Member Spotlight: Ed Fager

My name is: Ed Fager, age 62.

To sum myself up in a nutshell: I have been married 37 years and have three grown children and four grandchildren. I love physical activity, working out at the YMCA and running anywhere.

I’m originally from: South Jersey. I was born in Camden, NJ, and grew up in Mt. Laurel, NJ. Left New Jersey in 1987 for seven years in Pittsburgh before moving to Kernersville.

I’ve been in Kernersville: Since 1994.

A proud member of Twin City Track Club since: On and off since 1996 but more consistent the last five years

Been a “runner” since:  Long story here. As a grade school kid my favorite athletes were Bob Hayes (1964 Olympic 100 meter champ who also played football) and Jim Ryan from watching the 1968 Olympics. That was where my early fascination with both sprinting and long distance began. Started competitive running in 1973 as a high school freshman. I ran the 100 and 200 meters in high school. Ran with some great runners. Carl Lewis was in my county. Despite exclusively running the 100 and 200 meters in track, I also ran cross country in high school, which made me somewhat of an oddball.

At a cross country meet the guys from the other team would say, “Aren’t you the guy that won the 100 against us last year?” At a spring track meet they would say, “Aren’t you the guy that won the cross country meet last fall?”

I continued with sprinting at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, running four years of varsity track and field. When my college days were over in 1981, I jumped immediately into competitive 5Ks and 10Ks and have never looked back. The NJ and Philadelphia area had hundreds of races. Despite running some fast 5K and 10K times, I have no recollection of ever placing in my age group. The running boom was still taking off and a 5K or 10K with 400 runners was just common. The progression to longer races quickly followed to half marathons and then to my first marathon in 1989.

The longest distance I’ve ever run is: 26.2 miles. I’ve run nine marathons: Pittsburgh (3), Richmond (2), Greenville, SC (2), Kiawah and Boston.

Memorable running experiences

  • Rave run – Any flat beach.
  • Race – I like them all but, 1981 Millrose Games in Madison Square Garden. Lafayette 4x400M Small college champs. Boston 2018, 43 degrees in a driving freezing rain, qualified with a 3:35, ran a 4:10, almost cried at the starting line. I have run St. Leo’s, Mistletoe and Kernersville July 4th races over 15 times each. Ultimate Runner long time Masters Record holder in 100 and 400 until broken recently.
  • Gone postal run and/or I’d rather forget – Have only dropped out of 1 race in 50 years. 2019 Fall Salem Lake Trail 30K, dropped at 11 because of the heat.

My motivation to run is:

  1. Physical fitness, stay healthy.
  2. Competition.
  3. Because I can.

But when I’m not running, I enjoy: 
Anything outside

One thing running has taught me is: Perseverance

I wish I could: Go longer than a marathon.

Most people don’t know I: Went to a High School with 2,400 kids and had 720 in my senior class. I was voted quietest student. One run around Salem Lake most people are surprised because they can’t shut me up.

These are a few of my favorite running things

Vice: Like a race with free beer at the finish line.

Device: Not big on devices, have a simple $150 Garmin watch.

Advice: Long list here!

  1. Stick with it. I have been running continuously for 50 years with only one minor 8-week plantar injury break. Very few weeks with a goose egg for miles. Stopping and then starting from scratch is just too hard.
  2. Keep a simple running log. I have logs going back to 1984. Forget the computer, I can fit 6 years in a composition book. Simple one line on mileage, weather, type of run, where you were, who you ran with. This has the added benefit of “What week and where did you go on your 1992 summer vacation, how much did I weigh, etc?” Doubles as a simple diary; it’s all in my run log.
  3. Avoid over-training and injuries at all costs. Same as No. 1, just too hard to start over.
  4. If running a marathon, pick a plan. Hansen plan worked for me. Run even pace in all races.
  5. Run with friends or in a group. 

Running footwear: Any neutral trainer works for me, but I have stuck with the Brooks mostly, currently the Ghost, which is similar to the Brooks Radius from the 1990s. My 1974 cross country shoes were the Nike Marathoners, just a thin quarter inch of rubber. We were minimalists in the 1970s.

Pre-run/post run fuel: I am lucky to have an iron-clad stomach and can eat very close to run time. For a marathon, chicken parmesan with pasta with one beer the night before. In the morning coffee, a bagel and a banana. I often neglect the post run fuel.