Like the Energizer Bunny, Richard Kinstler has kept going ... and going ... and going ...
Last weekend, the 67-year-old Tiffin resident fulfilled a goal he set for himself about 10 years ago to run a marathon in every state. He said soon after he set the goal, he knew he could complete it.
Karen, Richard's wife, took pictures and saw her husband cross the finish line when he completed his goal. She said she was excited and glad he finished.
"It's been ... quite an accomplishment for him," she said about him running in 50 states.
Richard ran a marathon Oct. 2 in Connecticut, Oct. 9 in New York and Oct. 16 in Vermont. He said he was full of enthusiasm to run the race last weekend, which he completed in 4 hours and 59 minutes, because it was slightly windy. He described crossing the finish line as "fabulous."
"It was very exciting (to achieve the milestone). ... (I) had a lot of fun with the people I was running with," he said.
Karen said it was the first time he had done a marathon on three weekends in a row, and the first of the three was the most difficult because it was a trail marathon. She said her husband compared it to running the Appalachian Trail, and it rained while he was running.
"It was muddy. There were leaves, of course, that had fallen. It was hilly," she said.
Runners also had to ford a stream, she said.
"You don't wear your best shoes," she said.
Don't look for Richard to stop now that he has achieved his goal.
He said he plans to make another round around the country, and he probably is going to run in five or six Ohio marathons and then run three marathons in other states each year.
Richard said he hasn't always been a runner. He said started to feel older when he turned 40 and decided he needed to do more exercising.
Richard, who started running at Tiffin Community YMCA, said he started training about a year before his first marathon and had plenty of time for it because he was unemployed.
"I decided, 'Well, let's see if I can try (a marathon) and do it,'" he said.
He said he started by running a couple of miles and worked up to 4 miles and then 10 miles. He said he can run 18 to 19 miles before he starts walking and running the rest of the way.
"I don't run the full 26 (in training)," he said.
Richard said one of the reasons he runs is because his family has a history of diabetes.
"I've avoided that illness. ... That's part of why I keep at it. It's for health reasons," he said.
Richard completed his first marathon in 1993 in Columbus and finished with a time of 4 hours, 47 minutes. He said it went well, and his body was sore when he was finished.
He said he didn't run the second marathon until six years later. He was re-employed and was busy with the new job and activities.
"I never got back to it," he said.
In 1999, when Richard heard about the new Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati, he decided to try to do it again.
After deciding to run a marathon in every state, Richard, who is retired, started setting up a schedule of when he wanted to run each marathon. He arranged to run them while on vacations, and if marathons were a state apart, he would arrange to run them a week apart.
Since 2001, Richard has been running anywhere from one to eight marathons a year.
He said the Detroit marathon is interesting. Participants run across the bridge and run back through the tunnel, he said.
"It goes over to Windsor, Canada. ... It's beautiful," he said.
Richard said he never has been injured during a marathon. He said he had a minor accident during a Thanksgiving race in Cincinnati when he tripped and hurt a tooth. He finished the race without a problem and got his tooth repaired.
"It's been fine ever since," he said.
Richard said he plans to run more marathons because he wants to keep healthy. Karen has traveled to all of the marathons except for two because she was ill. Richard said she is supportive of his efforts and knows it is good for him.
"She's volunteered at quite a few of them," he said.
Karen said it has been fun to travel, get to meet people in the towns and experience some of the highlights in the various areas. The spectators help each other find their runners, she said.
She said the level of difficulty of finding her husband depends on the size of the race. One of the most difficult to find Richard in was the Chicago marathon was because there were so many runners. She said she picks out an outfit of a runner ahead of him so she knows if he is coming or if she missed him.
"The smaller ones, it's much easier to do that," she said.
Karen said she is thankful for many miles of safe travel.
"The Lord has been really good," she said.