Running and Living in the Past


At my peak as a competitive runner, I was pretty fast, but I was not as fast as this bird! While I was reminiscing about my competitive running career, I was listening to the Jethro Tull classic "Living in the Past." Ian Anderson could sure play the flute!

When I was growing up, I had no interest in any form of exercise that did not involve a ball. However, that all changed when I started to run to work in Anchorage, Alaska in the late 70's. I did not have much money so I could not afford a car and the bus stopped 1.5 miles short of where I was working. To speed things up, I decided to start running that distance. Lo and behold, I started to actually like running. I found it to be relaxing and a good form of exercise.

I ran recreationally until 1985, with the exception of a race I did with my sister in Portland in 1980. That was quite an experience. The night before the race, I thought I should get in shape, so I ran 5 miles as hard as I could. Not a smart thing to do! Despite my stupidity, I managed to stick with some good runners in the race and I placed in the top hundred out of several thousand runners. Yeah!

In 1985, while starting my college career at the Evergreen State College in Olympia Washington, I was out for a run and I "ran" into the cross country coach. He recruited me to be on that team. Unbeknownst to me, I came to realize I had some real talent for competitive running. I was the top distance runner on the cross country and track teams and eventually ran 32:01 for a 10K. Not bad for a guy who started running at the age of 20!


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