In some ways, Christopher Kennan runs the City of North East.
The Millerton resident is the city supervisor for the expansive, rural and exquisite space tucked away within the northeast nook of Dutchess County − bordering Connecticut, Columbia County and fairly near western Massachusetts too. “I like my job,” Kennan mentioned, “and I’ve additionally loved being one of many few city supervisors (possibly solely) with this explicit pastime.”
The pastime to which he’s referring is long-distance working. Kennan as soon as once more proved his prowess on the marathon distance, ending ninth out of 77 within the 70-74 division in 4:40:14 on the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, DC The race offered validation of a lifetime of success in marathoning − he has now accomplished a 26.2-miler in his 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s.
Kennan began working in his 30s, when he was residing in New York Metropolis and felt the lure of the New York Metropolis Marathon, which he accomplished when he was 36 years outdated − actually half a lifetime in the past for the 72-year-old. Kennan veered into triathlons in his 40s, after which returned to do the NYC Marathon once more. He has now accomplished 10 marathons − 4 in NYC, Boston, Clarence DeMar (New Hampshire), Vermont Metropolis Marathon, Harrisburg, New Jersey and now Marine Corps.
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One of many causes he selected the Marine Corps was to increase his decades-streak of marathon working. “I acknowledge that genetics play a job, ” Kennan mentioned of his marathon behavior of him extending into his 70s. “God blessed me with a great working physique, and I attempt to hearken to it and deal with it.”
Kennan additionally advantages from the place he lives: He’s a loyal member of the Junkyard Canine working membership of japanese Dutchess County, coaching steadily together with his JYD associates. His favourite coaching venue is one that’s proper at house for him.
“It helps that we have now the unbelievable Harlem Valley Rail Path working proper by our city, and the brand new, northern part is so lovely and filled with nature, it’s a godsend to runners,” he mentioned. “Its solely draw back, in the event you can consider it this manner, is that it’s extremely flat.”
The “flat” downside is definitely solvable: He runs together with his JYD associates on hilly coaching programs, together with the Hilltopper Half Marathon loop.
As for the JYDs, Kennan had this to say: “I actually owe a lot to the JYDs. They’re true marathon maniacs. Much more vital, the group could be very casual and unstructured, we assist and encourage one another, and there are 4 of us in our 70s, all working very well.”
Paul Horstman, Mike “BigDog” Murphy and Jim Allen are the opposite 70-plus runners to whom Kennan was referring. It truly is outstanding to have such a set of age-group stalwarts residing in the identical space and coaching collectively steadily. Kennan runs with all of them, and gleans data and inspiration from every of them.
“I’ll by no means be as quick as Paul Horstman, and that is OK, he makes me run sooner,” Kennan mentioned. “’Huge Canine’ Mike Murphy has a love of working that’s contagious and inspirational. Jim Allen’s race occasions are additionally unbelievable, and he has shared his data of the Galloway methodology with all of us.”
Kennan added that he has logged many coaching miles with Jo Blackmore, who has now run 50 marathons. Blackmore was very useful when Kennan was coming back from harm. “She was at all times keen to take a stroll break once I wished one, with no judgment, ” he mentioned. “A coaching associate like that’s valuable.”
As for the Marine Corps race, Kennan mentioned it was an awesome expertise, with excellent climate. I’ve famous the beginning was chaotic, as is the case in lots of big-city marathons. Impressed by Allen’s adherence to the Galloway run-walk methodology of racing, Kennan mentioned he was planning on strolling each 10 minutes. However he ditched this plan as a result of he mentioned he discovered it simpler simply to maintain working.
Kennan did intersperse two strolling intervals – at miles 10 and 18 – to offer aid to an arthritic knee, which he mentioned he felt loads towards the top of the race. However, he added that his knee really harm much less if he saved working, so he curtailed the strolling parts.
Kennan mentioned he loved the comparatively flat Marine Corps course, in addition to the distinctive surroundings of our capital metropolis. Right here is his race report from him:
“The course is simply unbelievable, a lot to see, so many recognizable nationwide memorials. Very cool to run previous the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the Capitol, and many others. The Marines are out in power, cheering you on, they did an awesome job. Huge crowds, plenty of cheering and noise. There’s a ‘Memorial Mile,’ with massive pictures of failed service members all alongside the way in which. Despite the fact that you are in the course of working a marathon, it is a very solemn and resonant mile. The final six miles, are powerful, as they at all times are, however I had targeted on sustaining vitamin, with GU gels each 5 miles, and ensuring I stayed hydrated with water, and I do know that helped. I used to be drained however no ‘wall.”’
As for the way Kennan has tailored to marathon coaching now that he’s into his 70s, he has echoed the same chorus from others who’ve been capable of grasp longevity: Going to the gymnasium.
“I’ve included weight and resistance exercises into my coaching,” he mentioned. “I attempt to get two of these gymnasium exercises into my week. Particularly for core power, in addition to to assist my knee, I’ve discovered the adduction and abduction drills actually useful. However general, my program is not too completely different from what it was once I was 50. Simply slower!”
Slower, sure. However nonetheless shifting, and shifting robust.
Mid-Hudson Highway Runners Membership member Pete Colaizzo, the observe coach at Marist Faculty in Poughkeepsie, writes on working each week. He may be reached at email@example.com. For extra membership data, go to www.mhrrc.org