Fred Wright

Club Member Since 8/17/2000

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Fred Wright - God! Not another year of running up Ruxton!
God! Not another year of running up Ruxton!

“I'm smiling - but am I happy? Yes, slow but still trying !”

City: Colorado Springs State: CO

Favorite Shoe: various Size: 8

Age: 86.9 years old

Marital Status: married

Family members:
One lovely wife, Sarah
Beautiful twins, Wesley and Adabelle. Born February 6th, 2002

What I do for work:
Run infrequently due to looking after one lovely wife and one set of twins!
In my past I managed the engineering/design of Petro/Chemical Plants on Projects of up to a $1.2B.

Places I’ve called home and why I like where I am now:
Born in London, lived there through the Blitz and most of WW2.
Netherlands, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Canada (where I started running at 39 years old), Boston, Houston and Manitou Springs and Colorado Springs.
Manitou Springs was the place we came back to, over and over again, as we searched out somewhere to live in retirement. It is not an exaggeration to say that having the Incline Club here was a major plus in our choice.

When I started running and what got me started:
November, 1973, in Sarnia, Canada. I had been doing yoga seriously for a couple of years, but felt the need to expend energy in a more violent way!

What does running mean to me:
Having had the good fortune to take part in a number of sports, when I "found running" later in life it was the most fulfilling one of the lot.

Running accomplishments: View my Pikes Peak Ascent/Marathon results
Ran my first race, a 5K, in March, 1974. Broke six minute pace in my third race, in April, 1974, a seven miler.
Ran a number of marathons, over various courses, in the 2:30's, but never broke 2:30; and never broke 2:40 at Boston, my Club's Marathon. Ran my fastest times on pancake flat courses, where I could maintain a constant steady pace. Ran my first marathon in October, 1974, a 2:48, in the inaugural "Skylon Marathon", Buffalo, NY to Niagara, Ontario, Canada, seven months after my first race. Was on 6 minute pace through 23 miles, then WAMO! Got my award from a Movie Star! My best marathon was not my fastest. 2:38 (6:02 pace), in "The Detroit Marathon" on Belle Isle, in The St Clair River, on a cold windy, rainy day! It was my best effort because I beat some of the best Masters marathoners in N. America that day.
P.R's: 5K - 16:28; 5m - 26:24; 10K - 33:48; 10m - 55:00

What I like about trail/mountain running:
Being old and slow these days, I like the fact that it's strength not speed that counts. However, as Matt has pointed out, working on speed is very important and I have attempted to do so this year.

Favorite running trail and why:
Barr Trail, of course, it's hard but diverse.

Favorite trail/mountain race and why:
Barr Trail Mountain Race is number one. It was my first trail race, and was the first BTMR, and I won my age group. I am one of few with a perfect streak - hope it continous in 2011. I have also developed a lust for the Ascent, having run it every year since 2001. However, as an old road marathoner, I had an ever increasing urge to do the PPM, which I tried as part of 'The Double' in 2010, but DNF in the PPM.

Best running experience:
I started running in a small town in Canada. It so happened to be the home of a number of International and National class runners, who welcomed me into their party. They were a generous and helpful group, had me training hard, and, with their encouragement, improving rapidly. I learnt so much in such a short time from them.
In 1976, in Sarnia, I ran, with my dog, in a charity "Runathon" that was raising money for the medical expenses of a local child.
My dog was a two year old Doberman, Ranger, raised on running, and he loved it! Instead of getting pledges for myself, I got them in Ranger's name. People knew I could click off close to 11 miles, but figured a dog ..... ? The run was a timed hour, a track massed start, and Ranger was on sub 6 minute pace through nine miles - and tough to hold back! He hit the wall at 38 laps and we struggled through 39+ laps, nine and three quarter miles +. Great Dog, he raised a huge amount of $'s, and made a lot of friends.
In the past two years my Son, Wesley, has shown promise, getting excellent results in his school CC races. He recently ran his first 5K, The Run To The Shrine, doing well.

Worst running experience:
Diving over the edge of the Barr Trail on a Thursday evening training run, and having to be pulled out! Thanks Glen!!

Running any distance over an hour in Houston. My body seemed not to adapt to the humidity factor after a couple of years of living in Houston, as time went on it got worse! Surprisingly, this led to a very positive experience when, out of frustration, I enrolled to take a course of Navy Seal Physical Training. I graduated from "Boot Camp" as the oldest person to do so (age 64), and was accepted into the ongoing "Lifers" program. Without a doubt, the PT we were submitted too contributed to my being fitter than at any previous time.

Neatest thing found on a run:
Money, lots of it! A cell phone. A few tools.

Running related bathroom stop story:
On an early morning run in Canatara Park, Sarnia, Ontario, I got caught short and jumped in the bushes to allow nature to take it's course. While squatting and sighing, I sensed another presence. Turning, I observed a Snapping Turtle, roughly the size of car wheel, who appeared to have more than eggs and bacon in mind for breakfast! It's hard to run with your shorts below your knees, I managed - but over the first ten meters I barely(?), stayed in front of it. Those buggers can RUN if they are upset, or hungry!

Running pet peeves:
Races that have 5 year age groups up to 59, then group everyone over 60 into "60 to 99"! They have no idea!
People who leave Dog Doo's on the trail.

Something non running related that no one would guess about me:
Like most British kids, I played (football) soccer from the time I could stand. I played into my early forties, when time allowed, but then it began interfering with my running.
I swam competitively at Regional level, swimming for the London Penguin Club. My last races were representing the Army in inter-military competition at 23 yrs old.
I drove competitively from 1958 through 1965, in International and National Rallying, and circuit Road Races. This took me to a number of countries and I met a lot of interesting people. The last three years I drove for a auto supply company, but our cars couldn't match the Factory cars, and I was not picked up by a Factory Team. Our cars were primarily the original Mini Coopers, very modified and (for the time), very fast.
Back in full time engineering, I continued to drive in local club events.
Sarah and I love rescued Greyhounds, we have had five. Sarah was not a dog lover until I persuaded her to come to a rescu kennel. We adopted our first dog, Crossbow, a National Champion, and continued to take on more as earlier ones died. We lost three to cancer, including Crossbow, and the last to go was Joy-Joy, here in Colorado, at the age of 14 +. We will hopefully adopt again when our twins are past the ear pulling stage!

Other hobbies and interests:
My Daughter, Adabelle, is training in an elite gymnastics group, and is expected to move up two levels this year. her progress and ability makes me very proud.
I've taken a liking to American Football, but other than the Super Bowl, I only watch The Patriots (Super Bowl Champ's).
Good TV shows.

Other stuff:
I train to try not to regress too much, and hopefully to extend the quality of the time I will have with my Twins.
I'm happy to talk to anyone who thinks I can help them, in any way. I remember, with great pleasure, the help and advice I got from my Canadian friends/club mates when I started.
Any books by Michener, Rutherfurd, Moorehead and Gould.
All kinds of Movies from Harry Potter, any good war film, good "who dun it's".
Good Ale and Pub Food, i.e., Bubble and Squeak, Bangers and Mash, Shepherd's Pie.

Page last modified: 6/4/2011

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