My running career began in high school when I joined the track team at St Vincent de Paul High School in Mt Vernon, Ohio. Prior to its closure in 1968, our team consisted of three members: my brother Ben (middle distance), Jon Snyder (sprints, long jump), and me (two-mile). Our coach, Joel Krocker, prepared us well and we beat some teams that had two or three members for each event. Those were the good old days that solidified my interest in running.
After high school, I walked on as a member of the Ashland College (now University) cross-country team in Ashland, Ohio, which was coached by Meade Burnett, who had been a standout sprinter at Ohio State. Prior to the start of indoor track, Coach Burnett suggested that team members keep a log of each workout. So I started logging my miles in November 1969 and now have 50-plus yearly logbooks.
My running career at Ashland produced most of my PRs: mile (4:35), 2-mile (9:38), 3-mile (14:56), 6-mile (31:21), and 10-mile (55:11). Nothing spectacular, but I placed well enough in our meets, including cross country, to earn varsity level over four years. My best week was 120 miles, month 428 miles, and year 3722 miles.
After graduation from Ashland, I continued running and entered a number of road races from four miles to marathons. My first marathon was Boston in 1971 (2:55:35) and my best marathon was First Tennessee Bank in Chattanooga in 1977 (2:37:38 – 4 th place). My most difficult marathon was the 1977 Equinox Marathon in Fairbanks, Alaska, which covered some very rocky and steep ski trails. I ended up third with a time of 3:01:14.
Over the years, I concentrated more on getting miles, including 3-a-day workouts, instead of racing. I was able to string together a couple of 500 running day streaks, but realized I needed some rest time.
Most of my miles were logged in California, Ohio, and Alaska. While working on the Alaska Pipeline, I was the first one to run across the Yukon River Bridge. I also had a couple of black bear encounters that prompted me to have someone drive along while I ran.
I reached the 100,000-mile mark on July 21, 2020 at Lake Tahoe, which is one of my favorite places to run. For the days that I ran (12,850), my average has been 7.75 miles, which includes a number of two- a-days. Hopefully, I can continue this pace into my 70’s.