At the Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon last fall, I had the pleasure of meeting a runner by the name of Terry McCluskey. During the race, around mile 10 or so, Terry would pass me and run a 1:24:38 to my 1:25:52. We spoke at greater length after the race and found out we hailed from the same neck of the woods- him from Ohio and me from Pennsylvania.
I invited him to run the Drake Well Half-Marathon (now and forever to be called the Pikermi) where he took me to task again, right around the same mile marker. This time he posted a 1:27:20 to my 1:29:00.
Now it is not uncommon for runners to beat me. I am hardly elite when it comes to shorter distances like the half, even if I do put up a fairly good showing. However, Terry’s times in both these races were fairly good for a runner of his age. Oh yeah – did I forget to mention Terry is SIXTY-TWO years old?
With his ridiculously fast finish at the Gate River run 15k (56:41 or 6:05 per mile!) I felt it was time I virtually sit down with Terry and introduce him to my readers.
Where did you grow up?
TM: I went to high school at Farrell High in Farrell, PA.
Were you a runner in high school and/or college?
TM: I ran the half-mile, one-mile and was the anchor on the two-mile relay in track. My best 800-meter was 2:04 with my PR in the mile being 4:52. (Terry and I spoke about how these were almost the exact same times I ran in high school but probably with the benefit of much better technology and shoes!)
When I was at Slippery Rock for college I never really ran. After quitting smoking at the age of 33, I began jogging again for health.
Why didn’t you run at Slippery Rock?
TM: I didn’t run at Slippery Rock because I worked in a mill for one year before going to college. Then I was a student commuter and working full and also part time for my first two years. I lived on campus only for three semesters and was married during my last semester!
Did you play other sports?
TM: In the fall I did not have the choice of running cross-country as we did not have a team. I played football instead but mostly warmed the bench or played on the suicide squad in practice.