Runner of the Month
Each month, this website will interview a local runner.  This runner may
not necessarily set records, but instead shows a desire and dedication
for the sport.
Personal Status

Background info. -  Husband to Rachel, and father to three Amanda, Kyle, and Carissa  the most important
people in my life. Central Local Employee since April, 1980 starting as high school custodian. I graduated from D.
C with a degree in K-8 Elementary Ed. in 1989 and certification in Physical Science in 1991. I substitute taught
while working nights until 1997 and later a part time realty sales agent. Presently I am employed as custodian at
Fairview Elementary.

How long have you been running?

I have been running since December of 2001.

What is your favorite type of run?   

I enjoy cooler temps, with scenic views, in the 5k range, at medium pace, on fairly flat courses.  

What is your favorite thing about running?

Among the various health benefits it lowers my resting heart rate, helps me to sleep better, and provides a little
quiet solitude to reflect on the day. I enjoy “storytelling,” so I’ll be jogging along going over a story I’m preparing to
tell, or just enjoying the run while focused to the sound of anything approaching from the rear. Before I realize it I
have run a few miles, I am home again, and life is good!

What are your least favorite things about running?

My least favorite things are running uphill, running in hot weather, running against a strong wind, running on
slippery surfaces, and running along side dogs who think I am the enemy.

What is your favorite race?  

They are all special, but I am a bit partial to the Apache 5Ks.

What is the longest race you have ever run?  

I ran the “Bridging the Gap to Heart and Health 10K” a couple times. Over a mile of it was on a trail through Goll’s
Woods. It was a great run!

What are some personal goals you have for the future?

I would like to try a ten mile and possibly a half marathon. Just to keep actively running as I grow older is a long
term goal.

What do you think it takes to be a leader?

It takes dedication, motivation, willpower, and a longer stride wouldn’t hurt either.

Embarrassing moments while running?  

During the “Bridging the Gap 5K” a few years ago there was a left turn in the first half mile of that race. Somehow
at least twenty runners in the lead missed the turn and went straight instead. Upon reaching the crossroad another
runner and I made the left turn and headed towards Goll’s Woods. We waved and yelled to no avail! As we ran
and chatted about our new positions in the race we took turns edging ahead of each other, sharing the lead. We
could see the group of runners over on the other road still going the wrong way. As we watched, the group turned
around suddenly, like a swarm of bees, and headed  back the other way. It must have been an embarrassing
moment for them indeed! I felt inside a little of what they must have been feeling. We make a wrong turn and it
sets us back. But what is most important is just to inject a little humor into the wound, shrug it off, keep running,
and try to enjoy the rest of the race.

Embarrassing contd.- Curt and I were at a race up at Hell Creek Ranch near Pinckney, Mich.(2000+ runners). It
was ten minutes before the start, and I suddenly realized I should visit one of the little plastic houses up on the hill.
Upon arriving there, to my amazement, I counted ninety six people in line ahead of me. There were twelve
facilities and three men directing traffic, shouting out the available openings. People were sprinting in and out like
those little houses were on fire! Talk about race organization, I’ll have to admit I had never seen anything quite like
that before. (whew!) They held up the race and every last one of us made it through on time!   

What do you deem most important in your running experience?

I was forty seven when I started jogging for health reasons. I had never run a distance race. I started jogging over
Christmas vacation in 2001. And the second 5k I ever ran was the “Apache 5K” in June of 2002. The time I
finished that race in was the second fastest time I have ever turned in. (21:35) I am a Clydesdale and have even
met the standards of the I.T.U. Technical Commission. (You must be at least 198 lbs.)  Clydes do not finish first in
any race. (I may get something back on that!) My arms sometimes lose circulation and fall asleep so, as in the
picture, I’ll fling my wrists to get the circulation going again. I give it all I have but my philosophy of what is most
important is taking good care of my joints because there are a few extra pounds riding on them. Anyway, to all of
us who may be somewhat gravity challenged there is a special brotherhood here that goes beyond what words
can express! What is most meaningful to me is the camaraderie, the fun, and the fellowship I find in all of you.
These are truly good times and I thank God that I am able just to be a part! …A BIG THANKS to Curt and all of
you who have given much of your time to tend to the many, tedious details involved in keeping the Apache races
happening over and over again!            

What advice would you offer someone just starting out?    Start with a short run that you can handle and
gradually increase your distance. I started with a couple telephone pole lengths and worked up to a half mile and
so on. Set up a pace you are comfortable with and don’t overdo it. Just do it!   

Closing quotes:  

The tragedy of life is what dies inside a man while he yet lives.  ~Albert Schweitzer

One thing God has spoken, two things have I heard: that you, O God, are strong, and that  you, O Lord, are loving.
~ Ps. 62:11-12      
April 2008
Jim McCurdy
Past runners of the month here.
Jim finishes the 2006 Hubbard Company Apache Run 5K.