(Feb. 2021) Ronald Johnson began running at age 14 in 1963, graduated from St. Olaf college, and achieved a lifetime marathon best of 2:31:07. Now retired and 71, he lives in Searcy, Arkansas, where he continues his devotion to running and high-level fitness despite hamstring and foot issues. "I always end my run feeling excellent," he says.
Career-profession? I have had several occupations, but I retired in June of 2019. I was an actuary and a financial analyst. However, my primary occupation was as a mathematical statistician for the Bureau of Labor Statistics in Washington D.C. I worked on the Consumer Price Index.
When did you start running? I began running seriously as a high school freshman at age 14 in 1963 when I joined the cross-country team. I did this because I had been one of the best runners in junior high school at long distances. I didn’t especially enjoy running at the time, but I certainly wanted to be good at some sport.
Peak running? At my peak in my senior year in college and during the following summer, I was probably running