My maternal Grandfather was an incredible runner. During his 10 year running career he ran in 106 races with 49 of them being marathons. His marathon PR was in the St. George Marathon, he ran it in 2:35:38. He ran in the Boston Marathon 5 times. His running career was cut short when he was diagnosed with Colon cancer. Cancer eventually took his life, but his legacy lives on. He has inspired his children and grandchildren to enjoy the sport of running. I hope to be able to share his story with my children and grandchildren and turn them into runners too!
This is the Boston Marathon in 1979.
I am going to share a few stories my grandpa wrote in his memoir about running.
I was introduced to running in 1976 at the age of 39 by a colleague at work by the name of Howard Russell. He was running 2 miles a day during lunch. I went out the first day with street shoes and a suit and tie on to run the 2 miles. I decided maybe I could do this everyday so I got some old gym shorts and tennis shoes and started with that.
He ran everyday during lunch and slowly increased his mileage up to 9 miles a day. He found a group of running friends and stuck with them. His first race was 12.6 miles (1:17:13) and after that race he was hooked!
This is what he wrote about his first marathon:
My running friends talked me into running my first marathon. I didn’t even know what a marathon was, and when I found out I thought, “These guys have to be crazy!”
The morning of the race was cool. I had good feelings. The first half of the race I was comfortable and ahead of schedule. I had met up with somebody to run with that took my mind off the race. At about 18 miles I began to realize what a marathon really was: I became very tired. By 23 miles I wasn’t sure I could finish. But I hung in there and made it across the finish line. I had such exhilarating feelings having accomplished the goal. After the race I was very excited because it turns out I had a good time (3:08).
His closing thoughts on running:
Running has brought many blessings to my life. I have made so many great friendships with the experiences we have shared. Running has been an education on the principle of health. It has been an opportunity to do the physical things that teenagers do. it has been an opportunity to help many people by giving running advice, including my own family. I feel my running accomplishments have helped me to build mental toughness as well as physical endurance.
Merl Davis Glauser: July 16, 1936 – June 13, 1988
My Brothers Marathon Recap:
My brother ran his first marathon last year and his recap is both hilarious and inspiring. You can check it out HERE.
It is really fun having such a strong family history with running and I can’t wait for my half marathon in a few weeks so I can finally be a part of it!
What do you remember most about your first race?