Resides in: Lower Macungie
Years Running: 35
Bio: Karl turns 70 at the end of the week and is being highlighted in honor of his birthday. He’s been involved with the local running community for many years.
What is the strangest/funniest thing that has happened to you on a run?
I was running an ultra, 50 miles from Kennedy Airport in New York to Allentown, and carrying a torch the entire way. There was some extra oil at the base of the torch, someone had filled it too high. I tilted the torch and drained off some of the oil, figuring it would be better to get rid of it rather than have it dripping all over me. So, when I drained off the oil the flame from the torch jumped onto what I was draining. Little did I know I had been dripping oil since the start of the run and when I turned around there was a burning path of oil behind me on the road at Kennedy airport. That wouldn’t happen these days. I would probably be locked up in jail.
Another funny thing happened on the same run. My friends and I had a support van helping us during this run. I ran the entire 50 miles but my friends all took turns running with me. It was 3 in the morning and we were somewhere in New Jersey when the van encountered a sobriety check point on the highway. So, the police stop the van and take a look inside, expecting to catch a bunch of drunk guys that night. When the cop saw all of those sneakers and running clothes he looked at the us in a funny way and asked what we were doing out there in the middle of the night. We told him we were running 50 miles from Kennedy Airport to Allentown. Allentown, New Jersey? No, we said, Allentown, Pennsylvania. The cop turned to one of the other cops and said, “nothing here, just a bunch of crazy runners,” and let us go.
What is your biggest running accomplishment and why?
LOL. Getting people to listen to my talking during all of my long runs.
Do you have a favorite race distance?
Probably the half marathon. It doesn’t beat your body up as much as the marathon does.
What is the best piece of running advice you’ve ever received?
I’ve been running for a long time and have heard a lot of great advice. The one that sticks out in my head the most and to this day remains the best advice yet was from Budd Coates. He told me to treat every running ache or soreness like an injury so that it doesn’t become one.
What are some things you’ve learned about yourself from running?
I am a husband, a father, a dentist and a runner. Running has become a big part of my life over the past 35 years. Physically, it keeps me fit and my weight down. Socially, I have made wonderful friends throughout all of those long runs and races. Psychologically, it’s a stress release and gives me a good self image. I didn’t realize how important running was to me until it was taken away for a while during my hip replacement and recovery. Once it was taken away I saw how much a part of my life it had become and how much I needed it. Running is a lifestyle.
What is your best race experience?
It’s hard for me to pick a favorite race or best race experience. I loved them all. But one does stick out in my mind. The Oxford Triathlon in New Jersey. It was an unusual race in that you swam 2 miles, ran 20 miles and then biked 50 miles. Most triathlons aren’t in that order; they are swim, bike, run. This was was a lot easier because you could recover on the bike after that long run.
What gets you most excited about running?
See answer above: fitness, weight control, self image, stress relief, fun …
Do you have any current running goals?
I haven’t been running much because I had a hip replacement (resulting from a fall when Karl hit a patch of black ice several years ago.) I have a September race in Maine that I’m training for. It’s on the beach and I signed up as soon as I found out they had an age category for 70 year olds.