Today I am going a few easy miles with a man that ran his first marathon before I was born.
It’s safe to say that Chuck Van Duzee has some stories to share with over 4 decades of running experience.
In total, he’s run over 300 marathons throughout the U.S. and around the world.
Facing Father Time
Chuck began running 40 years ago at the age of 40.
He has raced all distances in that time from the 5k up to the marathon.
Aging as a runner has been a humbling experience for him.
Team sports have leagues that are separated by ages, but in races all runners are competing at the same time.
Even though his times have slowed, his knowledge of the sport has increased.
The marathon is his favorite distance due to the many strategies people can employ while running.
He views races as an individual experience and never races with friends.
Each race can teach us something to carry forward into the next race.
According to Chuck, the most limiting factor while running a marathon is mental.
Then and Now
Nothing stays the same and that holds true in running as well.
The biggest difference Chuck has seen in 4 decades of running is the reliance on technology.
He views it as a negative because the focus on pace and time is holding runners back from their potential.
The introduction of chip timed races are something that he has come to love.
Having completed 12 Boston Marathons, he has seen a dramatic difference in that race over the years as well.
Before Boston became as popular, one could sign up for the race a week prior.
He also recalls a time when women weren’t allowed to run Boston, but they were bandit “friendly.”
At the age of 80, Chuck is hopeful that he can continue running for many more years.
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