Long Distance Ultra Runner Ken is Stronger at Age 66!
I began distance running at age 29 and ran for 3 years before completely torching my knees after my first marathon sending me into 20 years of running avoidance! In 2001, I met some distance runners in Minnesota and began training for ultras. 50M Run on the Sly, 62M Edmund Fitz, 92M at FANS – I kept moving up. Then after moving to Prescott, AZ in 2004, friends like running star Heidi Schuette, gave me the Boston bug and I qualified 5 times beginning at age 58! My 2014 race with the bombing in Boston was quite emotional but too lengthy to describe.
I still ran ultras after moving to Prescott. I got involved in the local running community, starting a running club. Before long I was forming and administrating new races while helping with several others. In 2009 I was awarded the Al Clark award by the YMCA for the individual that most helped advance running in our community, a huge honor for me.
Several local runners still tell me that they got into running because of me, that I trained with them at their speed and ran alongside them in their first races. I have done well running myself but knowing I helped a few others along the way has made the running journey one of my greatest accomplishments. I have many friends in the running world – who could ask for more?
I am also honored that Yolanda would pick me as an inspiration! Indeed she inspired me without knowing it and without knowing me. A few years ago I watched her go mile after mile in the Across the Years multi day event. I remember commenting to my significant other Deborah – “How can she do that?” Then I got to meet Yolanda at the 2017 FANS race only to discover that she is even nicer than she is talented. I sure hope our paths cross again.