to 60, time is not on your side. Ask yourself: If today were your last day, how would you want to spend it?