On April 29, 2001 I ran my first marathon. The day was hot, humid and sunny but for the twenty weeks prior, I had diligently challenged my body by running hundreds of miles in all sorts of weather conditions. Despite the warmer-than-ideal weather conditions, and my excitement and first-time jitters, I completed the 26.2 miles that day with a very respectable time of three hours, thirty-eight minutes (3:38), but of course, I was physically and mentally exhausted. Reflecting back on my accomplishment and the actual experience of the marathon itself, I wondered why anyone would want to do more than one marathon in their lifetime? Later that same year, I found myself training for another marathon, and I was surprised to shave off another 7 minutes from my first marathon time!
I did not begin running in earnest until I was almost 30 years old. I was very surprised and delighted to discover this new activity and passion. I became more competitive and serious about this sport, and my new goal was to qualify for the granddaddy of them all – the Boston Marathon. I qualified for Boston on my 7th marathon, The Spirit of St. Louis, in 2003, on a hilly course and in weather conditions that were the exact opposite of that first marathon in OKC – my time was 3:01, and my hands were so cold from the sleet and sub-20 degree temps that my wife, Susan, had to untie my shoes!
I’ve now run 3 Boston Marathons and a total of 42 marathons in 15 different states. Since 2006 I have run 16 marathons as a Pace Team Leader for times ranging from 3:10 to 3:40. One of my Pace Team experiences was featured in The Daily Oklahoman April 28, 2008 article: “The runner’s lifeline: Pacesetters do much more than their name implies” the day after I ran the 2008 OKC Marathon. I’ve come full circle with that race, from hoping to finish it without throwing up all over my cotton t-shirt, to now being able to help other runners not only complete the race, but achieve a goal finish time, often qualifying for Boston, depending on their age and gender.
After moving to Texas in 2007, I took my interest in running to a new level and became a certified running coach through courses and a certification exam administered by the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA). I coached several advanced marathon classes for RunOn! during 2008 and 2009, and in 2010 became the Trainer for the McKinney Running Club.
My personal records include:
- 5K: 18:13 Route 66 CPA Run, Tulsa, OK, 2003
- 10K: 39:04 Tulsa Zoo Run, Tulsa, OK, 2008
- 15K: 58:48 Tulsa Run, Tulsa, OK, 2003
- Marathon: 3:00:05 – LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon, 2004