I began running on a regular basis in March of 1977, after a particularly cold and snowy winter in Lakewood, Ohio where I grew up. That summer I joined Cleveland West Road Runners Club and began training more seriously, running the Skylon International Marathon that fall in 2:53:05.
On November 7th of this year, 6 miles into the Veteran’s Day Half Marathon held in West Linn, Oregon, I passed the 100,000 lifetime mile mark. Over the 38 years since I began running, I have completed 54 marathons, with a best of 2:33:46) and 37 ultras (which are the distances where I was most competitive). The majority of my ultras were run on roads, since in the early and mid-80s, when I was racing most frequently, the long trail events (which seem to form the nucleus of today’s ultramarathon offerings) were much less common. I was the overall winner in 14 of those races, the majority of which were run in the Pacific Northwest, and finished second in another 12. My best performance was at the Greater Oregon Health Services 50 miler in 1991 where I ran a 5:31:27.
I have rather religiously recorded my mileage in annual training diaries since 1979. I attempted to be conservative when retroactively estimating my mileage for 1977 and 1978, probably understating the total distance for those two years, although for large portions of both those years 70 mile weeks were typical.
Suffice to say, at nearly 66 years old, both my mileage and speed have reduced considerably, though I still run about 2000 miles per year.