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Fast for Decades: Ron Lund
60, Basalt, Colo.
“You have to listen to your body. With racing and training I’ve always focused on quality over quantity, and take at least five to seven days off from running after a marathon.”
It took four attempts for Ron Lund to finish his first marathon. He initially gave it a go in seventh grade, and toed the marathon line twice in eighth grade before finally crossing the line in 3:55—at the age of 14. He credits his first season of high school cross country —he ran both cross country and track and field throughout high school—for building the endurance he needed to cover 26.2 miles. Now that he’s a high school coach, the 40-time marathoner says he wouldn’t recommend that plan for his students, although he has trained some kids to run half marathons.
“I didn’t know what a marathon was until my brother ran one,” says Lund, 60, who works for a property management company and trains early in the morning. “I went to watch him and it was so exciting. I had three older brothers. They all ran, so I ran too.”
In addition to recalling info and stats from all of his races as well as those of the students he coaches, Lund’s lifelong passion for the sport includes lowering his marathon PR to 2:34, coaching high school students, race directing and running with his wife and three daughters—one of whom is professional runner Megan Lund-Lizotte.
Lund’s drive and hard work earned him entry into a rare group of runners who have run at least one sub-3-hour marathon every decade for five decades. Lund is number 38 on the 5DSUB3 list (which also includes Joan Benoit Samuelson). After four failed attempts, he ran his qualifying Club effort, a 2:59:15, at the May 2016 REVEL Mt Charleston Marathon in Nevada at the age of 59. Appropriately, Lund first heard about the club from one of his brothers.
Road marathons continue to be Lund’s favorite event, his most recent being the 2017 Boston Marathon that he ran with his daughter Megan.
“Running never gets old, and I don’t lack for finding goals,” Lund says. “Seeing the kids I coach improve and appreciate their improvement always inspires me.”