marathons, running, senior runners

“Can’t Hold a Good Man Down”

kit after fallThere’s an old sea chantey called “You Can’t Hold the Good Man Down.” Well I don’t claim to being a “good man,” but I think the words somehow apply to me.

At age 81, running remains a passion. I’ve done countless races from 5Ks (3.1 miles) to half-marathons to marathons (26.2 miles).

Last Oct. 4 I started out confidently doing a 25K race (15.5 miles) on the windward side of Oahu — part of the annual Marathon Readiness Series, preparing for the Honolulu Marathon

Seemingly out of the blue, approaching the half-way point, I took a terrible fall.  As I recall, it happened after I had shifted from the sidewalk to the roadway, to pass someone, and then decided to return to the sidewalk.

“Call an ambulance,” someone shouted as I lay there. And very soon an ambulance arrived, its siren sounding. I was gently helped on to a gurney and hoisted aboard, feeling both embarrassed and frustrated that I couldn’t finish.

The drive to Castle Hospital took just a few minutes. And there they took beautiful care of me, doing various tests including a CAT scan, to check for brain trauma. Margie arrived in about 20 minutes and drove me to my car parked a few miles away, then shepherded me home.

The picture to the left was taken the next day, showing knees and wrists covered — and me nursing a stitched-up cut lip. Also, around my right wrist the kind folks at the hospital had affixed a band reading “FALL RISK.”IMG_4896

I’ve been doing competitive races for 40+ years, including more than 56 marathons. And I’m not about to let a little fall discourage me. Hence the title above. I don’t know if I deserve to be called “a good man.” But certainly I’m persistent!

So, on Dec. 13, I did the Honolulu Marathon. My time was 5 hours 59 minutes — far from my best but good enough for 3rd among the 24 runners age 80-84. In the photo, I have one mile to go to the finish.

Will I be back do it again next year? You’re darn betcha, the good Lord willing.



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