Ron Marinucci October Column

Ron Marinucci October Column

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In mid-June my friend Carrie Farnum and I were running out on a back road, just slogging some miles. Cresting a slight hill, in the distance we could see another runner approaching. “He’s running pretty fast,” Carrie noted.

As we closed the gap, I recognized the other runner. It was Doug Goodhue and he was “running pretty fast.” Meeting, we stopped and exchanged greetings and an introduction (“Carrie-Doug, Doug-Carrie”) for a few moments. Goodhue explained that he was tuning up for the Volkslaufe 20K to be held in Frankenmuth in a few weeks, getting in a hard 10-miler, “a tempo run,” he said. He had his eyes set on the 70-74 American age-group record at that distance. Considering the heat and humidity of that morning, along with those hilly back roads, and at his pace, this was a good, tough tune-up for the Volkslaufe.

Getting in our so-longs and running in opposite directions, Carrie repeated, “He was fast!” She was right and I added, “He still is.”

The “tempo run” of mid-June must have worked because a couple weeks later, Goodhue did indeed set the US age-group record at the Volkslaufe. His 20K time of 1:29:28 was almost three full minutes faster than the previous best.

Longtime Michigan runners know that Goodhue is no stranger to running records, championships, and other honors. He has held or still holds dozens of age-group and single-age records. That’s records, not merely age-group wins. His first win came in 1985 and, as of July 2016, he noted, “My next age-group win will be my 430th.”

He’s also carted away 45 USA Track and Field individual national championships. Toss in another twelve USATF team national championships running

with the Ann Arbor Track Club. Since turning 60, he has been ranked number one nationally in his age-group nine times, including for eight consecutive years.

The Road Runners Club of America named him the 2010 Male Master Runner-of-the-Year and last year he was inducted into the USATF Masters Hall of Fame.

Looking back, he ran cross country and track in Detroit at Redford High School. When he graduated in 1960, the running stopped, at least for a while—a long while. Attending Lawrence Tech and getting established with family and career put running on hold.

Twenty-two years later, in 1982, “I returned to running,” he said. The next year he entered his first race, the 1983 Detroit Free Press Marathon. He finished, he admitted, in “four hours plus.” But that certainly was no indication of what was to come.

In 1985, at the Plymouth YMCA 5K, he scored that first age-group win. His 18:16 topped the 40-49 age-bracket. And the wins just kept coming.

Goodhue has been and remains a versatile runner, enjoying and succeeding in a variety of distances and courses. He’s won and set records in cross country as well as on the track and on the roads. Although he hasn’t run a marathon in many years, he also has held records at a variety of distances. For example, in addition to topping the 20K record books in both the 65-69 and 70-74 age-groups, he’s also broken records at 3000 meters indoors on the track, 5K on the roads, and 10K cross country events. Since turning 70, he’s run a mile under six minutes and a 5K under twenty minutes, while finishing a 10K in just over 40 minutes.

The retired father of four confided, “I still wake up every morning thinking about my next competition, my next challenge!”

He regularly puts in about 50 miles of training each week. It includes “speed work on the track, hill repeats, and tempo runs,” like the day Carrie and I crossed running paths with him. “All [these workouts] are geared toward my running schedule. I train to race!”

As noted, Goodhue hasn’t run a marathon in many years and even now has cut back on his racing, if only a bit. “Because of a number of nagging lower leg injuries over the last few years, I have had to reduce the number of races I run.” “Reduce” does not mean stop, nor does it mean diminished quality.

He’s not just about running, but includes the running community, too. He’s been a member of the Ann Arbor Track Club for more than 30 years. In his fifth year as a certified race director, he helps to direct several high-profile area races for the club, including Dexter-Ann Arbor. He’s also a USATF and RRCA certified coach. He added, “I just completed my 10th year of coaching the Running Fit 501 Training Team,” along with co-coach Suzi Stock, Lee Mamola, and Goodhue’s wife, Cindy.

Looking ahead, in July he said, “My plans for the rest of 2016 and the last year in my present age-group [70-74], I plan to run the Crim 10 Miler,” in which he finished with an age-group third [1:26:43], “and the rest of the Masters Grand Prix Series.”

Competitors and records beware!