running

Berwick15
In 1984 I was a freshman in high school, recently moved to a small town in northern Indiana. In Indianapolis, I had played soccer since age 7, but no one in Greentown played soccer. So I went out for cross country. I did that (and track) for 4 years, getting better but never great. When I graduated I had bests of 17:27 for 5K cross country and 10:54 for the 3200 on the track.

In 1988 I headed off to Wabash College. Nobody told me that it was mostly people who had done well in high school who ran college cross country, so I went out for the team. For much of the first season, I was rarely in sight of the rest of the team at the end of a run. But I got better, and I even made it into the top seven for a little while. I left with bests of 26:30 for 5-mile cross country and 34:44 for the 10,000 on the track.

In 1995, I ran my first marathon (Columbus) to qualify for the 100th Boston Marathon. Over the next three years, I ran 9 marathons (including Boston three times) and 4 ultramarathons, the longest the Ice Age Trail 50-miler. My bests were 1:21:41 in the half marathon and 3:04:47 in the marathon. Yes, I would have liked to run sub-3. I didn’t.

Then life happened. I finished grad school. I got a job. I got married. We bought an old house and did lots of work on it. I did some bad things to my back. We had kids. I got tenure. I didn’t run much at all. For a few years, I often biked the 9 hilly miles to and from work. Then I got hit by a car and broke two vertebrae.

Somehow, a year later, I started running again. I mowed a hilly 0.55 mile loop in our back field and ran that over and over. I worked hard on making my form better so my back wouldn’t hurt. I often ran barefoot or in minimal shoes – Saucony Kilkenny cross country racing flats were (and are) my favorites. Our kids Anna and Zeke started running the Market Street Mile and other races.

In 2013 I organized and completed the Woolman Walk, a 215-mile journey from Mount Holly, NJ to Wyalusing, PA, to commemorate the 1763 journey of John Woolman to visit the Native American settlement there. We covered 215 miles in two weeks. It is interesting to me that after all the marathons and ultras, the highest mileage week I’ve ever had – 117 miles – came this way, walking rather than running.

In 2015 I ran the Worlds End 50K and the Tussey Mountainback 50-mile, both in Pennsylvania. In 2019 I went farther, 100K at the Pine Creek Challenge. I’ve started running marathons again. Sometime during our 2016-17 sabbatical in Bolivia and Peru, I got the idea that I could finally break three hours in the marathon. The first three I’ve run have all been unseasonably warm. The fastest I’ve run was a 3:13:56 at the Two Rivers Marathon in March 2019. I’ll keep trying.

I keep track of lots of things. Here are some:

races I’ve run many times:

  • Greentown Glass Festival 5-mile: 1985-92, 94-96, 98 (12 times)
  • Wabash College Alumni Meet: 1988-98 (11 times)
  • Shoals Catfish Festival 5K: 1986, 88-91, 93-96, 98, 2010 (11 times)
  • Market Street Mile: 2009-10, 12-15, 17-18 (8 times)
  • Indianapolis Mini-Marathon: 1988-90, 92, 94-96, 99 (8 times)
  • Sick Trail Run: 2011-12, 14-15, 17, 19 (6 times)
  • Run for the Diamonds: 2012, 14-15, 17-19 (6 times)
  • Purdue Co-Rec 8K: 1992-93, 95-98 (6 times)
  • Prophetstown Run: 1990, 93, 96-98 (5 times)

recent favorites:

  • Market Street Mile, Bloomsburg, in early September
  • Tussey Mountainback 50 mile relay (or solo), over in Boalsburg, mid-October
  • Sick Trail Run, at the Sick Farm, north of Millville, July
  • Chris Shultz Memorial 5K, Millville, late June
  • Run for the Diamonds, Thanksgiving morning in Berwick
  • Worlds End Ultramarathon (50K), early June at Worlds End State Park

overall wins (this happens from time to time, all depending on who doesn’t show up…)

  • 1986: Camp Epworth 1 and 2 mile
  • 1995: Brookston Apple-Popcorn Festival 10K
  • 1996: Brookston Apple-Popcorn Festival 10K
  • 1997: Brookston Apple-Popcorn Festival 10K
  • 1998: Prophetstown Run 5 mile
  • 1998: Air Force ROTC 5K
  • 2011: Robbins Run 5K
  • 2013: CCHS Run for the Bulls 5K
  • 2014: Robbins Run 10K
  • 2015: Chris Shultz Memorial 5K
  • 2016: Chris Shultz Memorial 5K
  • 2016: Montour Preserve Spring Fever Trail 30K
  • 2017: Chris Shultz Memorial 5K
  • 2018: Humdinger Plus Trail Race (13.8 mi)
  • 2018: Laps for Lexi 5K
  • 2018: Great Pumpkin Run 5K
  • 2019: Turbotville Elementary Spring 5K
  • 2019: Pine Creek Challenge 100K
  • 2019: Danville Area Community Center 5K

overall last place (I put this here for anyone who has ever finished last in a race)

  • 1984: Sectional cross country meet (67th of 67)
  • 1989: Wabash Invitational meet 10000m (7th of 7)
  • 1989: Rose-Hulman dual meet 10000m (5th of 5)
  • 1989: Little State meet 10000m (16th of 16)
  • 1989: Illinois Wesleyan Invitational 10000m (9th of 9)
  • 1990: Wabash Polar Bear meet 10000m (5th of 5)

marathons:

  • Boston: 1996, 1997, 1998
  • Kentucky: 1996, 1997
  • Columbus: 1995, 1998
  • Houston: 1998, 1999
  • Abebe Bikila (DC): 2017
  • Garden Spot Village (PA): 2018
  • Steamtown (PA): 2018
  • Two Rivers (PA): 2019

ultramarathons:

  • Pine Creek Challenge 100K, Pennsylvania: 2019
  • Tussey Mountainback 50 mile, Pennsylvania: 2015
  • Ice Age Trail 50 mile, Wisconsin: 1996
  • Howl at the Moon 8 hour run (I did 44.23 miles), Illinois: 1997
  • Worlds End 50K, Pennsylvania: 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019
  • KTA Susquehanna Ultra Run 50K, Pennsylvania: 2015
  • Huntington Ultra Frigid Fifty 50K, Indiana: 1998
  • Lairig Ghru Race, 28 miles, Scotland: 1997

Personal Records

Distance Time Event Date Pace
400m :59.8 U. of Chicago 4×400 relay 09.02.1991 4:00.6
800m 2:17 EHS track meet ??.05.1987 4:25.5
1600m 4:52 Wabash time trial 04.05.1992 4:53.7
2 miles (unofficial) 10:17 Danville Invitational split 29.09.1990 5:08.5
5K 16:34 Rose-Hulman dual meet 31.03.1992 5:19.9
4 miles (unofficial) 21:17 GLCA meet split 15.09.1990 5:19.3
5 miles 26:30 GLCA meet 15.09.1990 5:18.0
10K 34:44 ICAC meet 25.04.1992 5:35.4
9 miles 56:17 Berwick Run for the Diamonds 28.11.2019 6:15.2
half-marathon 1:21:41 Indpls/Lawrence Half-Marathon 10.10.1998 6:13.9
marathon 3:04:47 Kentucky Marathon 07.12.1996 7:02.9
50K 4:37:51 HUFF 50K (32.4mi adjusted) 27.12.1998 8:56.6
44.23 miles 8 hours Howl at the Moon 8hr Run 09.08.1997 10:51.1
50 miles 8:05:55 Tussey Mountainback 25.10.2015 9:43.1
50 miles (unofficial) 7:38:13 Pine Creek Challenge split 07.09.2019 9:10.0
100K 9:37:03 Pine Creek Challenge 07.09.2019 9:17.2