Wednesday, June 06, 2007

30 Years and still running

This Friday, June the 8th will be the completion of 30 years of running. On that day in 1977, I measured a course around a couple of blocks and struggled run/walking a mile. At that moment I had no clue how my life would be forever changed. I was 21 years old and scrawny(that hasn't changed) and smoking two to three packs a day. My boss and mentor, John White the pharmacist at the downtown Raleigh drug store I was working for had gotten me interested in body-building and we were working out at work and I had a set of weights in my apartment. I had remembered the book " Aerobics" by
Kenneth Cooper written in 1968. My brother and I had read the book and were competing for the most points but like most things from childhood, it didn't last long. I re-read the book and decided to use it and collect points walking and running. This was mainly to help with the body-building and add an aerobic component to my training. I was also hoping it would help me to stop smoking.
Before long after that first run I was soon able to cover a whole mile without walking. I then moeved up to 1.5 miles. Within weeks I had measured a new 3 mile lop course in Southeast Raleigh. The photo was taken in 1978. I was doing my Prefontaine imitation.
This Friday at 6:30, I have invited members of my running clubs to join me in a celebration of running on that 3 mile loop. At the time I was living in a basement Apt on Lenoir St, just a few blocks from Downtown Raleigh. From the house the course goes on Boylan Ave. to Western Blvd. Turns right on Ashe Ave. by Pullen Park. Turn right on Hillsborough St and then bear right as it becomes Morgan St. Then a right turn on Boylan and back to the corner of Lenoir St.

I'll have a report in a couple of days.

This photo is from the 1980 Virginia 10 miler. It was my favorite race and I ran it 15 years in a row.


Anonymous said...

Is that 10 miler discontinued?

In your 30 years of running how many total miles have you run?

runjoey said...

The Virginia 10 miler is still held in September. It began in 1974 I think and used to have world class runners every year. My 1st year was 1978 and I watched Bill Rodgers an Frank Shorter battle it out. Other years saw Rob De Castella and Rod Dixon among others.

My total mileage is just under 28,000 miles. It would be a lot higher but in the years between 1992 and 1998 I ran very little. I call these the "Dark Years" Don't ask.
I have run more per year the past 4 years than I ever did in my younger days and I average about 200miles a month right now

Bedrock said...


Congrats on 30 years running! That is an amazing accomplishment. I have enjoyed getting to know you since discovering ultras last year and look foreward to seeing you again soon - Catherine's 50K most likely. Good luck at Western.


runjoey said...

Thanks Bedford A lot has happened over these past 30 years. I feel very Blessed to be able to still run and feel more passionate about it now than ever. But the best part are all the people that have been a part of the journey

Doubletime it Marine!! said...


This is such an awesome and inspiring blog!!! What a story and it's so cool you remember back to the time where it all started. The photo's are great! Keep running and keep on inspiring. You are living proof that the best people you could hope to meet, you will meet through running. I for one am glad we met!


runjoey said...

Thanks John. I appreciate the kind words. Hope when you have time you will peruse the archives. I need to get back to getting all the old running pics into one album and put a link on the homepage