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I was born on the exact same day and year as President Bill Clinton (Aug. 19, 1946). In August 2017, I turned 71 ... and so far, so good.
I began running as high-school junior at Fitch High in Groton, CT, in 1962, and have been going relatively strong ever since. I was incredibly lucky to have 1957 Boston Marathon winner John J. Kelley as my high-school cross-country coach and the inspiration for many paths I have followed ever since.
I was the Connecticut high school 2-mile champion in 1964, and a two-time All-American in cross-country at little Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT (graduating in 1968). While there, I roomed in successive years with Jeff Galloway and Bill Rodgers, both of whom went on to become major influences in the running boom of the last 30 years.
While still a senior at Wesleyan, and just 21 years old, I won the 1968 Boston Marathon. Later that year, I ran my best marathon (2:14:29) in Fukuoka, Japan.
The big break in my life came in 1978 when I was offered the position of East Coast Editor at Runner's World Magazine. I've been with RW ever since, in one position or another. I feel like a super-lucky, latter-day Lou Gehrig that I've been able to spend the best years of my life in a job that I would do for free (Shhhhh ... don't tell).
These days I run about 25 miles a week for fitness and occasional racing thrills. I figured that I've covered about 110,000 miles in my running career. (For brief stories of other runners who have run more than 100,000 miles, see a little web site I host, 100kLifetimeMi100kLifetimeMiles.comles.com.)
I often tell people that my proudest accomplishment in running isn't winning Boston but running the annual Manchester (CT) 5-Mile Road Race on Thanksgiving Day for 55 years in a row, 1964 through 2017).
I won Manchester nine times in the old days, but I now consider each successful finish on Thanksgiving Day as far more important than any victories anywhere anytime. (I have another streak, too: I'm part of a wild and wonderful group that runs 5 miles every Jan. 1, and then plunges into the frigid waters of Long Island Sound. It's my favorite day and event of the year.)
In April 2013, I ran the Boston Marathon to celebrate the 45th anniversary of my win in 1968. I was one of the approximately 5000 third-wave runners who got stopped less than a mile from the finish. My initial disappointment turned to fear when I heard about the bomb explosions, because I had family members waiting at the finish. Then to relief when I found out they were unharmed. Then to shock/horror/grief when I learned that many others were not so lucky. I have since run the amazing 2014 "Comeback Boston Marathon," the 2015 Boston (50th anniversary of my first Boston), and the 2016 and 2017 Bostons.
In summer, 2013, I moved from Emmaus, PA, editorial center of Runner's World magazine, to my old stomping grounds in Mystic, CT. I have two amazing, grown children (Dan and Laura) who are following their own unique paths, and a wonderful wife who adds joy and laughter to all my days.
On April 16, 2018, I finished Boston again on the 50th anniversary of my victory in 1968. It wasn’t pretty--either the weather or the performance. But given the cold with lashing wind and rain, I was happy to go the distance with a half-dozen friends who stuck together and took care of each other the whole way. Here’s a video of our finish. I’m the guy in all black who walked backwards near the finish to applaud others.
And an interview I gave a local TV station moments after finishing.
Now I look forward to the next adventures and challenges, whatever they might be.