DOB: Feb. 26, 1953
[Editor's note: What do you want to bet that no one ever replaces John at the bottom of the alpha listing of all runners on this site. What an impressive name!]
|John Zupanc passed 100,000 miles on a cold,|
wet, and windy May 11, 2015.
As a senior at Monroe High School (WI), I was persuaded by my neighbor, and great runner Dan Winzenried, to race cross country and leave football behind. It was obvious that I was too small for football by this time, so I gave cross country a shot. Our coach, Clarence Bruess, made running and racing so much fun. I discovered a natural running talent. And I have had a passion and love for distance running since that time.
Through college at UW Madison I did not run much but did manage to stay in shape through a variety of competitive intramural sports. During the summer of 1977, a good friend and former high school distance runner Jim Mellor and I decided we would train for the Paavo Nurmi marathon in Hurley at the end of the summer. Knowing very little about training for a marathon we both made the common error of doing too much too soon and too fast. We never made the starting line. Through high school, college, and through the summer of 1977, I did not keep any type of training log. I have not included any estimate of those miles in my mileage total.
I started to keep a weekly total mileage log in November of 1977 as motivation for another marathon attempt on my 25th birthday in February of 1978 in St Louis. I finished in 2:53.09. And then I raced my first Boston Marathon. Since September of 1978 I have logged every daily run.
Over the years I have completed 23 Boston Marathons, including an 18th place finish in the heat in 1985. The next year, 1986, I recorded my only marathon win at the Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon. It was eventful, not only the win but for a train delay at 12 miles which cost our lead group . It is my PR for the marathon in a train adjusted time of .
I utilized my graduate degree in exercise physiology from UW Madison to refine my running and to pass that knowledge to my student athletes. From 1981 through 2010, I was a men's cross country and track and field coach and on academic staff at UW Oshkosh. It was a dream job, coaching and teaching at the college level. This gave me the perfect opportunity to pass my love for running to others. The teams were very successful with six NCAA DIII National Championships.
I retired in January of 2011 and continue to love to run and compete. My last marathon was at the Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon in October 2016 as a 63 year old in .