By Katelyn Doggett
“Just keep moving,” thinks Blaine resident Joseph Klein, 75, as he looks down at his chocolate lab trotting by his side during a brisk morning walk.
Klein’s favorite pastime is being active in fresh air with his energetic 8-year-old dog, Noah. On average he walks 8 miles a day, but that’s nothing compared to the 26.2-mile run he’s training for.
Over the past five years, Klein has run in 17 marathons all over the United States and Canada. He is currently preparing for his next marathon in Victoria in October and another in Hawaii in December.
“Running isn’t quite the right term for what I do,” he said. “It’s more of a fast walk, but I sometimes even pass the runners.”
When Klein completes a marathon it makes him feel like a million dollars, he said.
He finds his motivation to participate in marathons because of how it makes him feel, as well as the sense of achievement it gives him.
“I have tons of energy,” Klein said. “Being active makes me feel so young; I feel the same as when I was 19.”
Klein became inspired to participate in marathons after cheering on his youngest son’s first marathon.
Since that marathon, running has become a family bonding experience; Klein often participates in the marathons with at least one of his four children.
The time it takes him to complete a marathon varies depending on how he feels that day and the liveliness of the crowd, Klein said. Klein’s fastest completion time was 4.5 hours, and his slowest was 7.5 hours, but he never gives up.
“You have to finish,” he said. “Stopping is not an option.”
Being active has not only given Klein a feeling of accomplishment and time to bond with his family, but has also reaped positive benefits on Klein’s health. Before he began participating in marathons, Klein was borderline diabetic. Since becoming active and eating healthier, Klein’s diabetes symptoms have gone away. He has even noticed an improvement in his dog’s health.
Exercise is the only permanent medicine he needs and he doesn’t plan on stopping any time soon, he said.
Klein’s advice to others who want to be more active – and perhaps even run marathons – is to simply get outside and get moving.
“Just do it if you want to,” he said. “All you need to do is start moving.”