Featured Runner June 2012
PREDICTED FINISH TIME: 3:55 to 4 hours
WHY IS THE BANK OF AMERICA CHICAGO MARATHON
A SPECIAL RACE FOR YOU?
You ask why the Chicago Marathon is a special race for me? There are a few reasons. It was my first marathon. I believe it was 26-28 years ago. I ran Chicago to qualify for the Boston Marathon. My son, Mark, also qualified to run in Boston and we wanted to run it together. It was an emotional experience for both of us. Also, the Chicago Marathon does it right! People are so supportive there and the organizers do such a good job. And, I would also have to say it's also because it's so close to home.
WHAT MADE YOU SIGN UP TO RUN THE 26.2 MILE CHICAGO MARATHON?
I am just about to finish my goal of running the World Marathon Majors, and that will not be until this coming September in Berlin and it's been 5 years since I've run in Chicago. It will be my 7th time.
ARE YOU RUNNING FOR A CAUSE OR IN HONOR OF SOMEONE?
Yes, I am running for Chiropractic Care! I see a sports chiropractor about every 6 weeks to keep everything in line. When in training for an upcoming marathon, I generally see him weekly. As I have gotten older I recognize it's one of the best things I can do for myself. When I train for a marathon I use the "Furman Institute" and stick with it religiously. When not in training, a normal week consists of 5 or 6 miles a day for 5 days. On weekends I run between 12 to 16 miles. Then Sunday is a day of rest.
WHERE WAS YOUR FIRST MARATHON?
Actually, as I stated already it was in Chicago. However, in that one I had to drop out before finishing because at mile 18 I "Hit" the wall. It's a phrase commonly used and unfortunately I was ill prepared and I was dehydrated. An ambulance took me to one of the hospitals where I spent 5 hours to recover and get rehydrated. At least I will always have a vivid memory of that first marathon.
WE UNDERSTAND THAT YOU ARE ATTEMPTING TO RUN A MARATHON ON ALL SEVEN CONTINENTS, HOW EXCITING! HOW MANY CONTINENTS HAVE YOU ALREADY RUN RACES IN?
I have run all 7 continents--Chicago in 2007
1. Boston in 2008
2. Paris in 2009
3. Kenya, Africa in 2009
4. Antarctica in 2010
5. Easter Island in 2010
6. New Zealand in 2011
7. China - The Great Wall in 2011
WHAT RACE/COUNTRY WAS YOUR FAVORITE? WHY?
Wow! That's a tough one. Each one holds its own challenges and adventures. If, however, I would have to choose just one, I guess it would probably be the Antarctica marathon. It was like stepping out on to unchartered territory. It is the purest and most untouched place in the world in my humble opinion. Only a small number of people are even privileged to be there. Each year only 100 are allowed to run a marathon there. It is very protected. There are scientists from 5 different countries who work there. It was an unbelievable experience and privilege. Runners for the marathon fly into Buenos Aires and spend about 3 days there. After that we were flown to Ushuaia where we boarded a ship that had at one time been used as a Russian spy ship. We sailed for 2 ½ days. The marathon staff went ahead of us to set the course up. The time of year was their summer and the temperatures were not too bad. The terrain held its own challenges, however. We ran on glaciers, mud over our ankles, large rocks and very hilly. We had to run the same course a total of 4 times. Numerous runners lost their shoes to the mud. No one expected to receive a personal record at this marathon. It was enough to finish this one. At the Antarctica we were given the privilege to walk on beautiful glaciers, get up close to penguins who held no fear of humans, sea lions, sea otters and whales. We were on rubber rafts and these gigantic whales came right up to us to get a look see and brushed up against the rafts. I guess they were curious about us as we were of them. It was truly awesome, sheer beauty.
DO YOU FIND IT MORE DIFFICULT TO TRAVEL AND RUN A MARATHON INTERNATIONALLY?
It was not difficult to run and travel internationally. I've done all my 7 continents through a group called "Marathon Tours." I have not experienced any problems at all and would highly recommend them. They made things go very smoothly. I have loved every one of the races.
WHAT IS A NORMAL DAY FOR YOU?
Well I get up every morning at 4:00 a.m., do some stretching exercises, shower and on to work where I manage between 400-470 employees. Each day at Noon instead of a lunch break, I try to run between 5-6 miles. I generally get home between 4:00p.m to 5:00p.m. My long distance runs are on the weekends. When I am actually training for an upcoming marathon I'm on an 18-week program which of course is more intense.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE RUNNING QUOTE?
"Running: some love it, others hate it. You have to run to find out and that means getting out the door. Ah, the dreaded door and that painstaking first step. The first step is the best step; it's where intention meets action. Intent without action is dead. The smallest deed is better than the greatest intention; one step is greater than a thousand contemplated."
There are two more quotes I like and keep in a small notebook in my shirt pocket:
1. "Pain is the body's way of ridding itself of weakness"
2. "At 211 degrees water is hot, at 212 degrees it boils and with boiling comes steam and steam can power a locomotive"
I think I would add a book that would be worth reading to any runner. It's called The Coolest Place On Earth, the author's name is John Hanc. In the book he writes about his experience of running in the Antarctica. He talks about this being "a trip to the end of the earth." Marathon Tours recommended the book before going to the Antarctica. Am I ever glad I did read it. The book introduces a Dr. Rohit from Chicago who really wanted to be a part of this tough, tough marathon. During his run he came upon a gentleman who was trying to do the marathon also but he was in a wheelchair. The wheelchair competitor was stuck in the mud. Dr. Rohit spent so much of his time helping this man that he was unable to complete the marathon for himself. However, he signed up again to run the same year that I just happened to be in. We became good friends. Unfortunately, he did not complete this marathon either and thus did not complete his 7 Continents. Marathon running is grueling and unlike a lot of sports you are on your own. It's individual effort, not a team effort.
DO YOU HAVE ANY WORDS OF ADVICE FOR YOUR FELLOW RUNNERS?
Wear the right shoes, train properly, eat right and make sure you stay hydrated (even before you run). Most of all be grateful for the ability, do your best and enjoy it!
WHAT IS ON YOUR IPOD WHEN YOU ARE TRAINING (IF ANYTHING)?
I really don't listen to music when I run. I know a lot of runners do. I run a lot in the country or on main roads and it's important to hear traffic and know what's coming up behind you. I've had some experiences with dogs that come out of nowhere at times. I love nature and enjoy beauty of the seasons. I also do a lot of meditating, and thanking my Creator.
WHAT IS ON YOUR 2012 RACE SCHEDULE?
I just had a 25K in May that was in Michigan. A few local 5K and 10K runs this summer. In September I will be competing in Berlin, Germany for the last of the 5 Majors. Chicago will be coming in October and then I'm giving serious thought to the Marine Corp Marathon that is also in October.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO ANY OF OUR FIRST-TIME TEAM NPCO RUNNERS WHO ARE ABOUT TO RUN THEIR FIRST 26.2 MILE RACE?
To your first time team NPCO runners about to embark on a true challenge and memorable experience, I would encourage them to enjoy the sights, sounds, and hype associated with this sport. Remember, Run Your Own Race. There will be runners who go out fast only to burn out at the end of the race. Establish a comfortable pace and build on that. All that excitement at the very first marathon and not being properly prepared is what landed me in the hospital. Stick with a good training program.
ANYTHING ELSE WE SHOULD ADD?
I have a key chain that has this written on it and I have carried this with me for a long time. It says: When you endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything. James 1:4
My wife, Linda, and I enjoy traveling, going on cruises, the Kentucky Derby, walking and riding our bikes on trails weekends.
I have always enjoyed seeing other cultures and how other people live. I was raised as an Amish boy. I have 15 siblings. Needless to say we did not have a lot of advantages that many have today. That is to say my family was fairly poor with money, but we had a lot of love in our family. I'm really not sure where the thought of running came from - certainly not from my background. I was not good at many of the other sports that were popular when I was young, which was probably due to my height. But I do enjoy running. It wasn't until in my early 30's that I actually became involved with running. The rest is "history" as the saying goes.
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