Hello Sheboygan Daily readers! I will be writing a column entitled On The Run, the first and third Wednesday of each month. I thought I’d give you an introduction before the next columns appear.
I was born and raised in Sheboygan and have lived most of my life in the city. I lived in Germany for nearly 3 years while serving in the U.S. Army and currently reside in Plymouth.
I began running in 1980 to alleviate some bad habits, which I now call my F.A.T. syndrome. The acronym stands for Food, Alcohol and Tobacco, all of which were problematic.
At 5 foot 6 inches and 196 pounds, I decided to make some changes, when I had trouble breathing while climbing a single flight of stairs. I witnessed an overweight lady jogging by my house and she became my inspiration to get off the couch and out on the roads.
Running led me to be more sensitive to what I needed to stay healthy and eventually to competitive running. It also helped me discover more about life and opened an entire new world to me. Besides running, I also found a passion for writing.
My very first race was a marathon, 26.2 miles, which I ran in the Milwaukee area in 1981. Since then, I have run in over 900 races, including 125 marathons and 177 ultras (ultra marathons are races longer than the marathon).
I discovered in 1985, that I was really good at running ultras and I pursued those distance races to the point I was eventually nationally ranked. I became a national champion in 1987, when I won the 100-mile national championship at Shea Stadium (at the time, home of the NY Mets), covering the distance in 14 hours 52 minutes, on a day where temperatures neared 100 degrees.
The following year I won the 24-hour national championship for both open and masters runners. Open means under-40 years old and masters are those 40 and above. It was the inaugural 24-hour U.S. championship, held in Atlanta, GA. During the event, I broke my first open and two masters American Records (AR) by going through 100-miles in 14:37:32 en route to 145 miles 1,464 yards.
Since those initial titles and AR’s, I have broken over 60 AR’s and won over 70 national titles. Along with those, I have won 10 World Championship titles, broken a couple World Records and run 40 times internationally.
I hope you enjoy reading about some of the things I have learned on the run, as well as inspire you, to discover a new world for yourself.
See you in a few miles… roy pIrRUNg
Roy Pirrung is a Sports Contributor at The Sheboygan Daily and Ultra Marathon Champion. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or (920) 395-4025 and connect with Roy on Facebook and follow him on Twitter at @RoyPirrung.